Technical advancement has enhanced the ways of interaction so much that ecommerce sales and purchases are more convenient than going to physical markets. Many factors have contributed to this growth in the ecommerce industry over the last decade. As ecommerce is growing, the need for technical support has also risen in this industry. This need can be met either through an in-house technical support unit or by opting for a qualified support services provider.
A strong technical support unit brings in many benefits for the business. Some basic reading about technical support can help you better understand the requirement(s) of your ecommerce business and the options available for you for setting up technical support.
Technical Support Infrastructure
Generally, technical support infrastructure is physical or computer-generated resources in a data centre that processes and analyzes data. It can be distributed across many data centers that can be established by the company itself or by third party providers.
It has 5 main components:
ii. Network Storage
iv. Management tools and services
Three-Tiered Technical Support Model
Technical support is usually divided into three levels (L) or tiers (T) to handle the customer or business issues more efficiently.
L1 or T1
This level is dedicated to basic support issues. Technicians at this level can tackle simple and basic technical issues using the given knowledge base, FAQs, and the step-by-step operating manual. L1 support is delivered through helpdesks— 24 hour call center, live chat, or remote team support.
The customer service representative at this level has the broad understanding of the products and services. They can typically assist with navigation around the application, password and username issues, basic hardware and software setup, and troubleshooting.
Most user issues are resolved at this stage. The more complicated ones are escalated to the second level and issued a tracking/ticket number.
L2 or T2
At this level, technicians are more knowledgeable and experienced about the product or service as this involves advanced level troubleshooting and technical analysis.
Using advanced diagnosis and data analysis, the customer service representative has to determine whether it is a new issue or an already existing one. If it is an already existing one and does not have a solution in the database, then the developer is contacted.
If it is a new issue, then it has to be determined if it can be resolved by the L2 specialists or it needs to be forwarded to level 3 support.
L3 or T3
This level of technical support is rendered by specialists who have been involved in product development. It is the highest level of technical support services and deals with most advanced and difficult product issues.
Once a solution is determined for the new issue identified at level 2, it is added to the database for troubleshooting in future.
What Happens Before L1 and After L3?
Any problem resolution through self-help is considered to be level 0 or tier 0 of technical support. This could include FAQs and website support for finding solutions but does not include contacting a helpdesk or a customer service representative.
Similarly, level 4 or tier 4 happens outside the company’s technical support infrastructure. It represents an escalation point and it only exists in case of multiple vendors.
In-House Vs Remote Workforce for Technical Support
Feasible provision of technical support is imperative for growth in the ecommerce world. To make a decision, businesses should remember:
- In the beginning, it is usually convenient to provide a single-tiered technical support system.
- As a business and ecommerce sales grow, a multi-tiered support system is better to handle technical problems at different levels, allocate resources efficiently, and satisfy customer needs.
- It is financially expensive and time consuming to arrange level 1 and level 2 technical support infrastructures in-house. These levels do not deal with highly complicated issues and a specialist technical support service provider is more suited to provide these.
- Having a remote workforce ensures timely delivery of technical support to your business, at less overhead costs than having an in-house team.
- To avoid losing focus from the core activities, ecommerce businesses usually opt for a support service provider and remote workforce options for level 1 and level 2 of technical support.
- Contracting technical support to a support service provider can take away the fuss of hiring the right people, additional financial strain, and monitoring expenses.
- Support services providers can provide specialists for 24 hour call center support, ecommerce support, and operational support to cover technical issues for your customers and internal operations.
- Having a remote workforce means your company can hire specialists from local as well as international talent pools.
- Remote workers are reported to have higher levels of efficiency and productivity and lower levels of stress. This consequently translates into a happy team= better support services.
- The option a business chooses to establish its technical configuration—for their operational as well as customer support—has to gel with its overall ecommerce activities and company goals.
Conclusively, technical support is a critical part of ecommerce support and customer service. It has become equally important for B2B sales and online retail. Its importance in smooth operations and resolving issues for customer satisfaction cannot be emphasized enough. Establishing a technical support unit has never been easier. The only homework for a company is to decide how it wants its business to be supported by IT professionals and how much resources is it ready to tie up.
With numerous options available in the global market, technical support is only a call away!
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