Case ownership / Responsible Person for the Health of the SR.
Revenue is lost every year in the technical support industry due to unnecessary repeat calls caused by engineer error. Below are the most common errors that lead to low time-to-resolution scores – and all can be corrected with the right customer service training.
Top Engineer Errors That Increase Time-To-Resolution (TTR) and (TMPI)
In these common errors, engineers can run into the issue of
- Having a call or ticket transferred incorrectly.
- Needlessly telling the customer to call back or waiting to call them back.
- Don’t listen to and/or understand the customer’s request/issue.
- Supply customer inaccurate information.
- Decline to set expectations sufficiently
- Failure to inform customer about self-service options
- Don’t follow through on commitments/procedures
- Communicate poorly causing customer to be apprehensive about a solution
Ok I do these things already? Now what? What other ways can I use the same know how to further lower these costs?
Be proactive! Always look for new tools and procedures that can help you lower these costs.
Streamline Processes with further Customer Service Training:
Providing internal customer service is just as important as providing top-notch support for customers. Investing in training does much more than improve communication skills to benefit external customers. Customer service training also improves internal communications. Improving internal communication skills increases employee satisfaction and productivity which aids in reducing TTR.
When employees have great communication skills, use a common service language, and adhere to predetermined issue resolution processes, reducing TTR becomes an attainable goal. Gathering all employees together for classroom training provides an ideal opportunity for open discussion and for employees from different departments to constructively discuss process issues.
To further maximize the benefits of customer service training, it is a good idea if all support supervisors and managers also participate in training. Taking part in training alongside your support team shows that you are not only a strong advocate for training, but that continuous improvement is important for employees of all management levels.
Reduce TTR with Employee Training
Investing in customer service training for technical support engineers will provide them with the necessary skills to competently and efficiently resolve customer issues. When customers interact with a confident engineer who expertly guides them through the call, provides accurate information and appropriately sets expectations, they are likely to be satisfied at the end of the call and have no reason to call back. When the opposite occurs, customers may call for support again to ask additional questions and/or seek resolution validation from a different engineer.
Finally, ask yourself these important questions:
Wait or schedule things?
What is needed from you?
What is needed from someone else?
What can you do?
No idle customer?
Case ownership is a very important answer to these questions that needs focus to keep TMPI low. One thing we can look at is what is the total cost of ownership for you on this case?
1. Even though a problem has been cut to another team it is still your responsibility to keep the customer happy and overall satisfaction positive to keep survey scores up.
2. No one wants and Idle case in your bin. We want to remain in contact with the new problem owners as well as the customer to keep the ticket moving at all times.
3. If you can’t reach the customer by email call them. If you can’t reach the customer by phone call them as well.
4. Ask the customer is there anything else I can do to help speed things up with the case.
5. Collaborate with the Problem 2 owner. Answer questions for them. Offer support to those engineers via IM or phone call. It’s always better to talk to someone on a case then have to read your notes. It is not always clear on what you have done versus what needs to be done.
6. Create a template for the customer when sending the scope email that sets expectations for yourself as well as expectations for the customer. Set deadlines.
7. Collaborate with other engineers if you are stuck. Just talking the issue through with someone else always leads to a possible solution.
8. Don’t let the customer drag the issue forward. Speak up if an issue is by design and only focus on one problem at a time. A customer will go off on a tangent that will only cloud solution to the problem.
9. Always include the TAM on conversations to the customer. Keeping the TAM involved well help the TAM be aware of questions centered around the situation. As stated it is not always clear and or they do not take the time to read the case.
10. Even if what you do on a case is pretty straight forward it is always a good idea to make sure you always take the time to keep your notes structured and organized throughout a case.
11. What do I do if I cannot reach the customer? The customer will be aware of what is needed by them to keep the ticket active.
12. Do not let the customer push you into keeping a case open if there is no need. Let them know archiving a case is no different than keeping it in your bin. It can be re-activated at any time.
13. Pull in your peers to help you on questions you might have. Not everyone is a SME in all areas. Having a backup for yourself to run thoughts or ideas back and forth will help TMPI. Example: EOP engineer needing help with an EXO case and an EXO engineer needing help with an EOP case. Share knowledge even if it is not for a case that you own. That help you provided last week will help you resolve your problem next week.
14. Be straight up with a customer. It is ok to admit you do not know the answer. Letting them know you can find that answer will help a customer’s temperature and keep issues moving.
15. If you are on a bridge with the new problem owner listen in on what they are doing. No one said ever that you have to cut problems to another team. If you get familiar with issues more, then you can take that knowledge for future cases that might be able to be resolved without creating a problem to being with thus lowering TMPI even more.
16. Do not be afraid to tell the customer no. If an issues is not supported let them know and offer them a possible solution. Don’t waste time trying to configure something that will only cause them headaches at a later time.
17. Always fix the issue and don’t patch it. It will create more time for that initial ticket, but it will lower TMPI in the long run to keep duplicate issues from coming up.
18. Do not take on more than you can chew… This is very important with keeping TMPI low. Just because you can have 20 tickets in your queue does not mean you should. Balance your work load enough to keep focus on the customers at hand that need you.