2017 Research Reports
2017 The Changing Expectations of Support
2016 Research Reports
2016 Customer Satisfaction, the Customer Experience, Customer Success and Customer Effort
Tricentis Report
Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2016
2016 Technical Support Salary Survey

Knowledgebase

Service and Support Operations
Compensation and HR
Customer Satisfaction/Experience
Knowledge Management
Management
Organizations
Outsourcing
Professional Services
Templates and Checklists
Training/Onboarding
Contract Design/Pricing/Sales
Tools and Technology
Web Support
Services Marketing


Reports

The ASP publishes a series of quarterly monographs on support-related topics, all of which are provided to members at no cost:

2017 The Changing Expectations of Support - ASP researches how expectations for support are changing. A survey was conducted and results explored with many interviews with support leaders and consultants.

2016 Customer Satisfaction, the Customer Experience, Customer Success and Customer Effort - What to make of all these customer initiatives? ASP researches them and makes recommendations

Tricentis Report - Tricentis was one of our Top Ten winners in 2016. they won in the small company division, but their score was better than half of the $billion companies. They have also been in our Top Ten three times in their six years of delivering support. They are obvious over-achievers. This report provides details of how they have been so effective. It is based on interviews with several Tricentis employees. ...

Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2016 - ASP has an annual competition for the Top Ten best Support Websites. This approximately 12030 page report has essays from each of the Top Ten about their websites, average scores, a trends analysis, names of the many independent judges, explanation of the 25 different categories that are scored, and more. The report effectively defines the state-of-the-art in self-support websites each year. We re ...

2016 Technical Support Salary Survey - The ASP's annual salary survey tracks pay trends for categories of support employee-senior support executive, department manager, analyst/project manager, senior support technician, field support technician, support technician, and customer service rep. Hardware jobs of Field Service Engineer and Depot Technician have been added this year. Data is broken out by skill level, company size, ...

Customer Onboarding Gains Traction (report) We’ve been hearing a lot about Onboarding and having frequent discussions about it with service & support leaders. Accordingly ASP commissioned research and the writing of this report so our members could get good real-time information to make decisions regarding Onboarding.

First we sent around a three question survey to see what was top of mind among our members. From th ...

Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2015 - ASP has an annual competition for the Top Ten best Support Websites. This approximately 12030 page report has essays from each of the Top Ten about their websites, average scores, a trends analysis, names of the many independent judges, explanation of the 25 different categories that are scored, and more. The report effectively defines the state-of-the-art in self-support websites each year. We re ...

2015 The Internet of Things (IoT) for Technical Support IoT is a network of uniquely identifiable endpoints (or things) that communicate without human interaction using IP connectivity - be it locally or globally. - IDC definition Where We're At -- In a Storm of Potential & Hype The availability of high-speed, high-capacity bandwidth, cheaper and ever-smarter microprocessors, massive, low-cost data storage options, and widespread mobile tech ...

2015 Technical Support Salary Survey - The ASP's annual salary survey tracks pay trends for seven categories of support employee-senior support executive, department manager, analyst/project manager, senior support technician, field support technician, support technician, and customer service rep. Data is broken out by skill level, company size, organization size, and product price.

2014 Maintenance & Services Ratios Technology pundits are always talking about “disruptive” changes in the technology world, but they’ve mostly missed one of the biggest transformations of the last few years—the greatly expanded role of services. This year our report puts a lot of focus on disruptions, including those that are obscuring the kind of financial information that we and you are looking for. We have added a sectio ...

Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2014 - ASP has an annual competition for the Top Ten best Support Websites. This approximately 12030 page report has essays from each of the Top Ten about their websites, average scores, a trends analysis, names of the many independent judges, explanation of the 25 different categories that are scored, and more. The report effectively defines the state-of-the-art in self-support websites each year. We re ...

Kaspersky's Virtual Agent - Many companies are using and considering using so-called virtual agents as automation tools for Web support. In theory, virtual agents put a friendly human-like interface on top of an artificial intelligence and knowledgebase infrastructure. Users can ask support questions in a familiar chat format, and the virtual agent responds with diagnostic suggestions and solutions.

Deba ...

2014 Social Media Survey Report - >“I think we're further ahead than we sometimes think! I look forward to a time when I can actually PROVE that social media is providing a scalable and cost effective option and that, over time, we will realize reductions in interactive support and cost.”“If you try to boil the ocean, you will fail.”“Executive buy in is still a challenge in getting a line item on the budget for our social efforts ...

