Work on a mobile app does not end with its development and publishing to stores. Ahead is the app improvement, creation of new features, as well as the support of the app and interaction with users — this is done by technical support.
Friflex is engaged in the development of mobile apps, their improvement, and support. Alexey Gormakov, Deputy Head of the App Support Department at Friflex, explains how technical support works and why it is needed after the release.
- What are the tasks of mobile app support?
- How does mobile app support work?
- What tools does technical support use?
- What does mobile app support give a business?
What are the tasks of the mobile app support?
The main task of technical support is to quickly respond to various app performance problems. The problems are mainly related either to the server side or UX.
Let's consider the main tasks of technical support for a mobile app.
- Responding to user requests. Tech support helps users to solve the problems they have encountered when using the app.
- Solving technical problems. Tech support ensures that there are no crashes or freezes, bugs with loading, displaying content, or network connection. Support can test the app for bugs and fix them before users encounter them.
- App health monitoring. Tech support monitors the load on servers, eliminates possible bugs, and improves app performance.
- Ensuring security. Tech support protects the app and personal data of users from cyberattacks and various types of threats.
On each project, Friflex tech support complies with the regulations when working with personal data and excludes their processing for additional protection against leakage. We have built the work in such a way as not to access the user's data to solve the questions. When communicating with clients, personal data is not transmitted, specialists see phone numbers only.
- User training. Tech support, if necessary, helps users understand the intricacies of the app to reduce the number of bugs and problems related to its use.
- UX improvement. Collecting and analyzing user feedback allows you to understand which features of the app work well and which need improvement. This can help improve UX and increase user satisfaction.
- Participation in product improvement. All the tasks that tech support solves directly or indirectly affect product improvement. This is as important a part of working on an app as analytics, development, and design.
- Cost optimization. In the process of app improvement, the development team with a team of DevOps engineers is working on optimizing the code and infrastructure, optimizing resource utilization without reducing performance.
How does the mobile app support work?
The optimal technical support team for a mobile app looks like this:
- First line (at least 5 specialists)
- Second line (at least 2 specialists)
- Third line (coordinator + 2-3 DevOps engineers)
First line of technical support
This is the entry point of all requests. If the users have any questions, they get to the first line. When the problem goes to the second line, the first line continues communication with the user more often.
The first line of tech support deals with the most common problems and issues related to the app performance:
- processes reviews in stores and on other platforms, collects basic incident statistics;
- solves typical user problems;
- responds to users' questions related to the app performance and functionality;
- directs tasks to second-line specialists if the problem goes beyond the competence of the first line.
As a rule, 70% of user requests are solved on the first line of tech support.
The first-line team includes specialists who have experience in fast processing of requests, understand a customer-oriented approach when communicating with users, can work in multitasking mode and promptly escalate problems to the next support level.
Second line of technical support
The second line of support usually manages more complex issues and problems that cannot be solved on the first line:
- solves more complex problems, such as bugs, failures, and other technical problems;
- analyzes logs and data to identify the causes of problems and improve app performance;
- escalates tasks to the third support line if the problem goes beyond its competence.
The second-line tech support team may include technical specialists who understand the app architecture, principles of information systems and infrastructure, can create tasks for developers to fix bugs, and have experience working with dashboards and log analysis.
Third line of technical support
The third support line handles the most complex technical problems that cannot be solved at the first two levels of support. These problems are usually related to software, integration, configuration, and app security.
The third support line may include technical support experts, QA engineers, developers, system analysts, app security specialists, and DevOps engineers. They work closely with other support levels and product teams.
Technical Support Coordinator
The Technical Support Coordinator is responsible for the effective work of the support team, providing high-quality service to the app users:
- organizes the work of the technical support team: distributes tasks among specialists, monitors the completion of tasks, determines priorities and deadlines;
- provides high-quality customer service: monitors the quality of responses and solutions by tech support, analyzes the causes of problems and develops recommendations for their elimination;
- interacts with other departments: with the development department on issues of bug fixes and product improvement, with the sales department on issues of sales and product installation, with the marketing department on issues of promotions and other marketing campaigns;
- organizes and participates in the employee training process;
- analyzes tech support processes: identifies problems and bottlenecks, suggests improvements to optimize processes;
- contacts users for proactive work and prompt troubleshooting
The technical support coordinator should know the basic principles of programming, organization and management of IT services, the methodology of project management, such as Agile, Kanban, and ITIL. A good coordinator can work in a team and organize the work of other technical support specialists. Such a specialist has experience in analyzing information systems and solving problems using technical tools.
DevOps engineers in the app tech support are engaged in monitoring and managing the infrastructure necessary for the app performance. They are responsible for automating the processes of app deployment, testing, and management, as well as for maintaining the app stability in the production environment. They maintain databases and are responsible for the app performance 24x7x365.
