Technology changes rapidly and there are now a myriad of options and budget choices for building websites and systems.
In the past, you might have the broad choice of paying someone to write code for you, or to jump in and build it yourself, but now that software and online services have become such standard commodities, you need to look further than the headline prices to differentiate between potential vendors and find the all-round package that will provide genuine value - and open the door to a lasting business relationship.
When personal technology, such as your phone, breaks down it can be a real hassle but when something like a business website fails, it can seriously damage revenue and productivity. In the longer term, it can chip away at customer trust and ultimately cause those customers to look elsewhere. To protect against this, it’s crucial to have a technical support service from a reliable source that can understand and address problems. Not only does this provide peace of mind but providing an excellent after-sales support service can be vital to retaining your clients and be a real selling point for your company when gaining new business.
Technical support options are often the last thing customers will think about when planning an outsourced software project, but below is a short list of features to consider that any client will benefit from - but aren't provided by everyone.
- A dedicated support team, which deals only with support. Support shouldn’t be an afterthought or something that people do in-between other tasks when they have the time.
- Support staff who are knowledgeable of their products, services and related technologies.
- Friendly and approachable people, available via multiple channels, who recognise your problem and can give you understandable (human) descriptions and solutions.
- A clear explanation of the services that support provides, including any associated costs for services and the value of those support plans to the customer. Whether that’s maintenance-only, pay-as-you-go, fixed plans with bundled development time, additional plan-only benefits etc.
One or more of the above should guide customers through any unexpected situations but the less obvious benefits of the dedicated, knowledgeable and friendly support team are:
- The establishment of an excellent rapport with key individuals and support becoming a go-to service you can trust: one that you know cares about your technology, your business and your reputation.
- Support that steadily becomes integral to your own business by the provision of a consistent, reliable, fair and honest service that goes the extra mile.
Having a great technical support team is not just good business practice but a reflection of the company values and an investment in the future. Decent support will keep things ticking over. Great support will maintain and grow client relationships and can be a fundamental part of the customer’s lasting success.
If you have any questions about the points I've raised, or want a more in-depth chat about all things ecommerce, please get in touch.
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