TECH SUPPORT FOR SUCCESS
Customer service is an important component of any business, but nowhere does it hold more value than in a tech company. When people purchase hardware or software, they do their research and take a leap of faith that the product is going to be just what they expect. However, with technology changing faster than the average person can keep up with, unless they have that special guru or ‘techy go-to geek’, they’ll have to pick up the phone and reach out for support.
Sounds simple right? Call an 800 number, tell someone your problem and they’ll fix it. Well, it may have been that way 15 years ago, but times have changed and so has the ability to get fast and courteous support.
More often than not there are automated systems that guide you through a complex channeling system causing you to “Press 1”, followed by “Press 2” and when you’ve inevitably pressed the wrong number, “Press # to go back to the main menu” and start all over again.
Don’t get me wrong. The concept behind these automated systems is actually very smart…let the customer tell us what they need to ensure we get them to the right person or department. In fact, we use an automated system that allows callers to choose a department, find someone in a directory, etc. It really does help maximize the efficiency of day-to-day operations.
Unfortunately, not every call is a quick question that needs answering. For a software company like LabRetriever, a call to technical support sometimes means a customer is in distress. They don’t want to be put on hold or hear a series of options to choose from. So we’ve tailored our support hours, phone system and the whole support experience to accommodate our customers’ needs.
A dedicated line for our tech support team ensures all calls go directly to their desks during regular office hours. If someone isn’t available, a customer leaves a voicemail message, a ticket is created and they receive a call back as soon as a line frees up. There’s no need to make any choices…they get a knowledgeable team member who can help with whatever they need.
Based in Greater Philadelphia
Our team talked about the possibility of outsourcing technical support like so many software companies do, but it just didn’t make sense for us. A sleep lab management solution like LabRetriever is proprietary software. In order to offer the highest level of customer support, we believe our team members need to be in the same building where communication is quick and often, face-to-face.
For example, if tech support receives a call that leads them to believe something isn’t working properly with the software, in minutes they are sitting with the product development team already on their way to a resolution. Perhaps a current customer would like a feature to be added. Well, technical support can have that conversation on their behalf and start a course of action with the developers. They are kept in the loop during the entire process and in turn, they make sure the customer is informed. We truly believe the quality of support relies on the strong teamwork our company environment creates.
Online retailers, large worldwide software providers and the like offer support every day, all day and it certainly is necessary for them. For LabRetriever, the sleep industry affords us a more customized technical support experience, so we can keep our support in-house and our customers happy.
We consistently review the metrics for technical support and from those numbers, carefully created our support hours to be in-line with the cycle of the sleep study and call volume. We’re available when our customers are using our software and don’t waste their money by outsourcing to cover hours when we have historically had little or no call volume.
Perhaps the easiest way to get support is email any time of day. Our special ticketing system automatically puts the customer issue or request into the queue and sends them a confirmation of receipt. Even if it’s the middle of the night, there’s no waiting 24 hours to hear back from our team. As soon as business hours resume, they are right on it!
Lots of software companies offer out-of-the-box solutions to customers and their support teams simply troubleshoot problems after the fact. Well, LabRetriever sleep lab management software is no different. Our basic customer is setup and implemented within two weeks and many of them require very little support after that.
There are others that want more from their solution and this is where our company and support team really shine. Our software is fully customizable and although much of that customization is done during the implementation process, customers may want additional changes through the years. A quick call to tech support starts the ball rolling and we work to make the product what they want at a nominal fee.
Names, Not Numbers
What I think is most impressive about our company is the relationships that are formed between the LabRetriever team members and our customers. From the sales process to customization over the years, our customers know us and we know them. We all take this business and our ability to provide top-notch support both seriously and personally.
There aren’t many software companies that can say they know their customers on a first-name basis. I can’t tell you the last time I called a support line and knew who the person on the other end was. We always refer to our customers as being part of the LabRetriever family and treating them any other way just isn’t how we do business.