Over the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of attention on how customer support is changing and how brands are using customer support as a business differentiator. But where’s all the attention on how businesses are using internal-facing support as a key competitive advantage?

(Crickets chirping. Still chirping.)

The truth is, customers are a prime focus for businesses but internal employees a distant second, at best. It seems to make sense to prioritize external-facing customer support over internal-facing IT support. But here’s the deal: your employees are consumers, too – they’re out there in the world interacting with A+ service and support teams, and it’s changing their expectations back at the office. They expect internal IT support to deliver the same level of service that they experience as customers.

These expectations, however, aren’t meeting up with internal operations strategies. Consider these findings in a recent study by IDC Research:

  • 22% of companies don’t have much buy-in from executives on the critical role for support
  • 42% say that investments in enhanced support will be limited within their business

With a perfect storm of not enough support from the top and rising expectations for fast and satisfying service from employees, internal IT teams are finding it hard to keep up. This is problematic because employee dissatisfaction could be as detrimental to a company’s bottom line as a disgruntled customer.

How? When an employee encounters a technology issue, productivity takes a hit. Instead of working on the business at hand, employees spend on average 22 minutes per day on IT-related issues. For a full-time worker, that’s more than 91 hours of downtime per year.

Also, according to the survey’s participants, nearly 50% of the time they try troubleshoot an issue themselves or enlist a coworker to help resolve the problem, taking them away from their work. More often than not, it’s a waste of time.

As businesses battle threats to the bottom line, employees raise their expectations, and IT teams face greater pressure to deliver quality experiences, now’s the time to take a few pages out of the customer-facing support playbook and apply them to internal-facing support. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Easy communication. For efficient support, you must have effective communication. The right support tools can break down communication barriers by allowing agents to see what the user sees. This makes it much easier for the user to convey what’s going on and much faster for the agent to resolve issues. These tools can offer help across phone, mobile, live chat, and more, covering the entire engagement journey.
  • Personalization. Even in large organizations, internal IT teams should know who they’re supporting. You can start by developing personas to understand groups of users, from how they work to what matters most to them. And you can develop user profiles on individuals, giving agents instant access to device information and other data, and providing insights on recurring questions for improving processes.

  • Self-service. Just as customers appreciate being able to quickly and accurately resolve issues themselves, so do employees. Instead of doing the heavy lifting of creating all self-service content on your own, the right support tools can take the load off. They automatically assimilate data from real-time conversations so that you can build a tailored and meaningful self-service experience that answers users’ most frequently asked questions.

Because your employees are one of your greatest assets, their productivity and loyalty matters. Why treat them as “second fiddle” by using traditional support methods? Deliver the same quality of support experiences employees have come to expect as customers. Modern, frictionless remote support solutions like LogMeIn Rescue have everything you need to deliver next-generation internal-facing support. Rescue offers a free trial, if you’d like to try it for yourself.