Tasks of DevOps engineers to support a mobile app:
- Setting up and managing the infrastructure. DevOps engineers are responsible for deploying and configuring the infrastructure necessary for the app performance. This may include configuring servers, databases, caches, and other services used by the app.
- Automation of processes. DevOps engineers create automated processes for app deployment, testing, and management. This may include configuring tools for continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD), testing automation, monitoring setup, and app management automation.
- Security. DevOps engineers are responsible for ensuring the security of the mobile app and its infrastructure. They can configure mechanisms for automatic vulnerability detection, control access to the system, and ensure secure storage and transmission of data.
- App health monitoring and management. DevOps engineers check the app performance and its infrastructure using various monitoring and analysis tools. They optimize the app and its infrastructure to ensure maximum performance and stability.
- Version and configuration management. DevOps engineers are responsible for version and configuration management of the app and its infrastructure. They can use version control tools such as Git to track changes in code and configuration, as well as to control app versions.
- Cost optimization. If optimization is possible, appropriate proposals are made and if the customer gives the go-ahead, resources are released.
DevOps engineers in tech support are responsible for ensuring stable and safe app performance in a production environment, as well as for automating and optimizing processes related to app development and support.
When various marketing campaigns take place, users start logging into the application more often. Because of this, the load on the server increases dramatically — freezes and other performance problems may occur. To prevent this from happening, Friflex technical support constantly monitors the load on servers and infrastructure. Based on monitoring, it is possible to predict the probability of high load and low throughput. If you need to increase the server capacity, we inform the client about it and solve the problem.
What tools does the support use?
Tech support uses professional tools that help to provide support and maintain statistics on working with users as quickly and efficiently as possible. For example:
- Task trackers (JIRA Software, Notion, Asana, Redmine). They help to organize work between development and support departments in semi-automatic mode, reducing the cost of process control. Trackers also help to compactly and conveniently collect a lot of useful information for solving the problem.
- HelpDesk-systems (Zendesk, Freshdesk, Happyfox). They are specialized systems for first line support and UX specialists. They are conveniently integrated with communication channels (social networks, messengers, email, chats) and help to organize a "single workplace" for employees processing these channels. Also, helpdesk systems allow you to create unique statuses and processes specific to the company's business and its clients.
- ServiceDesk-systems (Jira Service Management, Zendesk, Salesforce Service Cloud). These systems implement useful tools specifically for IT departments. They are necessary for maintaining a service catalog, versioning, protocols of changes in the infrastructure, system components, and other things that are not in conventional HelpDesk systems.
App monitoring tools are also used to help identify problems in performance before users encounter them. In technical support, Elastic and Grafana are used to monitor apps. Elastic is a great tool for finding logs and building basic graphs. Grafana is perfect for creating dashboards and analytics.
To emulate the behavior (playback of requests from a mobile application) and various external components, Postman is used — a tool for testing and developing the API. It allows developers to create, test, debug, and document APIs, as well as share API information with other team members.
Using the right tools can significantly improve the efficiency of tech support and ensure a high quality of user service. Companies can choose a tool according to their taste and budget. With the right setup, any system pays off many times and simplifies the team work.
What does mobile app support give a business?
App support plays a significant role in business development for several reasons:
- User satisfaction. (When users receive timely and useful answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, they feel cared for and supported by the business. This helps to increase user satisfaction and strengthen their loyalty to the app and brand.
- Positive reputation and recommendations. When users get a great experience with tech support, they can share their impressions with other people, as well as write a positive review. Recommendations from satisfied users lead to attracting new clients and contribute to business growth.
- Problem solving and bug fixes. Tech support plays an important role in identifying and fixing problems that users face. It promptly responds to emerging technical problems, identifies and fixes bugs, and also provides solutions and instructions for users. This increases app stability and reliability, as well as improves UX.
- Collecting feedback and analytics. Tech support is a valuable source of user feedback. App users can provide information about problems, suggestions for improvements and new features. Collecting and analyzing feedback helps businesses understand user needs, identify weaknesses, and take steps to improve the app.
- Support for improvement and growth. Tech support allows businesses to develop and improve their app. It helps to implement new features more quickly, fix bugs, optimize performance and adapt the app to changing market requirements. This contributes to the growth and competitiveness of the business.
- Cost optimization. Tech support allows you to find and eliminate weaknesses in the infrastructure and code during product improvement, thereby freeing up resources and optimizing operating costs.
Technical support is an integral part of a successful business strategy. Without support, a product may face dissatisfied users, disloyalty, and missed opportunities for improvement and innovation. To avoid this, support work should be built with the first release of the application.
Friflex specializes in the development of mobile apps used by millions of people. After the release, we support the products 24/7 throughout their development. If your application was developed by another company, we can also take it for tech support and build interaction with users – to do this, fill out the brief.