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  Post #1 (permalink)   09-30-2012, 08:09 PM
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I know most businesses have various levels of support, such as:

Level 1 or Tier 1
Level 2 or Tier 2
Level 3 or Tier 3

How many levels of support do you have and what are their responsibilities include?

IE: Tier 1 = Customer Service (address changes, billing issues, etc.), Tier 2 = Password Resets, Username Changes, Plan Changes, Etc., Tier 3 = Server Administration, Configurations, Account Moves, Etc.

What does your staff do? Please detail your levels of support and the responsibilities that each level entails.

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  Post #2 (permalink)   10-01-2012, 02:45 PM
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We have only two levels in our company as so many of the general things that used to take escallation are now all automated.

For us we have two levels:
Sales/Support
Admin

And I guess a 3rd for Management, but really there's supervisors and managers at the other two levels that there's no need for strictly a manager.

Sales/Support takes care of EVERYTHING that doesn't require system level access to modify things at a file level. Clients have their own access to reset passwords, but if needed, our Sales/Support staff can also do this after verification etc.

Administration level is just that - anything that is outside of our normal setups. Generally this involves system troubleshooting, VPS and Dedicated Server custom configurations or RPM installs for clients.

Our base level support personel not only have to answer tickets and live chat (and be quick about it), but they also must have a full working understanding of how things are done on VPS and Dedicated Servers (along with Shared & Cloud). If they don't know HOW the machine works, and how to provide support for those areas, then they're really not any good at doing sales to answer the questions for clients.

It always amazes me that there are companies that just have Sales people - they say YES to pretty much everything, and then pass it off to a Level2 to actually get work done. This is true in ANY industry. How can you sell something if you don't even know how it works yourself?!

Our staff go through various levels of training, and then are routinely put to the test either by management doing random tickets/chats, or straight up being called on to answer a question. If the answer isn't given quickly, then they can't be on the front lines for sales/support for our company.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   10-01-2012, 11:49 PM
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I have seen upto 7 levels of CS/support (not counting support manager) at one hosting company and its among the industry giants and reputed for its support.
I agree with Conor that support should have an understanding of the entire system and basics of the industry. Its a good idea; training a small workforce to do more rather than hire more and divide them in too many tiers.
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  Post #4 (permalink)   10-02-2012, 02:10 AM
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I am with Conor on this about Sales people knowing what they are selling and how it works.

Why should someone selling a hosting plan not be able to offer tech support on the products they are selling?

This means that someone with a pre-sales question can get answers to anything direct from the sales agent rather than "i am passing this chat to our tech support, please hold on"
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  Post #5 (permalink)   10-04-2012, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easyhostmedia View Post
I am with Conor on this about Sales people knowing what they are selling and how it works.

Why should someone selling a hosting plan not be able to offer tech support on the products they are selling?

This means that someone with a pre-sales question can get answers to anything direct from the sales agent rather than "i am passing this chat to our tech support, please hold on"
Yeah I agree that simple pre-sales questions should be easy for sales reps to handle. These include "what are the specs of...", "what's the best for...", and similar questions. But I don't agree that they are supposed to know everything about tech support. For example when customers ask "how do i transfer..." or "can I do..." to sales reps, I think it's pretty reasonable that they forward it to the tech support.
 
 
 


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  Post #6 (permalink)   10-04-2012, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParkerGala View Post
But I don't agree that they are supposed to know everything about tech support. For example when customers ask "how do i transfer..." or "can I do..." to sales reps, I think it's pretty reasonable that they forward it to the tech support.
so why cant a tech support guy answer pre-sales questions?

A Tech support guy should know the system etc. that is being sold, so why cant they also sell the services if they are trained to do so, this saves staff wages, extra resources etc.
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  Post #7 (permalink)   10-04-2012, 10:28 AM
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We offer 3 levels, each one has a differnet response time. They all include any hardware or network issues to be responed to ASAP.The response times just vary for things not related to the hardware or network.


