api digital‎ > ‎Company Blog‎ > ‎

Why We Built a Better Technology Support Business Model

posted May 19, 2014, 2:06 PM by Scott Pell   [ updated May 19, 2014, 2:08 PM ]
“The goal in blogging/business/inspiring non-fiction is to share a truth, or at least a truth as the writer sees it. To not just share it, but to spread it and to cause change to happen.” -Seth Godin

Years ago, API Digital decided to build a better business model, one that truly solves technology problems and offers real value to the customer. We decided to take a critical look at technology management processes and call center operations. These are the key problems we uncovered: Call centers are efficient, but not necessarily effective. Call centers are set up to take calls, take record of problems, and forward this information along to a separate group who then works on a solution. In essence, A call center resembles part of a factory line. They carry out a specific role, but have limited involvement in the overall solution.

The motivation of a call center directly opposes the goals for having a call center–providing customer service excellence through solving technical problems. The majority of outsourced call centers are paid per call. Thus, call center representatives are motivated to get off the phone as quickly as possible in order to take more calls. The result of high quantity pressure is low quality customer service.
Call centers are reactive only. A network problem has already occurred by the time a call center representative is involved.

In essence, call centers neither solve problems nor provide good customer service.

API Digital made it our mission to find a better way to support our customers. In doing so, we came to the understanding that businesses do not need a call center, they need a customer solution provider.

A customer solution provider genuinely cares about helping a business reach their goals through providing excellent customer service and significantly improving the technology process.

We decided to go back to the drawing boards to find a more effective technology support model that actually solves technology problems and provides excellent customer service.
Here’s what we came up with:
Effective technology support services have knowledgeable, technical representatives answering every call. Not only do they have the technical chops to walk the customer through an issue, they are involved throughout the entire solution process; including taking extra steps to follow-up with the customer once a solution is in place.
Solution providers need to be motivated to solve the root of the problem. If we solve technology problems all the way down to the root of the issue, our customers experience a quieter, more reliable technology experience. Additionally, if our motivation is to take the time to solve the core issue, it changes the way we talk to the customer; resulting in a better customer experience.
Customer solution groups need a proactive education component. A call center that only reacts to issues is not enough to keep up with the high demands of business technology requirements. You need a smarter solution. API Digital digital addressed this need with our very own proactive component to technology support. We believe it is essential to catch issues on your network before they become service impacting. Our NOC continuously watches your network to solve problems fast. They also serve our customer solution representatives by educating them on network related problems. Should a mass issue occur, our staff is already aware of the problem and working on a solution, often times before our customer calls in to report the issue.

This technology support strategy proved to be a huge success for API Digital. Our genuine approach to customer care was immediately attractive to the rural telecommunications industry, who not only entrusted us with their own technology support but also with supporting their hundreds of thousands of customers. Likewise, large enterprises are partnering with us for their daily technology support operations. They are attracted to our multiple carrier bandwidth options, our continuously supported colocation facilities, and our ability to effectively monitor and support numerous technology components for their hundreds of locations across the country.

We are committed to finding technology solutions and have a vested interest in helping your business technology run effectively.