Being a Webhost Customer Support Technician
When it comes to customer support, its best practice to give your agents the most up to date tools and technology so that they can do there job efficiently and keep a level of customer satisfaction at a high grade. This reduces stress on both the customer and agent side.
If thats not possible, work with what is in place and continuously upgrade when possible. Adjust accordingly with keeping in mind to reduce stress for both customer and agent audience. Its not a good idea to set expectations of perfection on each customer interaction when the technology available cannot accommodate the requirements.
One webhost company I have had first hand experience with has expectations where 12 factors determine the quality assurance of a customer phone call. With these factors, it determines the performance of an agent. The performance of the agent should be at 90–100%. The customer satisfaction rating has no bearing on the Quality Assurance. This means, that the customer could have been satisfied with the support they obtained but because of quality assurance, agent performance can possibly dwindle.
Quality Assurance is rated on a strict policy and semantic. If the 12 factors are not adhered to with extreme criticism, it is considered a strike on one of the 12 factors. The problem with the 12 factors is that it does not take in account that most webhost customers have novice experience and the webhost company website provides a poor user experience in navigation on how to complete simple actions such as account login or account credentials recovery. That itself makes factors such as authentication difficult. You want to help the customer and know exactly how to help the customer but because of the authentication factor, your decision is left in the grey area where it directly affects your career because of strict policy and semantic.
Alongside is the technology used to manage the technical support. The annoying part is that there are multiple interfaces that an agent must manage and most times these interfaces have a glitch that has yet to be addressed. Checkins that dont quite register, logins that dont stay logged in, and other inaccuracies that is a compromise to the actual performance of an agent. The agent is expected to take responsibility for these inaccuracies because the technology is considered “always right”.
In terms of the agent’s actual work, they are expected to do an average of 30 customer interactions in a combination of phone calls, support tickets, and live chat sessions PER DAY per pay period regardless of holidays. This is expected in an 8 hour period with two 15 minute breaks and a lunch period of 30 minutes or 1 hour. That means in each 2 week period, 300 interactions should be under your belt. Time is micromanaged, calls are monitored. All activity is micromanaged. The agent is expected to multitask this criteria and is the bane that contributes to the stress of the position.
Chat sessions are to be 2 chats at a time. That means 2 different issues that an agent must work on. The agent must keep an internal mindfulness to update the chat within a 3–5 minute window.
The few positive parts of this Technical Agent position is that it exposes the agent to a diverse knowledge of how webhost technology functions.
The negative is the feeling that the agent is overworked and underpaid. This position is essentially a combination of multiple positions. This is sales, IT, system administration, web development, conflict resolution, and so much more. The position is easily a $30/hour career but instead starts at around $17/hour.
This company has alot of growing to do still even though they have been around since the late 90's. If you ever find yourself in this company and it still has not changed, its recommended to search elsewhere as this should definitely be temporary. You will find yourself as the emotional punchbag for most customers. You will see a pattern of attrition within the company and lack of resources. You will experience stress every day of employment here. It will feel like you are overworked and underpaid.
All because the tools provided to you are not up to date and structure is policy driven rather than humanity driven as all companies should be. The most important resource in a company are the employees. Do good with them and they will do good for you because of you.