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Industry Research Research:
2011 State of the Industry: Six Trends Every Support Organization Must Know

What does support look like at your company – and how about for your peers? This groundbreaking survey pulls back the curtains on the actual support infrastructure of nearly 500 organizations.

Compared with the annual metrics survey sponsored by, which focuses on support performance issues, this survey goes under the hood to see what tools and processes drive current support operations. It answers questions like, what technology they use, how they structure support tiers, how much training people get, and how "real" technologies like cloud computing and social media are for them, among many other issues. The results presented provide a snapshot for benchmarking against other support operations in a number of specific operational areas.

The survey found six trends every support organization must know:

1. Don't log into Facebook quite yet: The use of social media as a support channel has been a hot topic in the industry, but actual adoption remains slow. Less than 10% currently use Facebook or Twitter for case submission or response, and less than 20% are using any social media channels.

2. The cloud is real, and growing: While only 14% of respondents currently use a cloud-based support infrastructure, less than 40% have no plans to do so in the future.

3. Remote support is ubiquitous: An overwhelming majority of respondents (almost 90%) now use a remote support solution. Nearly two-thirds employ screen sharing and remote control, followed closely by remote diagnostics and web chat. A substantial number of support operations now both use and support mobile devices as part of the support channels as well.

4. Everybody is a star. The lines are blurring between traditional front line and level II support: for example, less than half of the team is considered "front line" for 31% of respondents, and 20% of them consider more than half of their team to be level II. Over a third escalate less than 10% of their cases, and a majority employ collaboration tools between agents.

5. Support teams invest in training: The majority of support teams enjoy more than a man-week of professional development training each year, as well as over a week of employee orientation training, while those investing more than two weeks clock in at around 10% and 20% respectively. Both live and computer-based training approaches are used by more than half of respondents, with 25% employing simulated customer transactions.

6. Customer sat: Don't call us, we'll call you: Nearly 80% of respondents measure customer satisfaction, and more than half use the time-honored post-session survey – however, this latter number represents a decrease from previous surveys. Nearly 20% also survey the agent's opinion on customer satisfaction.

Read the full white paper for a discussion and analysis of each of these trends by clicking below.

To get your full copy of the research, click here.
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