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May 13, 2007 12:27 AM

Categories: Services and Support

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Joined: 07/14/2005


I'm trying to figure out a good ratio of tech support guys to customers?
our product is a sort of POS (Point of Sale) program, so the typical customer is a small retail store owner. Specificaly I want to know how it growth when the number of customers is at the hundreds and more.


Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-2 of 2 | Latest Comment

May 15, 2007 1:39 PM

There are mathematical models for calculating the number of agents based on the call volume, length of call and other variables. However, as you are in the retail side of software sales, you need to think that scalability will come from self-service and automation, as well as from increased investment in product quality and usability. In order to provide you with a more comprehensive response you need to disclose more information about how support is currently done, some numbers and benchmarks as well as your objective for this team.

May 15, 2007 7:59 PM

I suggest that you focus on developing a forecast for support demand based on your sales forecast and propensity to call for support. Demand is cyclical so you are likely to experience higher demand around new product releases. More mature products are likely to demand less support, and usually only due to a trigger event (e.g. a new operating system).

If you do not have historical support data you will have to develop a best guess. You will generate demand from new sales and from your existing installed base. Consider some of the following:


  • How many units will be sold in a given period (monthly)
  • What percent of NEW customers are likely to need support
  • How many times are NEW customers likely to contact you in the first year
  • For existing customers (more than 1 year) what percent will need support and how often will they contact you.

    Once you have developed a support demand forecast you can apply a ¬?mathematical model¬? referenced above. Erlang (Erlang C) models are used to solve for the number of staff you need. There are many free Erlang models available on the web ¬? just search on Earlang.

  • Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-2 of 2 | Latest Comment

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