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Support at what cost?

Support at what cost?

By Aaron (706 words) | Posted in Support on April 28, 2014

There are (4) comments permalink

Customer Support. It’s something we all hope never to need, but when we do, it better be good. Millions of companies offer support, and each one proclaims that they are the best. Let’s look at all the options.

1)    Outsourcing. It seems simple enough on paper. Instead of paying agents upwards of $40,000 a year, you can pay $5,000 for someone that lives out of the country.  The pros are obvious.  Lower overhead can translate into more competitive pricing for the customer. The flip side, however, is painfully evident in the hundreds of thousands of online complaints. Language barriers, thick accents, distant audio and much more. I actually had to call Dell Computers a few days ago, and ended up speaking to this really nice woman from India. She really meant well, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. She was obviously reading from a manual, and what should have been a 2 minute call to get a new OS disk which was supposed to be under warranty, ended up becoming a 45 minute ordeal. RossBackup says “Not impressed!”


2)    Local Support. This would seem to be a customer favorite. What could be better than having someone from your neck of the woods answer the phone and help you out? Turns out, this isn’t always the best option either. The hold time is often very long, and it’s very difficult to ensure that the proper number of agents are available at crucial times. If a company has 25,000 customers, they would usually hire 5 agents, one per 5000 customers. Spending $200,000 a year is not easy for most companies, but a small business can ill afford to hire more people.  If there is a problem, or just a busy day, this spells disaster. Frustrated customers, overworked support agents, and let’s remember - the support costs trickle down to the customers. RossBackup says “Not Happening!”


3)    E-mail Support.  It’s the easiest for any company. Cheap, efficient, and nowadays many customers live by E-mail.  It’s all good – until you have an urgent issue, which is usually why you’re contacting support in the first place. The automated message telling you “We’ll get back to you within 1 business day” does not give you a warm and fuzzy feeling.   Suffice it to say, this is not an option for any company that wants to satisfy its customers. RossBackup says “A day? Get real!”


4)    Chat Support. Easy and inexpensive, this is quickly becoming a common support method. However, this has its faults too. Since agents are usually helping multiple customers, you might be waiting a while after typing a response. Additionally, chat sessions are usually only available during the day, you would need to leave a message during the evening hours. To complicate matters, if there is a serious issue, it can become more confusing via chat; you just want to talk to the person. RossBackup says “It was a nice thought!”


5)    No Support. Believe it or not, many companies are heading down this path. You can always E-mail them, but don’t expect a quick response. The logic is simple, no support costs, put up an easy to navigate FAQ page, and use the extra cash flow for getting new customers. Sounds brutal? It is. RossBackup says “No comment!”


6)    RossBackup Support. I’d like to call it a hybrid. We’re not outsourced.  We’re 24/7 and we’re here to make your life easier.  You log in, open a ticket and things start to happen.  An E-mail reply arrive shortly, our average is 4 minutes. We’re not talking about the auto-reply, we’re talking about a real reply. Does this require back and forth communication? We’ll switch the ticket to a chat. Is this something that you need done quickly? We’ll take over your computer remotely while you watch. Maybe you want to discuss something? We’ll call you! Is it a bad time? Schedule the call at your convenience. RossBackup is that good and we don’t shy away from long-term relationships. We’re nothing without our customers, and we appreciate every one of you. So sign up and save your computer.  RossBackup says “We hope you never need us, but if you do we are here for you.”


RossBackup – We’ve got your Backup!

Comments (4)

Katie Holland posted on: April 28, 2014

This is very informative. As a small business owner in the cable industry, we are always trying to balance that fine line between support vs cost. I would love to hear more about this hybrid RossBackup creation.

Raul Gonzales posted on: April 29, 2014

Your chat points are correct, but you're missing one key element. I've noticed that chat conversations frequently require escalation. It seems that the chat operators do not have the means to solve any real issues, they are more of a live FAQ if I may. I do plan to sign up for this backup and I'll post information should I ever open a ticket.

Myron posted on: April 30, 2014

I loved this blog! You must write more of these! I was on the phone with Dell as well, actually that's how I stumbled onto this site. Outsourcing is horrible. IF your support is as good as this article says, I'll buy some backup just for the support.

Rob S. posted on: March 16, 2021

Finding the balance between quality and cost is a challenge for any business. Like you said, outsourcing seems to be the easiest option, though it's important to weigh different possibilities to see which one is the most ideal.

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