The Converging World of Managed Services

Posted by George Humphrey on 1/17/17 8:40 AM

Historically when we've thought of convergence in the tech industry, we thought of a variety of technologies merging together, such as voice and data or storage and networking. Hyper-convergence infrastructure is a term used to encompass storage, computing, and virtualization. Stand aside pings and packets, there's a new type of convergence out there. We're talking about service convergence, and it's something we've identified at TSIA as a major market trend.

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Topics: x-as-a-service (XaaS), managed services, support services, professional services, managed XaaS, TSIA Organizational Convergence Series, consumption gap, complexity avalanche, services convergence, organizational convergence

4 Self-Service Trends and Pacesetter Practices to Watch in 2017

Posted by John Ragsdale on 1/11/17 5:00 AM

With the unprecedented planned spending for customer self-service portals, companies are looking for help on where to start. Over the last year, TSIA's VP of Support Services Research, Judith Platz, and I have had the opportunity to work with multiple TSIA members on evaluating their current self-service programs, tools and metrics, and making recommendations on investment priorities to accelerate self-service success. I'm hoping these engagements have been as informative for the members as they have been for us.

As we head into 2017, I wanted to recap some trends and member pacesetter practices we are tracking related to self-service.

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Topics: support services, social support, customer support, online communities, online support, customer engagement, self-service support, knowledge base

Are You Providing Regular Soft Skills Training?

Posted by Kari Dodge on 1/5/17 5:00 AM

Even if they have years of experience, your support staff needs to be trained on their soft skills on a regular basis. The expectations of today's customers are constantly changing, and what made them happy last year won't necessarily cut it this year. It's up to your staff to stay current and be ready to deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction in this highly competitive climate. In this post, I'll share how you can make sure your support services team can stay on top of the latest support techniques to continue delighting your customers.

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Topics: support services, customer satisfaction, training, customer support, TSIA Strategic Services, soft skills, support staff excellence

Take Part in TSIA Social Support Research!

Posted by John Ragsdale on 12/2/16 5:00 AM

Today's customer is demanding support via their preferred channels, which means that online communities and Twitter are now being used as often as phone and email. No longer just a consumer phenomenon, social support has become a common practice in enterprise support, with the majority of B2B companies offering customer discussion forums. In fact, more than half of TSIA members are now offering some level of support via social media channels. But, that doesn't mean that we, as an industry, have it all figured out just yet.

You're invited to participate in TSIA's annual Social Support Survey, which tracks year-over-year trends in social channels offered for customer support, program ownership, performance metrics, service level agreements (SLAs), and staffing for both online communities and social media support. This year, we've added some new questions that will help us gain additional insight into community activity, including the role of customers vs. employees vs. partners in answering forum questions.

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Topics: social media, support services, service level agreement (SLA), social support, customer support, TSIA Survey, online communities, multi-channel support, online support, TSIA Research

[SlideShare] 3 Support Services Benchmark Trends

Posted by Technology Services Industry Association on 11/15/16 5:00 AM

Through TSIA's comprehensive benchmarking program, you can measure your company's performance against your industry peers, identify your strengths, and see where you can improve to ensure future success. For a sample of the type of insight you will receive by taking advantage of this valuable resource that comes with TSIA membership, take a look at this SlideShare featuring 3 key research trends from TSIA's Support Services Benchmark Study.

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Topics: support services, slideshare, TSIA Benchmarking Spotlight

Putting the “Help” Back into Helpdesk

Posted by Danielle Miller on 10/27/16 5:00 AM

A few years back, while facilitating a workshop for a CNC machine builder, it became apparent why the “Helpdesk” was losing respect within their organization. Their team consisted of 12 experienced technicians, who referred to themselves simply as “The Desk". They had collectively removed the word “Help" from their name and were daily demonstrating negative behaviors, such as delayed assistance, growing impatience, and a general disregard for internal customers. The team’s actions were bringing down morale and beginning to impact business decisions. In fact, at the time of our event, their leadership team was weighing whether or not to outsource the department. So, how do you prevent this from happening with your own Helpdesk?

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Topics: customer experience, support services, customer support, customer service

Intelligently Optimizing Digital Support Channels

Posted by Nick Sellers on 10/11/16 5:00 AM

Many businesses aren't clear as to what good digital support entails, with only vague notions about lowering costs and improving customer experience. Their focus is instead on implementing a platform that gives them the best return on investment, which is measured in money (and time) saved.

These businesses often also make the mistake of introducing digital support platforms—such as self-service, real-time chat, online communities and social networks—as discrete standalone projects even when part of a larger campaign. They also tend to prioritize budget and execution methods rather than customer experience and outcomes. While the former strategy can save a little money now, the latter will be what defines a support platform's long-term success.

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Topics: customer experience, social media, support services, social support, multi-channel support, online support, optimization, digital support

Learn How to Measure and Improve Self-Service Success and Deflection

Posted by Technology Services Industry Association on 10/4/16 5:00 AM

Join us Friday, October 7, for a free support services virtual summit on self-service service success and deflection, hosted by TSIA and our partners, Coveo and DB Kay & Associates, Inc. During this 4-hour event, guest speakers from Extreme Networks, Hewlett-Packard, Informatica, and more, will discuss how their companies are currently measuring success and deflection in their self-service offering, as well as share self-service best practices and learnings you can apply to your own organization.

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Topics: metrics, support services, summit, self-service support

4 Essentials of a Winning Customer Self-Service Strategy

Posted by Jennifer MacIntosh on 8/23/16 6:30 AM

Great self-service is something most companies aspire to provide, in pursuit of an exceptional customer experience. When done well, it increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. It’s also cheaper and relieves the contact center from the burden of answering repetitive calls.

97% of the support leaders TSIA surveyed plan to invest in self-service tools in the next two years. To select the right tools, you first need to have a clear vision of what great self-service means to you and your customer.

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Topics: knowledge management, support services, customer support, online communities, online support, self-service support, customer portal, TSIA Partners

TSIA Survey Showcase: Support Services Compensation 2016

Posted by Technology Services Industry Association on 7/5/16 8:39 AM

Each year, TSIA conducts dozens of custom surveys to gather data about industry performance metrics and best practices. From in-depth market rate studies to questionnaires on common practices related to reporting structures for service lines of business, these surveys directly fuel our research initiatives allowing us to provide our members with the most up-to-date information on the state of the industry. Here to share a bit about her recently launched 2016 Support Services Compensation survey and what it will help us learn is Judith Platz, TSIA's VP of Customer Success and Support Services Research.

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Topics: support services, TSIA Survey, TSIA Research

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