Welcome to Overview of Support Channels! After watching this video, you will be able to: List various types of channels available to perform technical support, Discuss factors that influence choice of support channels, and Identify the most appropriate support channels for a given problem or scenario. Imagine it's 30 minutes before your assignment is due. And you're ready to submit the file to your online course. However, you keep getting an error message. You can't sign in! What do you do? Don’t freak out yet. You have support channels that you can use to help resolve your issue. After troubleshooting a few things on your own, you try searching online and on your school's website support pages. You’ve just used one of the channels of technical support. Support pages are designed for self-help, and you can often find information like: FAQs, documentation about services or products, wikis, and a knowledge base. You can also browse discussion forums for posts from other users who have experienced similar problems. But for your problem? Your school’s support pages make no mention of it. Hmmm... Now, email is for issues that might not need immediate resolution. Usually, companies provide their email addresses for support on their websites or in product emails and documents sent to their customers. If you have a question or an issue that isn’t time-sensitive, you can email support, and they can respond to you when they get to your email in their queue. This is one kind of asynchronous support. Organizations can also provide asynchronous support on social media platforms, like: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. People who have an issue with a larger organization may choose to post on social media to get the company’s attention. Public posts on social media allow customers to identify (or tag) the company and share their issue. Social media allows an asynchronous interaction between customers and companies. Customers can have their issues resolved and companies can show they care about supporting their product. Phone support is synchronous, meaning the support happens live and in real-time. It’s good for those with urgent issues like they can’t submit their assignment online! Now, phone support is also for those who need to discuss sensitive information, like details about finances or health. And the phone is ideal for customers who prefer live, real-time conversations with someone who can assist them with their technical issue. Live chat also gives you access to technical support in real-time through an app on a device or through a website. Through live chat, technical support can walk you through your issue to resolution. And some live chat tools will even indicate where you are on the company’s website so support can better assist you. If your device or hardware is the problem, video chat is helpful because it allows technical support to see what you are seeing. You can show the support person through video chat the steps you are taking to sign in to your college’s website. Video chat can also be helpful if you have a hardware issue. Say, if you have a problem with your printer not working, you can show through video chat what’s going on. Video chat can provide virtual hands-on help. And remote support is another form of synchronous support. Using remote software, a host device for technical support connects to a customer’s device. Both need to be connected to a program for remote support. And both need to be connected to the internet to connect remotely. Remote support also is helpful if there is a setting on your device, or if an update is needed, and you need someone else to make those changes on your computer for you. And when all else fails, you can always use in-person support. This is when you need hands-on troubleshooting, preventive maintenance services, and hardware-related support. So now you’re down to only 15 minutes until your paper is due. This is urgent, so you decide to call the technical support phone number. After only a few minutes of chatting with someone on the phone, you discover the problem: The site hosting your online course was offline, but it's back up again. Your issue is now resolved! And you are able to log in and submit your assignment. Congratulations! You probably didn’t realize that a lot was going on with your school’s technical support while you were trying to submit your assignment. Before you realized you couldn’t sign in, another user encountered the same issue and connected to technical support, through one of the school’s many support channels. Once technical support was notified, a ticket was created and support began working through the issue. Ticketing systems are also essential support tools, and they document, track, and manage customer issues to resolution. Organizations can: Convert incoming emails into tickets, Log phone sessions, like yours, or Provide an interface where users can submit tickets directly. For your issue, the organization used internal support channels to identify and resolve the issue. All of this is so the school’s many students can submit their assignments on time. But you’re not the only one who has benefitted from having many different support channels available. A Zendesk survey of its customers found the following: For simple service requests, customers surveyed preferred email over phone support, live chat, SMS text, and social media. But for complicated service requests, more of the customers surveyed preferred phone over live chat, email, SMS text, and social media. The results show that customers use a broad mix of channels to contact customer support. In this video, you learned that: Businesses and organizations often need to provide multiple support channels to address different problems and customer needs. Technical support can be provided through many channels, using self-help, synchronous, and asynchronous tools. Ticketing systems are support tools that document, track, and manage customer issues to resolution. And customers use a broad mix of channels to contact customer support.