The more your business grows, the more customers you acquire. The more customers you have, the bigger your need for a dedicated support team is. A team that will provide customer service and assistance when something goes wrong.
Starting with a simple “Password-Reset” to the replacement of a faulty server it all requires a team of qualified support consultants to find and resolve customer’s issues. And separating it into tiers plays a big role in increasing its efficiency.
Each tier has its own functions allowing businesses to pick out the most suitable ones for their needs.
In this article, we'll cover:
What Makes Businesses Move to Tiers?
There is only one answer — growth. When a company is growing, the number of customer tickets is increasing. Unless you implement some sorting structure, you can experience a lack of organization and a decrease in customers’ satisfaction level.
The team itself can benefit from tiers as well. Customer service consultants have a clear understanding of their roles and duties, and can efficiently communicate with one another while solving tickets.
When set up properly, tiered support can provide a wide range of benefits:
- Increased resolution time due to automatization provided by Tier 0;
- Cost reduction by separating cases that need to be resolved by support representatives from those that can be solved with automated tools.
- Performance optimization in accordance with various customer service KPIs;
- Increased customer satisfaction.
Tier 0 (L0)
Tier 0 of tech support implies self-service only. It might also involve the use of an automated tool. Typical examples of L0 tech support are:
- 🤖 Chatbots;
- 🔑 Automated password reset tools;
- ✔️ AI-powered automated answer tools;
- 📚 Knowledge bases;
- 🖊️ Detailed product’s description;
- ℹ️ Blog posts.
Using Tier 0 can be beneficial to both: customers and a support team. The team will be able to focus on more complex tickets without getting distracted by simple questions. Customers will get a feeling of self-accomplishment by resolving their issues themselves.
While dealing with L0 of tech support it is important to take care of the following:
- Constantly update your self-help materials;
- Provide a seamless integration of your Tier 0 with help desk tools;
- Develop an easy-to-use interface and provide easy access to your knowledge base and FAQ materials;
- Keep monitoring your Tier 0 self-service system for any malfunctions as well as its accordance with the help desk KPIs.
Tier 1 (L1)
L1 consultants are dealing with most of the incoming support tickets. Their task is to solve the easiest and most common issues users may have. This allows the rest of the team to focus on more pressing issues requiring more technical knowledge.
While establishing your L1 technical support, it is important to pay attention to the following aspects:
- ⏰ Maintain a clear and convenient schedule to cover the entire schedule and keep your team motivated without exhausting them;
- 👀 Pay attention to the team’s communication and troubleshooting skills;
- 🔧 Provide Tier 1 consultants with efficient remote access tools, detailed FAQ materials, strategies for escalation situations, and all possible workarounds.
- ➡️ Don’t neglect the opportunity to implement AI-driven tools into L1 support’s daily workflow. It can speed up their performance by suggesting answers to the most typical questions, help with categorizing the issue, etc.
Tier 2 (L2)
L2 agents are dealing with harder and more specific tasks than L1 consultants. They are usually senior-level specialists and must have a deep and profound knowledge of the product and be able to resolve escalated tickets.
In case the second tier of support is not able to resolve the query, it should be escalated to L3 (more on this later). There are two major options for setting up the routine for the second level of support:
- Give them the authority to resolve only known issues and escalate the new ones to a higher support level;
- Allow them to research new issues and escalate them only in the case of a complete inability to resolve it.
The main requirements for this level of support are the following:
- The agent may not be a programmer or an engineer but must have experience and profound knowledge of the product/service;
- Exceptional communication skills;
- Ability to successfully collaborate with other levels of support.
Tier 3 (L3)
This is the highest level of IT support involving top-notch technical specialists with profile education and deep knowledge of the supported product. It is also the highest level of escalation within the customer service department.
While establishing the third level of support, it is important to remember this team should have access to a wide range of technical resources to be able to resolve any issue.
L3 support team usually tries to recreate the issue in a “lab environment” to get to the root of the problem and make sure it will not reoccur.
Just as with previous support levels, the third tier has its own specific features:
- They must use the same ticketing system as others to ensure everyone follows the progress of the issue;
- All issues, referred to this team, should be well-documented and have a clear set of comments from the lower tiers’ specialists;
- All members of L3 support team should have great communication skills to efficiently communicate with one another and with other teams.
|Self-service to answer the most common questions||Human support representatives to resolve the most common customers’ inquiries.||Back-line support to handle escalation cases from the previous tier.||The highest level of escalation that provides resolutions to the most complex issues.|
|Broad self-service materials;|
Seamless integration with the rest of the help center;
|Excellent communication skills;|
Basic but broad knowledge of the supported products;
|Exceptional communication skills;|
Ability to collaborate with other levels of support;
Exceptional knowledge of the product with the experience of using it.
|Profile education; |
Excellent knowledge of the product;
Outstanding communication skills.
|–||First Contact Resolution Rate;|
% of issues resolved without escalation;
Average response time;
Level of customer satisfaction.
|Average resolution time;|
% of issues resolved without escalation;
Level of customer satisfaction.
|Average response time;|
Average resolution time;
Number of escalated tickets per period.
Setting Up Your Tiered Support
You need to understand that simply following the tiered structure for your help desk won’t give you excellent results. It solely depends on what goals you’re putting in front of your business, and your service desk in particular.
So, before you start implementing it into your company, answer the following questions:
- ❓ How many customer support tickets are you getting per time segment?
- ❓ Are the incoming tickets complicated?
- ❓ Does your team have to be “technical” to successfully resolve them?
- ❓ What percentage of issues require escalation?
- ❓ What is your budget?
All tiers should be coordinated with one another, and not go against the company policies and procedures.
Keep in mind each company has its own way of setting up the help desk, choosing the number of tiers, and building the management system for the team.