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November 15, 2017 | By

“Shifting Left” to Speed Up Support

The concept of “shifting left” is an interesting one. In the software world, it means bringing testing and user feedback into the development cycle as early as possible so developers can produce, and get into market, a product that is better designed and more aligned with their customers’ needs.

In the support world, “shifting left” means something a bit different. It refers to pushing work down and to the left, and ultimately out to self-service when appropriate. In doing so, they can provide end-users with solutions quicker and close tickets faster.

By moving solutions closer to the point of first contact – and closer to the customer’s first issue – support can reduce complexity, resolve cases faster, and create more delighted customers.

Reduced Complexity

Interacting with support – whether it’s for work related IT issues or personal services and devices – can be a painful experience. Even the most delightful support interactions are still an inconvenience. You’re only there because the product or service you are trying to use isn’t working. However, it gets even more painful when support adds to the delay – whether it’s lack of understanding of the issue, technology problems, or the like -not being able to resolve the issue on the first try makes the experience even more painful.

Here’s where shifting-left can help by reducing or eliminating steps during the process to create a better experience. While not all steps can be removed all the time, even small reductions can lower frustrations and reduce negative experiences.

For example, support that includes a self-service option where users can begin to troubleshoot (and hopefully solve) simple requests on their own. By eliminating these routine questions from Level 1 technicians, it will free up time for them to take

on more complex work being performed by more senior technicians. As support tasks are passed down the chain, with thorough documentation and easy-to-follow steps, organizations can reduce complexity for both technicians and end-users, and deliver faster solutions while doing it.

Faster Resolution

As noted above, shifting-left reduces the steps a customer must go through to get to help, especially if the issue can be resolved with self-service. This results in faster resolution on cases and lower numbers in the support queues. By getting involved earlier in the support process, even immediately after a user experiences an error, less time needs to be spent handling every typical step of resolution.

In addition, faster resolution, together with reduced support complexity leads to reduced costs -which everyone loves. With tickets resolved faster and less staff needed per support issue, the cost per client drops and the ticket queue can be processes faster.

Delighted Customers

For a support organization, the greatest benefit of shifting-left comes in the form of satisfied customers. When you shift left, customers see fewer steps to resolution, get expert help faster, and spend less time engaging with support teams. While support experiences can easily result in negative customer feedback, the opportunity to resolve an issue earlier in the typical support process can reverse this trend.

Shifting-left in customer support is becoming a no-brainer for many organizations. The combination of reducing friction, faster resolutions and a better experience overall is helping create better, more agile support teams and happier, loyal customers. Download our whitepaper to learn more about why shifting left is beneficial to your remote support team and how to get started.

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