SLA
1

SLA
2

SLA
3
 
 


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  Post #8 (permalink)   10-05-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParkerGala View Post
Yeah I agree that simple pre-sales questions should be easy for sales reps to handle. These include "what are the specs of...", "what's the best for...", and similar questions. But I don't agree that they are supposed to know everything about tech support. For example when customers ask "how do i transfer..." or "can I do..." to sales reps, I think it's pretty reasonable that they forward it to the tech support.
I understand when people are more knowledgeable about a specific product, but if it's a common question being asked in chat or tickets, everyone should know the answer. How can you sell something if you don't know the steps to make things happen.

In your example, you stated that sales shouldn't necessarily know the answer to "can I do ..... " - then how does sales sell the product in the first place? If they're not able to answer the question, then tech support should be the sale support. There will always be an off the wall question like "can I run Dolphin, CRELoaded and LivePerson on the same account" - that probably will take a sales/tech support person out of their comfort zone dealing with multiple software on a single account, but most anything else should be answerable.

Client: Do you make backups?
Staff: yes
Client: How often do you backup?
Staff: every hour
Client: How does it work?
Staff: I don't know - let me transfer you to someone that actually knows stuff

That's an AWFUL presentation to any potential client.
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  Post #9 (permalink)   10-05-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystoneHosting View Post
We offer 3 levels, each one has a differnet response time. They all include any hardware or network issues to be responed to ASAP.The response times just vary for things not related to the hardware or network.
SLA 1
SLA 2
SLA 3
Your staff levels are SLA's? (Service Level Agreement). Are these not the agreements that your clients have with you regarding service/hardware? The original question was more to do with the levels of staff and what each of those levels would perform.
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  Post #10 (permalink)   10-09-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handsonhosting View Post
Your staff levels are SLA's? (Service Level Agreement). Are these not the agreements that your clients have with you regarding service/hardware? The original question was more to do with the levels of staff and what each of those levels would perform.
Yes, that's correct. I was looking for 'Staff Levels' and not necessarily those for SLA's. I understand that each level would have it's own SLA requirements that it has to meet as well.

IE. Customer Service... within 24 hours, Support within 4 hours... Reboots, within 15 minutes, etc...

Thank you for your responses!
 
 
 


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  Post #11 (permalink)   10-25-2012, 04:03 AM
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Usually, Level 1 support is the service included in the package of your hosting. It consists of the basic support services like the standard procedures of usage and availability via different communication channels like chat, phone, email and support ticket. The upper levels involve some support that requires a little more technical knowledge or interference. In creating support levels, you should not only consider the tiers for charging your customers but the levels in which they would want a certain kind of support.

Almost always, however, customers expect a minimum level of support that also has value. It is actually one of the foundations of a good provider, and this is what keeps the customers coming back.
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  Post #12 (permalink)   11-04-2012, 10:08 AM
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In hosting support there are 3 levels of support as follows with there own functions :

Level 1 :
It only handles the simple issue which does not need server side logins or any operations. Like forwarding issues to correct department, checking priority of issue and setting it as per the level, resetting the password of accounts, sending account login details to clients and so on.

Level 2 :
It handles most of the operations which includes account move, account restore, script installations, account setup and termination and many more. All operations which are based on account level only.

Level 3 :
All server side operations are handles by third level support. Like server setup, disk partion, all software installations, server maintenance and many more.
 
 


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  Post #13 (permalink)   11-04-2012, 10:30 AM
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The staff we employ will carry out Sales and all L1,L2 and L3 support.

to me this is more efficiate for clients as they dont get "we will pass this to our L2/L3 techs" they will get support on any issue immediately
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  Post #14 (permalink)   11-08-2012, 05:56 AM
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The whole idea is to save on costs really. The more experienced and skilled staff will cost a company more and aren't generally needed for most questions.

Make use of the money is what it is. A tiered support structure helps to achieve this and provide better overall support / response time.
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  Post #15 (permalink)   11-08-2012, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concerto49 View Post
The whole idea is to save on costs really. The more experienced and skilled staff will cost a company more and aren't generally needed for most questions.

Make use of the money is what it is. A tiered support structure helps to achieve this and provide better overall support / response time.
So how can having a client wait while you pass them onto a L2/L3 support agent provide a better overal support system than having 1 member of staff that can answer any sales L1/L2/L3 questions.

also 1 member of staff compared to 1 sales + 1 L1 + 1 L2 + 1 L3 staff members is surely saving money
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