Changing Support Software Part 2: How To Evaluate Solutions
You've decided to switch your support software, but how do you choose the solution for your needs? The steps below will help guide you through the process of identifying needs and evaluating vendors.
In Part 1 of our series on changing support software, we went through some questions to help you identify if now is the time to consider other options for your support technology. In Part 2, we discuss some key strategies for properly evaluating different support solutions. Let’s dive right into how companies should go about choosing their new support software with these 5 steps.
Step 1 - Sit down and prioritize “needs” over “wants.” If your company is looking to switch your support software, you are likely feeling the pain of your current solution or workflow. Do internal research and figure out what key things you need in your support software solution, not just what you want to have. Examples include a key software integration or a ticket deflection capability.
Step 2 - Figure out which support solutions fit your needs. To get started, look at sites like Capterra and G2 comparison information with an open mind, because you may actually find needs you didn’t even realize existed. For example, some companies use support software built for the B2C (business-to-consumer) industry because they may not know there are solutions built specifically for B2B (business-to-business) that actually help improve the customer/company relationship. Features such as visual support may not have deemed a need initially but can become one as they may greatly improve support operations and ultimately improve the customer/company relationship.
Step 3 - Determine a budget. Now that you’ve done the research and understand what accomplishing your needs will cost, it’s time to make sure you can afford your priorities. Work with your finance leader to set a budget to work through the switch. Even if a support software solution you like is slightly higher than your budget, you might negotiate a discount or pricing concessions. Better yet, ask the provider you are considering to demonstrate an ROI.
Step 4 - Reach out to software providers for a demo. You may already know a support software has what you need by reading its website, but nothing matches an actual live support software demo with a product expert. They can frame how the software will meet your business needs and will get you started down the road of implementation and solving your pain points. Make sure they are actually listening to your needs and answering your questions, not just running through a standard demo.
Step 5 - Always read the fine print. This is an important step for people new to buying software, and they often skip it. When you get a proposal or contract from a support software provider, be certain you’re getting the price and features promised. Some support software companies will attempt to “lure in” customers with low prices, saying their solution has everything to meet the needs of your customers. But it won’t be able to meet these needs at every price tier, and the salesperson may not tell you this. Read over all documentation closely, or even better, choose a solution with simple pricing. Like in other areas of that business; if a company has pricing that’s difficult to understand, then they are probably difficult to work with.
Continue on to the third and final part of our series on changing support software! We’ll discuss how companies go about making the switch and managing the process of changing technologies.
About the Author:
Katie O’Connell is a Business Development professional at TeamSupport. With previous experience at Yelp and Allied Integrated Marketing, Katie is an experienced business strategist.
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