When your customer needs help, you have an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. Whether a call comes in as a complaint or a simple request for assistance, the way you handle it can often make the difference between a customer who remains loyal and one who walks away.

But many small to medium businesses operate on strict budgets, always seeking to save money where they can. Providing top-level support every time a customer needs it can quickly drain a company’s human resources budget, even if they’re able to attract and retain employees with high levels of expertise. For a variety of reasons, many entrepreneurs have found that tiered support is the best solution to the many dilemmas facing help desks today. Here are a few ways tiered staffing can improve your customer support while also saving money.

Distributed Expertise

Many businesses would have difficulty affording a full staff of senior-level help desk technicians, since they command salaries of more than $80,000 a year. A business can save money by setting up tiers, where lower-level technicians making approximately $40,000 a year can take the initial calls, resolve the tickets they can, and escalate more difficult tickets to more experienced technicians.

Salary Help Desk Technician Glassdoor

When upper-level employees are pulled into a situation, those employees gain awareness and can then pass the information on to teams in other departments. It opens up a conversation that can lead to an improved relationship between a business’s upper-level staff and its customers. Senior technicians are often closer to the leadership team and can make a difference in major changes being made to a business’s products.

Reduce Employee Turnover

In a tiered help desk environment, employees know they have help when they need it, which keeps them from feeling trapped into having to provide an answer to something outside of their own areas of expertise. They also can learn from the senior technicians, helping them eventually take more advanced tickets, which gives senior team members more time to work on other things.

Turnover-smThis environment can eventually lead to higher morale, reducing turnover rates. If senior technicians are encouraged to serve as mentors to more junior teammates, employees could see the potential for growth. This is especially true if they see their fellow lower-tiered workers moving up to the higher tiers. Since the help desk turnover rate is nearly 40 percent industry-wide, it’s important that businesses do what it takes to keep employees happy.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

Without a good system in place, businesses risk losing customers who feel that their patronage isn’t valued. No one technician can know everything, which means at least occasionally every technician will run into an unresolvable problem. By giving those technicians an alternative to answering, “I don’t know,” businesses ensure customers get the service they need.

Before you can give your technicians the ability to escalate calls, you’ll first need a good ticketing system to track and manage each incoming request for help. One of the most well-known companies doing this is Desk.com , which lets you log incoming calls and assign them to appropriate technicians. A team can even set up rules that automatically escalate a ticket if it hasn’t been resolved within a certain number of hours. This virtually guarantees that no customer concern will ever fall through the cracks and if it does, management can easily track the problem and identify the team members who didn’t follow through.

Providing top-quality customer support that meets your client expectations can be challenging for even the most prepared company. By setting up tiered help desk staff, businesses can escalate tickets, allowing entry-level technicians to resolve simple issues and move more complex issues to senior-level staff. This can save your business money, while also preventing lost customer support opportunities, helping you provide great customer service without spending more money.

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