Customer IT Support Business Is All About Communication

I remember 20 years ago when I just gone into customer IT support business. Many customers could only rely on fax, phone instead of emails where they actually prefer to communicate face-to-face.

As the business was transforming in past years, support teams got spread over geographies. For instance, currently I am managing a team of engineers spread over Europe, Middle East and Africa in coordination with Americas, Asia, Pacific teams servicing customers worldwide. We do need effective communication infrastructure not only with customers but with each other as well.

My usual workday is all about communication. Communicating with team, managers, employees from various line of businesses like, product engineering, quality assurance, consulting services, sales, human resources, finance and many more…

I rely on Instant Messaging (IM) via Jabber (XMPP) and IRC (we “hackers” love it!) for intra-team quick and stateless communication where I can sustain multiple IM sessions with many people at the same time.  Still, IM is not ‘fast enough’ from time to time – then a quick phone call over VoIP takes care of the immediate need.

To establish continuous touch with my team I hold (bi-)weekly sessions with each employee in addition to a weekly team conference call. Last year I have identified that those sessions we hold over VoIP are not being as effective and efficient as I need them to be. That is when I started arranging  Cisco Jabber for Video accounts and cameras for the team. Now we can see each other live during our one-on-one remote meetings. Soon I will start having team video-conferences…

Communicating with customers is just another story…

4-5 years ago, I was having my team to communicate with customers via our ticket handling web application or e-mail unless customer specifically asks for a desktop collaboration (e.g. WebEx) session or a phone call. That method seemed to work as it enabled support engineers to provide service to multiple customers by switching between support tickets. As the customer base was growing and their business needs were changing, we started to use phone communication and desktop collaboration even before customers might request it. As proven, “personal touch” is crucial in service industry, customers are much more satisified compared to couple of years ago.

Next step could be having video sessions with customers as soon as the infrastructure available will be secure, reliable and private enough even to be used by high-security clients…

Unfortunately, the industry standard video and desktop sharing/collaboration solutions has some limitations. Some of them does not support Linux or Android, some experiences problems when sharing presentations or desktop application views, some are not secure or reliable enough. I dream of a collaboration and communication infrastructure:

  • runs on and supports Linux, Windows (desktop and mobile), Mac OS, Android, iOS seamlessly independent from device brand and model
  • delivers one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many conferencing modes
  • providing HD video, HD audio, desktop/presentation sharing support without limitations

That day will come… Soon…

What do you think? Tell us all about it by your comment below!!..


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