Posts Tagged ‘tech support’

Tech Support Superstars Training Class

October 2, 2012

I recently created a new training workshop specifically designed for tech support reps. This hands-on 1 day workshop has been well received in it’s initial class. Have a look at the agenda and let me know if we are covering the right topics. Thanks, Bill


8:00 – 8:15 Introductions
8:15 – 9:00 Effective Call Handling Processes
9:00 – 9:45 Why is Self Service so Important?
9:45 – 10:00 BREAK
10:00 – 10:45 How the Levels of Learning affect service
10:45 – 11:45 The Impact of Informal Leaders
11:45 – 12:00 Open Discussion/Industry Trends
12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH
1:00 – 2:00 Dealing with Difficult Customers
2:00 – 2:30 Tech Support’s killer issue:Transparency
2:30 – 2:45 BREAK
2:45 – 3:45 Problem Solving & Troubleshooting
3:45 – 4:00 What is Top Talent for Tech Support
4:00 – 4:45 Understanding different Communication Styles
4:45 – 5:00 Wrap Up – Your Future Career in Tech Support

Contact Bill Rose directly at


Defending Maintence and Support Pricing Workshop

May 28, 2012

With Europe in turmoil and economic growth moderating in North America, IT departments are likely to face continued pressure on operating budgets.

Unfortunately, one of the first budget line items many look at is the annual fees they pay for maintenance and support contracts. Indeed, numerous IT consultants offer to help enterprise buyers negotiate these fees down.  One analyst told us he advises his clients to only pay 12% per year. That’s a far cry from the 18%-22% that most vendors are used to. (more…)

Setting Tech Support Priorities

February 12, 2010

Often I get TSIA member inquiries about setting priorities for tech support issues.  These questions are from members who want to validate the priority schemes that they are using and ensure that they are aligned with the industry.  Below you will find an audio PowerPoint presentation that addresses this topic.  Just watch in presentation mode, turn your speakers up, and listen to my discussion of this interesting part of service operations.

Setting Tech Support Priorities

Resolution Management – Tech Support’s Silver Bullet?

January 18, 2010

The more I study the tech support business, the more I realize that there is no Silver Bullet for tech support.  There is not “just one thing” that you can do that makes all things right, makes customers loyal, and makes your people happy.  The closest thing that I can find is an intense focus on Resolution Management and all of the elements contained within.  It just makes sense that if we can fix issues faster both customers and your people will be happier.  A strong commitment to resolving issues, as a top priority will ensure that everyone involved in the process is aligned.  But, this is not a simple task!  In fact, resolution management can be an all-consuming nightmare if it is not approached in the correct way.  Just have a look at my blog post, “Fifteen Factors that Affect First Call Resolution (FCR) in Tech Support” (more…)

Fifteen Factors that Affect First Call Resolution (FCR) in Tech Support

October 9, 2009

There are three distinct areas that have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction for technology services customers; Response time, Resolve time, and Status updates.  We define Response Time as ‘the time it takes for a customer to reach a qualified support rep” and Status Updates is defined as “keeping the customer informed about the status of open cases in a timely fashion”.  Although these are simple definitions we can almost always understand what their true meaning is.  Where we run into problems is in defining “Resolve time” and agreeing upon that definition.  One example would be “the time it takes to resolve a customer’s issue to their satisfaction”.  This is not a bad definition but there are so many different interpretations of “resolve”, “issue”, and “satisfaction” that we sometimes get confused about how we can measure resolve time. (more…)

SSPA Celebrates 20th Anniversary: Twenty ways the SSPA has changed our industry

June 29, 2009

January 2009 represents the twentieth anniversary for the Service and Support Professionals Association (SSPA). Wow, what a “long strange trip it’s been!” In fact, when I think back at some of the major ways that the SSPA has changed our industry there were twenty areas that jumped out as critical to the development of the service & support industry. Over the years the SSPA played a vital role in guiding our members through the transitions of service delivery and helping to improve the overall level of service around the globe. Here is the SSPA story. (more…)

Preparing For the Future – Building a Support Succession Plan for Tech Support

June 29, 2009

Running a technical support business is all about taking action and getting things done. It seems like we have very little time to plan and when we do we are focused on support budgets and technology acquisitions. But, there is one future plan that will pay off big if we do it right; succession planning. Simply put, this is the art and science of grooming managers to become top executives and allowing them to become an internal pool of potential executive talent. Succession planning does not just happen, it is hard work but the benefits will be seen the first time you lose a VP and don’t have to go outside the company to find a replacement. What we are talking about here is developing a formal plan that would allow your brightest managers to gain the skills necessary to become VP’s or more. (more…)

Freezing Tech Support…Again!

June 29, 2009

Ever get that feeling that something really bad is about to happen? Your not quite sure what it is but you know that it can’t be good. With all of the economic bad news that we see everyday there is one thing we know for sure…..there will be a freeze on tech support spending. It is true and it happens every time that there is the slightest mention of an economic downturn. Get ready to freeze tech support spending because here it comes again. You can be sure that there will be a hiring freeze, a travel freeze, and an overall spending freeze in your not-to-distant future. So what can we do about it? How do we continue to deliver top-level services when we are financially hamstrung? (more…)

The Importance of First Call Resolution(FCR) in Tech Support

May 5, 2009

As the Founder & VP of Services Research for the Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA), I have been getting a lot of member requests regarding the true value of the FCR metric. It makes sense that if we can resolve customer’s issues on first call-in then they will be happier but how difficult is this to achieve? Should we be focused on fixing things at all cost or should we be more concerned about making sure that we use some form of triage in the front end of tech support? These are good questions and I have developed 15 factors that affect first call resolution (FCR) that must be considered before we start to push hard on our tech support reps to fix everything the first time. I will start my post of these factors and would love to get your feedback. Bill

Servicing China, Goldmine or Landmine?

May 5, 2009

This afternoon at 4:30pm at the SSPA conference in Santa Clara, CA. I will be holding a session to discuss the challenges and opportunities for North American technology product companies who are servicing customers in China.  Aneel Jaeel from Symantec has tons of experience servicing the China technology marketplace and he will be the resident expert for this session.

This is part of our SSPA Communities of Interest (COI) program where we take an interesting topic and hold open forum discussions where everyone can participate.  I really like the format because most people that attend this session and participate in the follow up conversations all have a common interest, in this case, it is doing a great job of moving into a new marketplace.

After our session today I will update this blog and provide some of the highlights of our discussions.  From what I have seen so far moving into China is far more difficult than Japan and some of the same techniques that we deployed in Japan just won’t work here.  I am very interested in the maintenance revenue and profitability aspect of this move and have heard several members comment about reduced margins for service in China.  So, what is that?  What service methods work best and what should we not be doing in this new space?  Today, our session will start this dialog and open up the floor for a whole lot more questions.  This should be good.