The People Side of Tech Support at US Signal
A majority of our daily lives involve interacting with various technologies. And in the course of those interactions, most of us seldom think about the actual technologies involved — unless they aren’t working or need to work better or faster. In those instances, we expect some form of “tech support” to help.
Increasingly, that tech support comes in the form of AI-powered online chat boxes and other forms of automated assistance. It’s become so pervasive that many people may forget there’s still a human side to technology — at least on the support side.
The AI and automation aspects aren’t always bad things. Sometimes, all you need or want to do is type in a question in the chat box on your computer screen and quickly get an answer. Unfortunately, many of the issues that arise in IT — particularly enterprise IT — aren’t so easily solved.
That’s one of the reasons the “people side” of tech support is so important — and why we invest heavily in it at US Signal.
The People Behind IT
US Signal is in the IT solutions business. As a company, we’re only as good as the services we deliver. When we develop our products and services, a great deal of consideration goes into ensuring we create reliable, relevant, tested solutions that will meet the needs of our customers and potential customers and help them achieve their goals. We count on the people behind the products and services — our team members and our partners — to deliver the highest quality available.
Even the best among IT solutions, however, may encounter issues for any number of reasons. If that happens, we expect the quality level to remain high throughout any problem resolution. In most cases, it’s our Technical Operations Center (TOC) that takes on this responsibility.
The TOC at Work
When a customer has an issue, most of the time, the issue needs immediate attention. The US Signal TOC is available 24/7/365, so there’s no waiting until “normal” business hours for assistance.
Here’s where the people aspect is particularly critical. Calls to the TOC aren’t answered by an automated system or answering service. They’re also not delivered to an outsourced tech support service. All calls are answered by US Signal’s own IT professionals.
Everyone who works in the TOC is highly trained and vetted to ensure proficiency in all things IT and the ability to deliver the high level of tech support we expect ─ and that our customers need and deserve.
The person who answers your call is trained to handle just about IT technical support issue that arises. All IT professionals at the TOC have undergone extensive product training, so each has a strong knowledge base regarding US Signal’s various solutions and their applications. They hold a variety of IT certifications; most have previous experience in tech support as well as in the actual use of various IT solutions across industries.
There are no call trees at the TOC, so you aren’t passed off to a series of other technicians unless the nature of the issue requires special expertise. Calls are also answered immediately. The TOC has a service level objective of 30 seconds or less for a live technician answering the line ─ and a consistent record of 16-second or better response times.
Tiered Support System
Everything is done to resolve issues in less than 30 minutes. Our service tracking and customer feedback show that we are highly successful in pulling this off.
Of course, some IT problems may require extensive research and the assistance of other IT specialists. US Signal has that covered, too, with a three-tier technical support system.
- Tier 1 - The initial contact who answers the phone will collect all necessary information and resolve the issue in under 30 minutes to whatever extent is possible. If not, the call goes to the appropriate Tier 2 specialist.
- Tier 2 – Tier 2 specialists deep dive into issues, resolving them within eight hours. You’ll receive a problem resolution update every hour. If an issue requires more time, it’s escalated to the Tier 3 team.
- Tier 3 – Tier 3 specialists work with US Signal’s Engineering team to resolve the most complex issues. Updates are provided hourly.
Bottom line: we don’t stop trying to fix an issue until it’s fully resolved. This is an important differentiator compared to many other technical operations centers to keep in mind as well: US Signal’s TOC team is evaluated on the quality of service provided rather than on how many help tickets are closed.
Note: Calling US Signal’s toll-free number (888-663-1700) isn’t the only way to reach the TOC. Customers can also send email to [email protected] or log into the customer portal and use the chat box. In both cases, IT professionals ─ real people ─ are behind those tools and will work with you to get your issue resolved.
Above the Beyond
There are times when IT issues arise that can’t be resolved over the phone or via email or chat. The US Signal team assesses each situation to determine the best options. That may entail arranging for a US Signal IT professional or team to visit a client onsite to work through the issue. (There are plenty of US Signal clients that have stories to tell about how US Signal team members saved the day.)
That’s another reason the people aspect of IT is so important at US Signal. We recruit (and retain) IT professionals who possess a “whatever it takes” attitude and are willing to go the proverbial extra mile. The IT world, particularly in tech support, can be stressful at times, so it helps that we try to maintain a work environment that’s supportive and even fun. We also provide lots of opportunities for knowledge building and information sharing — within tech support, with other US Signal team members, and even with our customers.
Cliché as it sounds, at US Signal, people do make the difference. For more information on what makes US Signal different, including our people, read these blogs:
The People That Power IT Transformation
Technical Operations Center: What It Does and How It Works