12 steps to better support efficiency for ISPs

Written by Erin Penney

With the holidays coming up and 2022 around the corner, now’s the time for ISP support teams to focus on improving operational efficiency, reducing expenses, and improving overall customer experience.

Today, let’s go over 12 essential steps that can help you get ready for 2022—and reach your efficiency goals.

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Hiring and onboarding

Between frustrating conversations with customers and mental drain, it’s not uncommon to see high turnover in tech support organizations. Use these proven techniques to get the right candidate and get them up to speed quickly—so you don’t spend too much time or money on the process.

Establish your priorities for the agents you hire.

One of the biggest debates when hiring new agents is whether to prioritize technical or interpersonal skills. Both sets of skills are essential in this role, but which one you prioritize both defines your onboarding process and determines the types of solutions you’ll need to introduce to support your agents on the job.

Have an onboarding process that works for the agents you hire.

The key to successful, speedy onboarding is to be as concise and succinct as possible so you can get agents up and running faster. Be sure to tailor your process and your training materials toward your hiring priorities, too—technical hires will need interpersonal training and vice versa.

Create a process for reinforcing training on the job every day.

On average, people need to hear something multiple times before it actually sinks in. If you want agents to remember their training, including your established steps to resolutions, you need to ensure they have the tools needed to reinforce those lessons on a daily basis.

Plan ahead for high-volume seasons and situations.

Market seasonality isn’t always easy to predict, but chances are, you’ve noticed some trends in your busy times—especially around the holidays. Forecasting for high-volume times helps you ensure you have enough staff on hand to work through everything, and helps you plan out resources and strategies for deflecting calls.

 

Agent tech stacks

In-home issues are problematic for support efficiency, and support agents need the right tools to be able to resolve them without repeat calls or technician visits. Ensuring agents are properly equipped right from the start establishes efficiency and saves your organization money in the long run.

Help agents avoid time-consuming Q&A with customers.

Asking customers for technical information takes a lot of precious time. To avoid this, you'll need to have a network diagnostics solution like RouteThis in place that gives agents complete network visibility by running scans and retrieving answers for agents before they have to ask.

Help agents spot physical issues.

A picture’s worth a thousand words—especially on a support call. Instead of having agents endure lengthy, likely unclear descriptions of setups and issues from customers, look into ways to help agents see for themselves. Solutions like RouteThis can cut down on talking time by allowing customers to share pictures and live video directly with the support agent, so the agent can see for themselves what’s happening on the network.

Provide workflows to transform every agent into a top-performing agent.

With the right information and steps at their disposal, agents can resolve many of the issues your support team might have previously sent a tech out for. Ensuring you have a process that helps agents consider every possible issue—even the ones a tech might see in-home—means they can resolve issues without needing to send techs.

Equip agents to test and make changes remotely.

It’s not always simple to guide customers through resolution processes—especially if they’re not tech-savvy. Make sure your agents have access to a trusted solution that can help them gain direct insight into the customer's router and make any necessary changes without having to guide customers through third-party remote desktop installations.

Pro tip: Need more techniques for resolving remotely and leaving the technician trucks in park? Check out this post!

 

Customers’ self-resolution resources

Customers want to be able to self-resolve—but when they can’t find a resolution, they end up calling in. Studies have shown that with the right self-service support resources, teams can prevent up to 40% of these unnecessary support calls.

Give customers ways to identify and resolve issues on their own.

Two-thirds of customers want to be able to resolve issues on their own without contacting support. By providing resources like articles, FAQs, and even branded apps that can scan home networks and offer personalized resolutions and suggestions, you can make sure they don’t end up with misinformation.

Ensure support agents can see the results of customers’ DIY troubleshooting efforts.

Self-service support options don’t just make it easier for customers. They can make sure calls don’t take as long, too—especially when agents have access to data from network-scanning apps.

Outline techniques and resources for educating customers about their networks.

Agents will run into situations where they need to educate customers on calls. By giving them clear ways to do this, including real-time visual support, you can make this process much faster and easier.

Make sure your customers know what resources are available to them.

Customers won’t use resources if they don’t know they’re available—and most consumers won’t remember their support options when they decide they need to call in. Place your self-service options front and center on your support page; that way, customers will see those options first, and will be more likely to try them before they call in.

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