Skip to main content

Technical Support and Tiered Support Levels

In Customer Service and Technical Support it is all about getting that client issue to the right person (based on skills and language) as quickly as possible and ensuring that you meet or exceed your SLA. Now this can be accomplished through a variety of different methods and depending upon the size of your contact center, you should ensure that you explore some or all of them.


Probably the most important criteria is training. You need to ensure that you have explored the requirements and needs of your customers fully and that based on these needs, the majority of your agents have the requisite skills to resolve their issues and assist them. Determining Their Needs 

If you do not know what your clients need then this is absolutely the first area of concern. You need to conduct surveys and do analysis of your past and historical incidents and contacts and determine from that what they are going to be asking. You will find that there is a significant amount of repetition with regards to client inquiries and if you are in a business with a growing customer base you will see this repetition play out most frequently with new accounts. Once you know what they are going to be asking, then you can put a training plan into place to ensure that you plug those holes. The quicker and sooner you are able to do this, the more satisfied your customers will be. 

Tiered Support Model 

As important as training is, you are not going to be able to have all of your staff at the same level. This is actually not a bad thing as the questions and queries that you will be receiving will also be at differing levels of complexity. By putting in place a plan that allows you to tier your teams based on their skills not only are you being more efficient with your resources, but you are also building an escalation model and a promotion path into your support organization. 

Erlang ‘C’ & Scheduling for Call Centres 

Tiered Support ensures that your training dollars are best spent where they are most useful and also allows you to offer your customers an increased level of service in various different fashions. 

Tier'ing Your Customers 

As you might recall from my previous posts on the 80/20 rule (here and here), you are best served by distributing your clients based on their “value” to your business. As much as you might like to treat all clients the same, the unfortunate fact is that they are not! You will often find that 20% of your customers are responsible for 80% of your issues and also (and perhaps more importantly!) 20% of your clients are responsible for 80% of your revenue. Unfortunately also, these two different “circles” do not always overlap and it is absolutely key that you determine which of your clients fit into which circle. 

Once you have made that determination however, things become much clearer and easier to handle. By putting your customers into tiers, you are able to offer the ones with higher value to your business a different path to the support that they need in contrast to your other customers.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Difference Between Incident Managment and Problem Management

Incident Management and Problem Management are both key components of the ITIL service model and have been defined and created in an effort to provide a better and more streamlined service to consumers.
ITIL itself stands for the - Information Technology Infrastructure Library - and comprises of the following books:
ITIL Service Strategy ITIL Service Design ITIL Service Transition ITIL Service Operation ITIL Continual Service ImprovementIncident Management and Problem Management are both elements of the fourth volume - ITIL Service Operation, which tries to define the best practice for dealing with interruptions to a customers service. What is an Incident? An incident is a single - unique - issue impacting one specific customer and their service. While there can be many similar incidents impacting multiple customers, each of them are in their fashion unique and need to be logged and treated as such.
An example of an incident is you losing your home Internet connection. While the underly…

What is PRINCE2

PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments and is a very popular method for effective Project Management.  PROJECT MANAGEMENTWhile PRINCE2 is one way of managing Projects, it is worthwhile defining what exactly a project is and why it needs management in the first place! 

A project is specific task/role that needs to be completed to meet certain objectives. In a managed project, you would have a defined beginning and end and certain "check points" throughout the process itself to ensure that you were on target to meet your overall objectives.

These checkpoints are referred to as "gates" and at each gate, you would have certain deliverable and targets to check your progress against. By managing a project in this fashion, you are able to ensure that you stay on track and that any issues or concerns are identified and dealt with at an early stage of the process versus waiting till the end.

The defined "end" to a project is necessary as it creates …


Competition is extremely fierce in the world of business, only a handful survive, and some can barely keep up with the demands of the times. That's why it is necessary to have an idea of what it takes to be successful and an integrated strategy to help maintain excellent service results.

ITIL discusses at length the four “Ps” of strategy- perspective, position, plan and pattern, each of which represents a different way to approach your service strategy. Brief summaries are provided here: Perspective - This is basically the vision statement of an organization.  Why is it in business, why is it doing what it is doing?  What are the plans and ideas for the future and how does the organization interact with its customers?  A perspective cements a service provider’s distinctiveness in the minds of the employees and customersPositions - What is the competitive landscape and how will the organization compete with other similar providers?  What is the key distinction between them and oth…


In a similar fashion to interviewing and hiring people - the hardest and most expensive exercise is getting the right employee - getting people back into the door is exactly the same.  You want that repeat custom as that is what will save you money in your marketing and advertising.  One of the key components to this in addition to the quality of the product itself is the customer service that you provide to the customer in their purchasing and ordering decisions.  You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won't be profitable for long. Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy - happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers. 
Good customer service should be thought of as re…