Providing efficient customer support is a crucial aspect of any successful business. Customer support teams are the first to answer and reply on cases submitted from your customers. They act as the first level of support, making sure customers receive a reply and a final resolution on their submitted case. 

The customer support team is the team in your organization that can help you shape a great customer experience. They have direct communication with your customers where they work to answer questions for the customers, as well as helping solve any problem the customer might be facing. 

If you want to improve your customer experience, the first stop is to review your customer journey and start working with your customer support on this mission, as that is where you can have the largest impact with least effort.

The Role of Engineering in Customer Support

Solving problems for customers is a recurring daily task for customer support, where support agents build up their knowledge over time using both internal documentation and work experience. 

But what if your customer support team can’t solve a case by themselves, and require help from other teams to troubleshoot the product and provide a solution to the customer? 

Naturally you turn to the engineering department who built the product, to ask for their expertise and help in order to get closer to a solution for the customer.

Engineering is an essential department in any business that provides technical products or services. The engineering team develops, tests, and maintains products to ensure that they are functioning correctly. However, engineering's role does not stop there; they also play a crucial role in customer support.

When customers encounter issues with a product or service, the engineering team can provide valuable insights and solutions. They can assist to troubleshoot the issue and help to identify the root cause of the problem, and provide solutions that address the issue both temporarily and permanently. 

Engineering often has different tools that make troubleshooting much more efficient. With access to logs of all components building up the product, helping to understand what is happening when a certain problem occurs for a customer. 

The Benefits of Including Engineering in the Support Process

There are several benefits to including engineering in the support process:

Improved Product Quality

Engineering involvement in the support process helps identify product or service flaws that need fixing. This results in a continuous quality improvement process where bugs can be escalated and isolated faster, which leads to happier customers and a constant improvement of the product quality.

Faster Issue Resolution

Involving engineering in the support process can lead to faster issue resolution. The engineering team has a better understanding of the product or service, and they can identify issues more efficiently. With quicker identification, they can develop a solution faster, resulting in a faster resolution for the customer. Less time spent per support ticket results in less cost according to a study made by MetricNet.  

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Customers appreciate quick and efficient solutions to their problems. With engineering involvement, customers are more likely to receive accurate answers and solutions that address their issues fully. Customers will appreciate the quick resolution and will likely recommend the product or service to others.

Enhanced Communication

Including engineering in the support process enhances communication between teams. The support team can provide valuable feedback to the engineering team on product or service flaws. The engineering team can then take this feedback to improve the product or service in the future.

Customer focus and ownership 

Engineering is very often too far away from the users who are using the product. By moving engineering closer to the customer, you will create an ownership within your engineering teams that is built with a focus on the customer. This will help engineering apply the best solutions to the problems your customers are experiencing. 

What are the Common Challenges?

A common duty for customer support is to interpret, filter and write a proper answer to the customer. Engineers often communicate in technical terms, which can be difficult for customers to understand. Support teams need to ensure that engineers' responses are translated into language that is accessible and understandable to the customers.

To overcome the challenge of including engineering in customer support, organizations can implement an engineer on-call process. This process involves having a dedicated engineer or team of engineers who are available to support the customer support team, which can be rotated on a daily or weekly schedule. This can help to scale the support process, build knowledge within the engineering team, and motivate engineers to engage more closely with customer support.

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure for example number of incoming tickets per category, time to reply and time to resolution. By tracking the KPIs and the trend of these continuously, you can identify areas for improvement and ensure that you're not simply putting out fires without addressing the root causes of problems. Too much time spent on fixing issues reactively could be a sign of a larger amount of technical debt in your codebase.

Remember to not only focus on your engineering teams. Once you have managed to establish this process, review your incoming support cases and involve any other team that might be needed. This can include your product teams, devops teams, user experience team or quality assurance team.  

How Suptask Is Enabling Teams to Collaborate with Customer Support

Suptask is a unique ticketing system that operates on Slack, making it easy for support teams to collaborate with engineering teams. Your conversations in Slack are integrated with your tickets by using Suptask, making communication natural without any barriers between teams. 

Suptask was built with engineering in mind, enabling a smooth collaboration when helping out to support customers and aligning the engineers closer to the customers. 

With a modern ticketing system on Slack, engineering teams can reduce the noise and stay focused without having to leave Slack to work on tickets. The context of discussions and conversations on Slack, such as the troubleshooting process of a problem, are always a part of the ticket in Slack. This helps build knowledge on the reported problems that are structured inside of your tickets. 

By utilizing the integrations that Suptask offers, the workflow for the teams can be further optimized. Integrations with systems like Github and Gitlab, empower engineering teams to create related issues directly from a Suptask ticket. With inbound integrations towards systems like Zendesk, customer support teams can easily request help by escalating the case to another team like engineering. 

Try Suptask for FREE today and see how it can help you and your teams support your customers. 

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