These days, it seems there’s an app or piece of software for virtually anything you need or want to do. And chances are, you’ve run into some kind of problem while using them.
When this happens, where do you go? Tech support is probably what comes to mind. Yet interestingly enough, many organizations fail to identify the symbiotic relationship support and development have with each other in terms of workforce management.
A study commissioned by Atlassian with HDI, the largest association for technical support professionals, shows some telling results:
- 73% of tech support want more involvement with development
- 32% don’t share knowledge articles between support and development teams
Below are a number of reasons to strengthen the link between support and development.
Bug Identification and Triage
Although IT support usually comes in after software deployment, your organization stands to benefit from support’s continuous involvement in the building process right from the very beginning. After all, support’s role of interacting with end users to fix issues gives them unique insight on the impact of software on target users.
By keeping support involved in development, you now have a direct link between your end users and developers. Tech support can also triage support tickets to prioritize the most serious affecting customers, helping developers zero in on the most important bugs.
Better Identification of False Alarms
Developers can save themselves the trouble of solving unsubstantiated reports from end users, of which support knows there are many. Support can take care of separating the wheat from the chaff, forwarding issues of real concern to developers for them to fix.
For example, ‘customer A’ may report problem with an application, claiming it doesn’t work when connecting to his home connection. The app notifies him to install a certain component software, even if it’s already been installed and reinstalled.
The support agent troubleshoots the issue and finds out the problem is specific to the customer’s Internet connection after failing to duplicate the issue on the agent’s computer.
Tech support professionals know this scenario all too well. Problems such as these aren’t problems with the application itself, which means developers need not be involved.
Placating End Users
When end users actually identify legitimate bugs, they naturally want it fixed ASAP, which can be a problem if developers need time to get it done. Support plays a vital role in engaging and placating end users, making them understand the challenges faced by the development team and the reason for the delay.
Support also has the important role of setting expectations for issue resolution, a crucial task in this era where social media can make or break a brand.