Getting The Most Value From Your Technical Support Provider

With any technology implementation, there will usually be a need for support from your provider, in order to help your organization maintain system functionality, maximize uptime and obtain the most benefit from the various features of the solution.

When you do need support, it is typically, for 1 of 3 primary areas – hardware failures, software failures or errors and operational feature questions.

Each of these areas can cause frustration, system downtime or less than optimal system performance, while you are attempting to rectify the situation and obtain answers.

When contacting support, you should be aware of a few things that can help reduce frustration and loss of productivity, and improve your chances of having a good experience with your support provider:

  • Plan ahead for failures. They will happen and the more prepared you are, by having the appropriate service entitlements, spare equipment, backup processes, etc., will greatly improve your ability to handle hardware failures and increase uptime. If you are noticing a software anomaly, be prepared to take good notes and capture time of day, error codes and/or screen shots as appropriate. Provide the best possible description, including functions or keystrokes leading up to the actual occurrence.
  • Try to make yourself available to your Support provider. It may be, at times, impossible to fully diagnose and resolve the reported symptom, unless someone is there to provide access and assistance. Although it may seem inconvenient, your Support provider wants to help you resolve your issues as quickly as possible, but should do their best to accommodate reasonable scheduling.
  • Be as patient as possible while working with the help desk agent, as he or she can be at a disadvantage, when attempting to understand specific system behaviors,  especially if the issue is new to the support team. Also, agents may ask for information or ask you to perform steps that may seem redundant at times. This is sometimes necessary, to ensure a thorough diagnosis and ensure that something was not missed in the review of important information.
  • With regard to operational feature questions, you should do your best to obtain training and become as familiar with the solution as possible. The more knowledgeable the user, the easier it is to resolve operational issues and understand the instructions being provided by the agent. Additionally, the knowledge may help you resolve many of your own issues and get the most out of your POS software.
  • When attempting to obtain support, always be reasonable when describing the urgency of your situation. If you are able to function with a provided workaround or the impact to your business does not constitute an emergency status, describe a status that is more appropriate to your condition. This will allow the Support team to act on your behalf and others accordingly.
  • Try not to save up problems and batch them together for resolution in one interaction. This type of behavior can tie up agents on less than urgent issues for hours and cause more urgent concerns to be delayed.
  • Allow your Support desk management team to understand when things aren’t going right and your needs are not being properly met. Make sure that you contact the designated Customer Service team to handle your issues with service delivery or other concerns and escalate to a duty manager if and when this approach fails to address your concerns appropriately.
  • Whenever possible, participate in a short survey that provides your support team with the feedback they require, to address concerns and continue to provide the type of service that their customer’s desire.

These are a few guidelines that should help you obtain the most value out of your Support provider and therefore achieve greater success with your technology solutions.