2014 Technical Support Salary Survey - The ASP's annual salary survey tracks pay trends for seven categories of support employee-senior support executive, department manager, analyst/project manager, senior support technician, field support technician, support technician, and customer service rep. Data is broken out by skill level, company size, organization size, and product price.

The SaaS Trasition As many companies are discovering, the growing popularity of software-as-a-service (SaaS) dramatically transforms the role of software support. With a SaaS business model, customers can pull the plug on their subscriptions with almost no notice if they’re dissatisfied or unsuccessful. Revenue streams, renewal rates, subscriber growth, add-on services—they all go poof! if support fails.
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2013 Technical Support Salary Survey - For the past eighteen years, the Association of Support Professionals has conducted an annual survey of tech support salaries among technology companies that is widely noted for its accuracy and consistency. The 2013 survey, which reflects data from 111 support organizations with more than 9,300 support employees, reveals that pay levels in almost all job categories have risen during the last year ...

2013 Maintenance & Services Ratios - >Technology pundits are always on the lookout for “disruptive” changes in the software world, but they’ve mostly missed one of the biggest transformations of the last few years—the greatly expanded role of services. Though there are still major companies (notably Microsoft) that remain almost exclusively product-centric, most successful software vendors these days have adopted a business model th ...

Pricing Support & Services - >The pricing of intangibles such as support and services has changed considerably over the years. Initially, pricing was fraught with guesswork, complicated by second-guessing by many people in our companies who had opinions that were influenced by their experience with product pricing (a different subject entirely) or opinions based on anecdotal evidence without any underlying systematic custome ...

2012 Maintenance & Services Ratios - >Technology pundits are always on the lookout for “disruptive” changes in the software world, but they’ve mostly missed one of the biggest transformations of the last few years—the greatly expanded role of services. Though there are still major companies (notably Microsoft) that remain almost exclusively product-centric, most successful software vendors these days have adopted a business model th ...

Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2012 - ASP has an annual competition for the Top Ten best Support Websites. This approximately 12030 page report has essays from each of the Top Ten about their websites, average scores, a trends analysis, names of the many independent judges, explanation of the 25 different categories that are scored, and more. The report effectively defines the state-of-the-art in self-support websites each year. We re ...

2012 Technical Support Salary Survey - The ASP's annual salary survey tracks pay trends for seven categories of support employee-senior support executive, department manager, analyst/project manager, senior support technician, field support technician, support technician, and customer service rep. Data is broken out by skill level, company size, organization size, and product price.

A Guide to Implementing Live Chat - >As a tool for interacting with customers, chat has been around for at least a decade, used largely for simple customer service and sales support applications. But a few brave pioneers in recent years have tried something new—chat-based tech support. At first, the experiments were limited to support for low-end consumer products, where chat promised significant cost savings. But lately, a growing ...

2011 Technical Support Salary Survey - The ASP's annual salary survey tracks pay trends for seven categories of support employee—senior support executive, department manager, analyst/project manager, senior support technician, field support technician, support technician, and customer service rep. Data is broken out by skill level, company size, organization size, and product price.

2011 Maintenance & Services Ratios Technology pundits are always on the lookout for “disruptive” changes in the software world, but they’ve mostly missed one of the biggest transformations of the last few years—the greatly expanded role of services. Though there are still major companies (notably Microsoft) that remain almost exclusively product-centric, most successful software vendors these days have adopted a business mod ...

Successful Support Communities - >More than ever, technology companies have embraced the idea that it’s good to encourage communities of customers and other stakeholders. Of course, many of the benefits that communities are supposed to bring—self-service call resolution, enhanced loyalty, early warning about public relations blow-ups—can be tricky to quantify. And plenty of managers still feel that “letting customers talk to eac ...

Front-Line Support Incentives - Throughout much of the corporate world, performance incentives have become almost a religious movement. Stock options, commissions, bonuses, merit raises, recognition programs—all kinds of financial rewards and non-financial “gold stars” are dangled in front of employees, presumably inspiring extra effort to achieve company goals. For some employees, incentives are a natural fit. ...

2010 Maintenance & Services Ratios Technology pundits are always on the lookout for “disruptive” changes in the software world, but they’ve mostly missed one of the biggest transformations of the last few years—the greatly expanded role of services. Though there are still major companies (notably Microsoft) that remain almost exclusively product-centric, most successful software vendors these days have adopted a business mod ...

