3 technical support statistics that will change how you do business

Jeff Coco

You shouldn’t dread calling technical support. It should be a pleasant experience that’s relatively fast and painless. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for many professionals.

Here, I’ll look closely at a few telling statistics that show how and why people want to work with companies that provide world-class service. Furthermore, I’ll evaluate why taking the same approach yourself could positively impact your business.

In doing so, I hope to accomplish a few things:

  1. Provide insight into what happens if professionals work with (or continue to work with) companies with low quality technical support.
  2. Describe how you can tell the difference between a company that has great technical support and one that doesn’t.
  3. Offer you advice on how to make the switch to a great company that stays with you from the purchase and installation to maintenance, upgrades and, if needed, technical repairs.

Now, more than ever, companies should function with a solution-oriented mindset. That means they should adhere to a holistic operational strategy centered around their customers’ needs instead of simply pushing products to consumers—no matter how innovative the company thinks they are. And one way to do so is to spotlight the level of technical support offered.

1. 78% of people purchase a brand or service because of support interactions

Customers today are more knowledgeable and aware of the products and services they purchase than ever before. Don Schultz, professor of Integrated Marketing Communications, The Medhill School at Northwestern University, said that “brands and branding are really an artifact of the 1960s, 70s and 80s,” when mass media was the one and often only way to communicate to customers. Companies had control over their messages, and because of this, people typically had only one or two brands top of mind if they needed to solve a problem.

With the rise of the internet and social media, people can more easily compare one brand to another, making companies work that much harder to differentiate themselves from competitors and vie for the buyer’s attention.

What’s the point, and how and why could this information affect how you do business?

Simple: People have discovered how truly valuable it is to work with companies that offer exceptional support. In fact, nearly 80 percent of respondents to a recent Gladly survey said they purchased a brand or service because of the interactions they had with customer service. Results also showed that customers are sticking with brands who offer exceptional support.

No matter the reason for your purchase, I highly suggest evaluating all facets of a company beforehand, such as the level of support they offer. After all, you’re not just using their solutions, you’re likely making a long-term commitment to the company as well.

2. 93% of people who feel satisfied with how technical support resolved their problems feel this way because they feel trusted and valued

Are you having difficulty choosing between two types of security solutions? Maybe both can solve your problem, but you’re struggling to find that one differentiating factor that separates one from the other.

To truly make an informative buying decision, I suggest looking at the level of technical support both companies provide.

Typically, when people purchase a product or service—such as a security solution— they do so with the idea they’ll be using it for a long time. The wrong purchase can quickly become a security risk and cost buyers in the form of lengthy and expensive repairs, additional maintenance and even damaged property or fines. Great technical support can mitigate risks by offering timely service, and it can even lower operational costs by providing fast, accurate answers.

A recent Gallup survey showed that one of the main factors that determined how much people were satisfied with a problem’s resolution was the way the company handled their issue. Ninety-three percent of respondents felt satisfied with support’s resolution because of how they were treated and how quickly the company found an answer.

What does this say?

The best companies are ones that take accountability and offer fast, attentive and personal support.

In a recent blog post, we discussed in greater detail why great technical support professionals treat customers like people and not numbers. The answer: It starts at the top with the company’s positive, customer-centric culture. While these companies do analyze metrics—all companies really have to—they place more emphasis on how customers feel having worked with technical support. To them, this is the true measure of success.

Take, for example, Axis Communications. We take seriously how satisfied our customers are with the level of support we offer. Recently I was talking with my colleague Brian McLaughlin, technical service manager, Axis Communications, who made a great point about how and why our technical support team focuses less on meeting certain metrics and more on how customers feel when they work with one of our technical support professionals.

“What’s important for us to do with our team is to ensure we don’t focus too heavily on the metrics when we’re conducting performance evaluations of our staff,” said McLaughlin, “because we want to ensure we stay with the customer all the way, and create the right behaviors that lead to positive change and success for our customers.”

The end result: We stay tuned into our customers’ challenges and work hard to ensure they’re not only satisfied with the outcome but also with the overall support experience. In fact, recent research attests to our point. Immediately after our support professionals ended a call with customers, we sent them a survey asking the caller to rate their experience with technical support as either “good,” “ok” or “bad.” Of the 1,810 respondents, 97 percent said they had a “good” experience with our staff.

Tiny lightbulbs equal large lightbulb
Small lightbulbs and large lightbulb

3. Only 16% of customers have near-perfect resolution experiences

If you’ve ever received poor technical support, you’re not alone. A recent Gallup survey found that of the near 60 percent of U.S. adults who had a problem during a period of six months, less than 20 percent had a near-perfect resolution experience with customer support.

Of course, companies that provide subpar support should investigate why their customers feel unhappy and in turn develop a strategy to improve satisfaction. However, here’s the deal: You don’t have time to be concerned with how these companies operate. That’s why it’s important to partner with enterprises that value your time and investment.

Here are a few ways you can tell whether or not a company offers great technical support:

  • Product awareness: Excellent support professionals understand the intricacies of their company’s products, such as how they work and technical glitches they may experience. However, they also know when and where to find answers if they can’t immediately solve a problem. For example, they may reach out to a colleague for assistance. At Axis, our Tier 1 level of technical support has an outstanding first call resolution rate of 31 percent.
  • Positive attitude: Support professionals should feel enthusiastic to work with you and be willing to go the extra mile to help you solve a problem. Another small detail that indicates more personalized support: specialists refer you by name!
  • Patience: Support specialists should never rush you off a call or live messaging. Some problems, after all, take time to resolve. Instead, they should have patience but also work diligently and efficiently to answer questions.
  • Great communication: Professionals must clearly communicate why a problem exists and how they plan to address the situation. Poor communication can lead to false assumptions and cause customers to make mistakes while on site. In turn, this can cost professionals time and money, and even their clients.

As you can see, countless people around the world feel that quality support is an essential component of great companies. If you’re stuck using products from a business that offers poor technical support, think about switching to one that does. You may find that changing brands significantly improves how your own company operates and serves clientele.