Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Technical Support – SMB Challenges

Posted on: 11 September '09

Over the years, technical complexity of products and the ecosystem in which they operate have compounded tremendously. Products are increasingly becoming difficult to maintain and complex to support. As part of their evaluation process, customers are taking a critical look at the quality and depth of support provided by product vendors even before making a feature-to-feature comparison between available alternatives.

Since these products are deployed in a wide variety of configurations, customers need continuous help and see great value in entering and extending support contracts, often at significant cost. Thus, technical support has truly become a major product differentiator, not just to improve customer satisfaction and retention, but also from the viewpoint of revenue generation.

Building and growing a competent technical support team for complex products in the face of ever growing customer base is a daunting task for any product company, more so for Small and Medium Businesses (SMB). At the same time, handing off the customer-facing activity to a partner is a difficult decision fraught with significant potential risks. A few questions SMBs battle with are:

   – Does the partner understand and have the capability to support my savvy customers who use technically complex products?

   – Can the partner help transform the technical support function with the latest trends, such as collapsing layers of support and adoption of Web 2.0 technologies?

   – Can the partner help the SMB through the journey of support maturity levels of Reactive -> Organized -> Demand Reduction -> Value Added Support?

Please share your thoughts and experiences as a buyer; or as a provider of these highly complex technology products. Can an SMB achieve “support nirvana” by retaining focus on its core business on a “shoestring budget?”

Srinivasa Rao

Srinivas has 20 years experience in the IT industry and currently heads the Technical Support practice at Mindtree. He started his career as a design and manufacturing consultant for CAD/CAM. With core expertise in Unix system administration, he supported fault-tolerant HP NonStop-UX systems and Mirapoint's enterprise secure messaging appliance servers. He led teams that developed test suites for fault-tolerant features of NonStop-UX. In his current role he is responsible for technical support service delivery excellence, building world class support teams, technology learning initiatives, customer relationship management. Srinivas has a Master's degree in machine dynamics and robotics from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.