I hear stories about how working in the customer support division of any software company is terrible work. Boring, often in bad conditions (i.e. environment and supervisors), and often little technical training in the product your are supporting. The most recent I've found was from this reddit post.
That said, as a business owner, how would you get around this? We're thinking that similar to doctors with clinical hours, developers should have to devote a certain amount of time per week on handling customer service. Probably not the first tier, but for issues that are more technical, or for ones that have to do with coding of the software, these on-call developers would be available to help.
This aside, do you know of any good systems for handling customer support that is pleasant for both the user and the employee?
EDIT - The point is to have customer service reps enjoy their jobs as well as clients enjoy the customer service. The question is, how would a company do this?
Fog creek just posted a relevant blog on this topic http://blog.fogcreek.com/dna-changes-the-ecosystem/ As for a system to use, I have personally found www.zendesk.com to be very good, but I only trialled this and Assistly, so I don't have a broad experience to back it up.
A few tips that we have found have helped us in similar situations:
The biggest issue, in my opinion, is that support reps are not empowered (frustrating) and are only noticed when bad things happen (also frustrating). There's a couple easy ways to combat this:
All of that is incredibly easy to do, and will work wonders.
I originally posted this (and some more detail) at our web site.
Paying the same hourly wages, outsource those jobs to a third world country like the Philippines. I guarantee you they are going to ask you for overtime as often as possible.