The 2016 CRM Service Rising Stars: Support.com Revolutionizes Customer Support in the Digital Age

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Support.com had a banner year in 2015, particularly with new additions to its Nexus tech support system. The cloud-based software is designed to improve customer interaction by integrating with companies' existing customer service suites and providing features such as step-by-step guidance, remote access, and analytics—all of which are part of a larger mission to revolutionize customer support.

"Our vision is to play a role in changing the nature of support so that it's effective all along the customer journey," says Elizabeth Cholawsky, president and CEO of Support.com. Chris Koverman, vice president of product and engineering at Support.com, agrees: "In order to generate the brand loyalty that product manufacturers are going to need, support is going to play a huge role in that."

The past year saw Support.com launch mobile improvements to Nexus, including a remote video support feature, SupportCam, and an advanced mobile functionality package, Nexus Connect SDK. SupportCam is designed to make the troubleshooting process quicker and easier by enabling tech support teams to remotely view what users are seeing onscreen, through the camera of the user’s iOS- or Android-powered smartphone or tablet. Nexus Connect SDK, meanwhile, brings advanced Nexus functionality to both iOS and Android applications, allowing developers to provide users with direct access to Nexus support systems such as SupportCam, as well as remote diagnosis, repair and configuration management, remote control and cobrowsing, and live chat.

These new features all share an ambitious aim: to make customer support a seamless process across all devices. "What we see is really support…playing a role in the entire customer life cycle and the whole relationship with a product, from the time they first get aware of the product all the way through the time where they’re ready to upgrade to the next version of it," Cholawsky says. She notes that the old model of needing to initiate a separate process—such as a phone call—to receive live assistance is not practical in the fast-paced digital age.

Support.com also enhanced Nexus Guided Paths, a feature that provides step-by-step guidance and ongoing analytics and optimization of customer support interactions, and introduced Nexus Self-Support, an embeddable solution that enables self-service directly from mobile apps, Web sites, and software programs. Self-Support is linked to Nexus cloud support for agents so that self-service customers can request live support when they run into obstacles. In addition, data is collected from both Nexus Guided Paths and Nexus Self-Support, and so a complete record of all the steps a customer takes can be made automatically available to support reps.

"The Nexus platform they have created is very impressive," John Ragsdale, vice president of technology research at TSIA, told CRM magazine via email. "It automates repetitive tasks, moving beyond what you can get with a knowledge base, to actually automate agent activities and solutions so very minimal training is required for new employees to be productive. I'm very excited about the possibilities in this platform and look forward to it being adopted outside of their consumer devices and PCs sweet spot. There are some great opportunities even within enterprise support."

Overall, Support.com sees improving access to customer support as having myriad benefits beyond the practical one of simply keeping customers happy. "As more products become connected—and we're not talking about necessarily electronics and traditional things that we would call a device today that you might imagine would be connected, but eventually everything is going to be connected—the opportunities to know what's going on with the product, how it's being used, et cetera, are going to explode," Koverman says.


CEO: Elizabeth Cholawsky

Founded: 1997

Headquarters: Redwood City, Calif.

Revenue in 2014: $83 million

Employees: 1,625

Customer Count: N/A

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