Building an Effective Technology Support Team
For Information Technology (IT) help desk teams, support centers on individual users calling to receive help with a laptop computer. For equipment vendors, support teams have technicians with specific system knowledge. In this environment, customers may be in the middle of major revenue affecting outages. Today most large organizations use more than 30 different applications, complicating the user environment (Regan & O’Connor, p. 242). Customers know issues will occur, and it is the responsibility of a support organization to resolve the issues. How quickly and how well issues are resolved depend on the quality of the support team. The use of tools, technical training, and soft skill development are the blocks that build a support team.
The appropriate use of tools can make a help desk more productive, are readily available. To start, how a user contacts the support team is important. Call centers employ Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) systems to greet users calling by telephone. The IVR greets callers and provides a menu of options (Regan & O’Connor, p. 245). IVR and other Web-based self-service tools can save support organizations money. According to Bocklund and Bengston (p. 225), live handling of calls costs between three dollars and 10 dollars per call. IVR transactions cost tens of cents. The caller speaks or uses a keypad to navigate a menu of choices.
CTI systems bridge traditional telephony with client computing (Bocklund & Bengston, p. 29). CTI can help support teams by providing applications that include screen pops and soft phone or they can replace traditional PBXs in that CTI can route calls based on configured parameters. Call routing is determined by time of day and available skill sets of agents. CTI also integrates multimedia integration like chat and e-mail, freeing up valuable resources. Use of computer-based softphone technology means a call center...