Software continues to drive growth in the SME and start up market. But tech support is a requirement for most software solutions. From simple questions such as resetting a password, to more complicated problems. An efficient support function is essential.
Managing support queries can be done in several ways. Depending on the size and nature of your business there is not a one size fits all solution. Looking carefully at your needs and requirements can determine whether you need specialist software or if you in fact have everything you need already at hand.
Critical tech support functions
The most critical aspect of a good support function is to be able to track the customer communications from beginning to end. Often support is provided by a combination of emails and phone calls. But you may use other digital methods of communication too e.g. chatbots.
Of equal importance is the ability to track and monitor the status of an issue. Has the problem been solved? Is further information required from the customer?
Support Ticket Software v CRM
Traditionally, tech support teams will us ‘Support Ticket Software’. The main features of this type of software are:
- Aggregation of information about the support case in one location;
- Ability to triage and assign the case to team members;
- Creation of a unique ‘support ticket number’;
- Update status of the ticket.
For SMEs and start ups, buying support ticket software can be expensive. Therefore consider if a CRM or shared inbox can be used to do the same job.
A CRM can also perform these functions. The common benefits provide are:
- Aggregation of information regarding a customer or support case within the CRM platform;
- Ability to create individual ‘deals’ for each customer;
- Tracking of status by creating follow up activities, tags or flags;
- Integration with existing communication systems such as emails & VoIP system.
But do you even need a new tool?
The answer to this is – probably not.
Perhaps you feel that your business is not yet ready for the investment in a CRM or support ticketing software and are assessing whether you need something at all?
If you look closely you will probably find that you already have everything you need to provide excellent tech support. Often, the most common issue is usually that the individual parts are not operating as a whole.
So before investing in yet another tool – consider what information and tools you have and see if you can find a way of making them all work together.
Other considerations for tech support teams
Whilst CRMs aid tech support management, CRMs also come with a cost. They can take time to set up and users often need training.
For companies on a budget, a shared inbox solution, such as Threads, may provide the answer. Threads is neither a CRM nor support ticket software. Rather it aggregates all your digital communications in a single dashboard. It enables the user to search, sort and filter by customer. It also allows users to create ‘projects’ which work like support tickets and allow users to view correspondence containing a unique reference or keyword.
Threads integrates with any email client and it can also be linked to an existing VoIP system to capture, record and transcribe telephone conversations. It uniquely creates a chronological record of all communications without the time and expense of changing the way you already work.
Try Threads free for 14 days or find out more here