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Moving Beyond Legacy Support Systems

Change is never easy. Even when it’s for the best, it always seems easier and safer to stick with what you’ve been doing. You know the old “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality. But like most things in life, change is necessary.

For technical support organizations, change often comes in the form of leaving behind a legacy system for newer technology. This goes beyond just wanting the latest and greatest tech; today, it’s about providing the type of modern, seamless support users expect.

Whether we are talking about customers or internal employees, expectations around how they want to be supported are changing thanks to new consumer-facing business models. If Apple can provide me this level of service, why can’t everyone else? Unfortunately, many tech support teams have long-standing processes and a fixed way of doing businessone that can’t always easily be changed. Also, some companies don’t want to change; their organizational processes have been successful for years and maybe even continue to be. The question is, how long will that last? Innovation across customer experience and support is growing faster than ever before, and companies are being pressuredeither by end users or industry pressuresto maintain the same pace.

The problem with legacy systems can be summed up pretty easily:

  • They aren’t purpose-built to deliver the personalized and seamless support users expect.
  • They’re rigid and cumbersome, and they don’t allow for cross-channel support.
  • They don’t allow for meaningful data collection and analysis that can help agents approach and solve problems more efficiently: knowing what devices or services your end users are seeking help for, how they’re asking for help (web, phone, apps, self-service), and when they need it (are they a new user who is having trouble onboarding or an existing user who needs to upgrade?), for example. This is crucial to delivering personalized and speedy support.

So how can you free yourself of legacy systems and start building a better, more adept remote support solution? Here are a few important first steps:

  • Admit there’s a problem. As with most things, the first step is admitting there’s a problem in the first place. Most companies that are trapped under the limitations of legacy systems don’t realize there’s an issue until one arises. Maybe that issue will come in the form of a security breach or the fact that your team can’t support next-generation tools. Or maybe that issue will come in agent churn or lost productivity due to the frustration of older clunky systems.
  • Do your research. Once you admit there’s a problem, the next step is to research how you’re going to fix it. It’s true that bringing in an entirely new support system is not for the faint of heart. But by doing your research and ensuring that the tools you are considering map back to your customer expectations and support strategy, you can be much more confident that this endeavor will have a strong and positive impact on your organization.
  • Convince your organization. As previously mentioned, rip and replace isn’t an easy sellespecially for the higher ups in any organization. You need to convince executives that the ROI is worth any pain the transition might cause. It’s easy to overlook the costs associated with legacy systems that are already ingrained into a support organization. But constant maintenance, limitations around scale, and the financial implications associated with product or employee downtime are significant concerns associated with outdated technology. The more efficient a support organization is, the more efficient the users it serves will be.

Reliable and quick support is a challenge for many organizations, with users that are always connected, always on-the-go. Ensuring that your support staff is armed with the tools to create the quick and seamless experience end users are looking for is critical to overcoming these challenges. Ultimately, no matter where you are in your support evolution, the key is to have the right tools in place. It may not be a simple fix, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run.