A Guide to 7x24 Support Plans - Tech support has never fit comfortably into the constraints of a 9:00-5:00 workday, if only because technology companies almost always have customers in more than a single time zone. In recent years, the demand for after-hours coverage has crept steadily upwards. More global enterprises, more users online at odd hours, rising expectations for real-time response—whatever the reasons, ...

2010 Technical Support Salary Survey - The ASP's annual salary survey tracks pay trends for seven categories of support employee—senior support executive, department manager, analyst/project manager, senior support technician, field support technician, support technician, and customer service rep. Data is broken out by skill level, company size, organization size, and product price.

2009 Maintenance & Services Ratios - Technology pundits are always on the lookout for “disruptive” changes in the software world, but they’ve mostly missed one of the biggest transformations of the last few years—the greatly expanded role of services. Though there are still major companies (notably Microsoft) that remain almost exclusively product-centric, most successful software vendors these days have adopted a business mod ...

A Guide to Better Tech Notes - >Tech notes should be the heart and soul of a great Web support site. Yet painfully often, users encounter a tangle of hard-to-understand, poorly maintained knowledgebase documents that fail to solve their problems—and may even discourage users from ever coming back to the site. In fact, many knowledgebases were originally written for internal use by support reps, not customers, and hardly anyone ...

Setting Limits on Unlimited Support - Web support sites are often so complex that it's hard for developers to spot critical problems with navigation and functionality. Anecdotal comments by users can help identify many individual glitches, but comments rarely provide a big-picture view of problems with usability, performance, or design. Drawing on ten years of experience with the ASP's annual Ten Best Web Suppor ...

Interaction Elasticity


The Great Customer Experience - >Executive summary Not long ago, the common working definition of “great support” was something like “the best we can do in the cheapest way possible.” That’s classic cost-center thinking, and for a lot of service businesses—think WalMart and discount airlines—it can be a pretty successful strategy. But for many technology companies, the growth of fee-based services and loyalty-b ...

Trends in Fee-Based Support - >Executive summary Over the past decade, product support and support-related services have ev ...

Management Performance Benchmarks - >Executive summary Browse the shelves of any well-stocked bookstore and you'll find dozens of books that promise to identify the one or two essential qualities of great managers, from the clock-watching skills of the legendary One-Minute Manager to the take-no-hostages approach of Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun. Incentive plans often send equally confusing messages: We know ...

2007 Maintenance & Services Ratios - >Executive summary >Technology pundits are always on the lookout for “disruptive” changes in the software world, but they’ve mostly missed one of the biggest transformations of the last few years—the greatly expande ...

A Guide to Packaged Services - Critical success factors for fixed scope, fixed price services offerings.

Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking - >For a growing number of support organizations, there are two top-level metrics that management watches most closely—financial results (costs, productivity, margins) and customer satisfaction. Financial metrics are relatively easy to track, but customer satisfaction is almost always a great ball of fuzz. Something is being measured, but it’s rarely clear how the metrics translate into dollars and ...

Tech Support Turnover Rates - >Executive summary >Support departments have always had a reputation for high employee turnover, but there is little data about what constitutes a normal churn rate. This report draws on survey responses from 131 su ...

How to Grow Professional Services - >Executive summary >There’s a tired old myth that says professional services are a lousy business—tough to sell, impossible to manage, and almost never profitable. Smart companies like Microsoft, we're told, dump mo ...

Product Support Blogs - >A tidal wave of blogs—including hundreds that comment on technology topics—has swept across the Internet landscape. So far, most technology blogs have focused on product development and marketing issues: upcoming releases, how-to tips, security, company news, and the like. Classic support questions—How do I reformat the standard monthly report?—get relatively coverage and tend to end up on bulle ...

Managing Emerging Technologies - >Walk the floor of any trade show for support managers and you’re bound to see dozens of entrepreneurial companies, all pitching new automation and cost-saving technologies. Most will claim to be the “leading” player in some hot new market segment, or purveyors of a “disruptive” concept that promises to overthrow the current leaders, or perhaps a “strategic” partner who will transform every mild- ...

Tech Support Reporting Channels - >In most software companies, the support department is something of an afterthought—a group that gets plugged into an organization chart that's dominated by product development and product sales groups. Often, support departments end up reporting to executives whose goals have little to do with support; occasionally, support-related tasks like trainin ...

Tech Support Outsourcing -

A growing number of software companies have shifted at least some of their tech support activity to outsourcers. Often the outsourcer's role is to supplement existing core coverage--for instance, by handling after-hours calls or by providing first-level responses. This hybrid model adds to the complexity of calculating costs and other metrics, which are already full of complex variables. Drawin ...



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