Tech Support Upgrades: Rip and Replace vs. Reuse and Repurpose
Customers expect more from companies when it comes to tech support. Mobile devices and the emergence of always-on connections have prompted rapid changes in consumer demands, but as noted by PYMNTS, many companies haven’t bridged the gap. Businesses are losing $62 billion a year in poor customer service. While 88 percent of IT leaders believe their organization understands its consumers, just 61 percent of consumers agree with this assessment.
Bottom line: Enterprises must upgrade their support to stay competitive and determine if the most cost-effective solution is to rip and replace old technology or reuse and repurpose what’s already in place.
The Case to Replace
Existing support systems are designed to handle last-generation service requests and IT tickets — but consumers now expect real-time responses if apps or hardware don’t work as intended. For many companies, this expectation alone makes the case for replacing current hardware. An upgrade to server stacks or connection backbones can improve throughput and enhance the customer experience. The problem is that it’s incredibly expensive to rebuild server rooms and reconfigure networks to handle changing demand. To meet this challenge, companies can adopt a life cycle approach by setting hard limits on effective life expectancy and retiring hardware as soon as it reaches that threshold.
But there’s also the question of data — and what to do with it. As noted by CMS Wire, most customers are now willing to share data with organizations to enhance support and service. This data might include purchase histories, device information and previous interactions with customer service staff.
Adding to this data funnel is the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT). As consumers invest in connected devices, companies increasingly have unprecedented access to data. However, they often lack the technology to effectively mine this information and produce actionable insight. Thus, it’s worth considering investing in big data analytics tools and services to manage incoming information and generate solid results. If current hardware can handle the storage volume, cloud-based solutions often provide the best value for corporate budgets.
Why Lose It? Reuse It
Recent survey data from IBM shows that both IT and business executives understand the rapidly changing nature of technology — 86 percent say the pace of technology change will increase at an unprecedented rate over the next three years. As a result, spending big on new hardware may not be the best investment, as new tech could quickly make expensive purchases obsolete.
Rather than replacement, many enterprises are considering a reuse-and-repurpose strategy. For example, Customer Think notes that human support agents remain a key part of the tech support experience. Better training combined with improved access to existing customer data can enhance the consumer experience without demanding big spending on hardware.
Managed services offer another option to handle the increasing prevalence of heterogeneous IT environments driven by IoT devices. According to Ed Tech Magazine, some universities have turned to kiosk-based self-serve printing to help reduce wait times and increase throughput. Because these kiosks are open 24/7 and university staff can’t always be on call to respond to support tickets, adopting a managed support solution made the most sense. But given the sheer number of mobile devices in the workplace, it’s easy for this kind of support to silo and end up working at cross purposes. Enterprises need an enterprise-grade managed solution, one that can unify IT response across multiple devices and customer portals to provide seamless, end-to-end support.
Customers are demanding more. For enterprises, this means enhancing tech support. In cases of legacy systems or data downpour, the rip-and-replace strategy may make the most sense. But to enhance agility and embrace IoT, reusing and repurposing existing infrastructure may deliver optimal return on investment.