December 5, 2016

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The Success Mantra of Product Support

Success for bowlers in cricket is to consistently bowl at the right areas, right length, and right line. Product support too follows a similar paradigm; it’s all about positive consistency with respect to Response Time, Quality, and Customer satisfaction.

CONSISTENCY is the differentiating factor.

Maintaining consistency throughout the product life cycle holds the key to winning moments.

The three main aspects of Product Support Inner Boundary revolve around Response Time, Quality, Customer Satisfaction.

Response Time

The first and the foremost requirement is to facilitate more than one mode of communication channels for the customers. These communication channels have to be user-friendly from the customer’s point of view. The steps that need to be followed here are:

  • Understanding the problem statement of the customer
  • Performing a thorough analysis of the problem.
  • Estimating the turnaround time required to fix the problem and communicate the same to the customer.
  • Providing periodic updates; the frequency of the update has to be adequate, irrespective of the severity of the issue.

Quality

The critical conditions that need to be adhered are:

  • Ensuring that the problem is addressed to its core.
  • The performance of the system needs to improve over the period of time.
  • No compromise with respect to SLAs and KPIs.
  • Updating the product related artefacts on regular basis.

Customer Satisfaction

Leading organizations accept nothing less than 100% customer satisfaction when it comes to the product support and service.

Customer satisfaction can be measured across the following communication channels.

  • Collecting feedback and triggering the actions based on the feedback
  • Following-up with actions that are needed to ensure proper closure

Introducing regression issues into the system during the process of fixing the current issue needs to be carefully avoided.

You need to provide flexibility to the customer in case they wish for an observation period to monitor the system, post the service time or post-fix time and thereby not closing the issue ticket immediately. This helps resolve issues or complaints that are sporadic in nature.

By doing these basics right and by keeping the customer satisfaction high, one need not worry about increasing new customer count, because, that would eventually fall in line.

The three main aspects of Product Support Outer Boundary revolve around Value-Added services, Marketing and Support Team Composition.

Value-Added services

  • Providing the Automation framework starting from building the software, installing the software, executing the regression test suite and test analysis and test report generation.
  • Maintaining an active web portal where customer can get first-level information about the current issue and a possible remedy based on the historical past occurrences of same erroneous behaviour.Providing timely reminders to the customers for the periodic service and for the replacement of the likely wear and tear of the machine parts.
  • Facilitate the in-house service or pick-up and drop arrangements at customer’s convenient time.
  • Alert services for the patch updates.
  • Need to be aware of the fact that freebies offered also demands the same quality and support, so a clear thought analysis has to be done before making the decision to offer freebies.

Marketing

Smart Marketing in terms of reachability is going to the key factor in today’s scenario. Geographical location and the current market trend has to be taken into account while finalizing the strategy. This means that there could be a push factor for intense marketing at times and also tailor-made marketing of same product specific to certain geographical locations.

Support Team Composition

How often we keep hearing from the customer side, approaching only a particular support team individual every time to get the problem addressed. Such a product support team is not a good sign at all. There are couple of ways to address this

  • Develop the knowledge sharing session on the important tips to narrow down the root cause across all team members of the support team.
  • Consistently shuffle the focus areas of the team, so that there is enough diversity in terms of skills.