September 10, 2023
I’m going to talk about 3 tiers of customer support. This topic is relevant to WP product company managers, support team leaders, support engineers and freelance web designers and developers.
Most companies provide Tiers 1 and 2, and then refer to the development team for more complex tickets. In this method, customers have to wait longer and development team needs to do more and gets distracted in order to replicate the issue. This is more expensive for the company and it often leads to defensive support strategy and creates a “them vs us” situation.
Having all 3 tiers of support can lead to faster support for customers and you can be more generous with the scope of your support. It also frees up the development team for high impact projects. Customers will be more satisfied and they will have a much closer relationship with the support team.
A tier 3 support engineer should have development experience, debugging skills, communication and excellent written English. This might sound like an unusual skillset, but it does exist!
Tips on managing multi-tiered support: Each ticket should be on the lowest tier possible, it’s more efficient for the last experienced user to handle the simple tickets, but if it’s obvious that a particular ticket is very complex then it should be assigned straight to Tiers 2 or 3. It’s more efficient for the support team to remain as the point of contact. Developers should not be sending tickets to the customers.
Communication is the key! For support teams with more than 1 person, it’s essential to work closely together.
Team capacity should be continually monitored. It’s important to plan ahead when recruiting team members. Tier 1 engineers can be promoted to Tier2 and Tier 3 requires a different skillset.
As a support team grows, you need someone to manage it. At Barn2, we have a Head of Support plus 4 support engineers across 3 tiers.