ISP, Technical Support

3 reasons ISP support calls are way too long

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that in order to create a great customer experience, ISP support agents need to leave customers with working internet at the end of a technical support call - no matter the cause.

While ISPs in the past were content with not diagnosing issues past the router, many of those same companies now provide support for WiFi-related issues like slow internet and buffering video, in order to meet customers’ expectations.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few problems that come along with troubleshooting and solving issues caused by the home network that make providing this level of support difficult.

We definitely won’t be able to get into all of them in this article, at least not if we expect anyone to read it. So for now, we’re just going to tackle one of the main ones: Long Call Times.

Why home network support calls cause increased average handle times.

1. Agents are asking customers for too much information

ask-customers-for-network-information

The Problem:

Troubleshooting and diagnosing WiFi/home network problems involves a lot of back and forth with customers, which isn’t always easy or quick. Agents often have a laundry list of questions they need to ask customers before they even come close to stumbling upon a potential cause to the problem, including:

  • the make and model of their router
  • the # of devices on their network etc.

Not only does this eat into call time naturally, but many customers simply don’t know the answer to some of the more technical questions. This leads to customers becoming increasingly frustrated and less helpful as the call goes on and all of a sudden the customer has been on the phone for 30+ minutes with no resolution in sight.

The Solution:

In order to speed up the Q&A portion of home network related calls, you need to eliminate the need for questions and provide your agents with the answers themselves. This means your support team needs to be equipped with some sort of tool that gives insight into customers’ home networks.

There are quite a few options on the market that provide home network diagnostics, but be sure to do your homework before deciding, as the majority require expensive hardware deployments and ISPs are often unable to cover their entire customer base with these solutions.

The RouteThis platform is a diagnostic solution that works on top of any network equipment in the customer's home, so if 100% diagnostic coverage is important to your team, it might be work checking out.

2. Agents have to reinvent the wheel every time

reinvent-the-wheel

The Problem:

Oftentimes, it can feel like no two network related support calls are the same, making it hard to put a true system in place for dealing with them. Unfortunately, this lack of proper process is one of the main reasons network related support calls are longer than average.

If agents don't have workflows to follow, they're forced to play guessing games on every one of these support calls, instead of asking exactly the right questions in each situation. And, as we mentioned above, with verbal back and forth can go on for far too long.

The Solution:

Unlike with other support calls, agents can’t exactly follow scripts for WiFi connectivity issues. But, you can implement a rough workflow for your most common home network related call drivers to help take some of the guesswork out of troubleshooting and reduce the number of questions agents ask on these calls.

Start by listing out your most common issues, listening to some support calls about these issues, and building out a list of the key questions that often lead to a resolution. It’s a time-consuming process, but definitely worth it in the long run.

Alternatively, we’ve built this functionality into RouteThis Workflows, if you’d rather not do the heavy lifting.

3. Customers are required to do too much

customers-have-to-do-too-much

The Problem:
In addition to asking customers a ton of technical questions about their networks, support agents often need customers to actually perform certain actions as part of the debug process. These include running speed tests, accessing router config pages, changing settings and more.

With the exception of running a speed test, doing just one of these things on a support call can add an additional 10 minutes to the call time. And, if the customer isn't technically savvy, as is often the case, agents waste even more call time explaining to the customer how to run the necessary tests and make the appropriate setting changes.

The Solution:
Not only do support agents need tools that can pinpoint the exact reason for the customer’s issue, but those tools need to go a step further and empower agents to make the necessary changes without involving the customer where possible.

Doing remote desktop sessions is a good first step for dealing with this issue, but getting customers to download the necessary software is another time-consuming hurdle.

If you’re looking for a more time efficient solution, RouteThis Proxy allows customers to give agents access to their routers, through their mobile phones with the click of a button.

TL;DR: How to reduce home network-related support call times

There was a lot to unpack in the post, so if you skipped to the bottom, here's a quick recap.

In order to lower call times for home network related issues, ISP supprt teams need to invest in tools that take customers out of the equation or at the very least, lower the customer effort.

More specifically, support teams should be equipped with:

  • home network diagnostics to identify the root cause of WiFi issues
  • workflows for the most common causes of home network related issues
  • remote access systems to quickly and easily fix the issues

You should obviously do your own research before investing in any new tools, but (shameless plug ahead) we do all three here at RouteThis. So if you'd rather not evaluate and implement three totally separate tools, get in touch now!

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About Giselle Rochford

Giselle is the marketing and demand gen lead at RouteThis. She enjoys reading, sketching and occasionally eating avocado toast and posting pictures of food on Instagram.