Customer support is a range of customer services to assist customers in making cost effective and correct use of a product. It includes assistance in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of a product.
Regarding technology products such as mobile phones, televisions, computers, software products or other electronic or mechanical goods, it is termed technical support.
Customer support automation involves the building of a knowledge base of known issues and their resolutions to support incidents with delivery mechanisms, often by expert systems. A service automation platform includes a suite of support solutions including proactive support, assisted support and self-support.
With automated support, service organizations can make their services available to their customers 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, by monitoring alarms, identifying problems at an early stage and resolving issues before they become problems. Automated assisted support enables remote access to sites that need instant problem solving. By automating the collection of information of devices and applications coexisting with the supported application, problems can be quickly detected and fixed.
Automated self-support, automates the self-support process, freeing users from self-help diagnostics and troubleshooting from on-line libraries or knowledge bases. Support automation solutions can be integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) systems and network management systems (NMS), and provide full customer reports to management tallying problems and incidents that were solved mechanically ensuring compliance to industry regulations like Sarbanes Oxley, 21 CFR part 11, and HIPAA.
- Proactive Support Automation refers to support automation solutions that minimize downtime and enable 24x7 availability. This is achieved by constant health check tracking with diagnostic procedures to enable issue monitoring and problem solving.
- Preemptive Support Automation refers to a support solution that utilizes information that is either generated or culled from an application or service, e.g. log files, database queries, configuration changes, etc. This information can then be exploited to predict service degradations or interruptions. The upshot of this is a higher level of service/application availability for the underlying application
- Self support automation is the term organizations give to their support structures that provide on-line libraries and tools for self-help and easy troubleshooting solutions to automatically and precisely diagnose and resolve problems and incidents.
- Assisted support automation is the software that enables support personnel to remotely access their customers desktop or server for diagnostics and trouble ticket resolution.
See also 
- Call center
- Customer service
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Help desk
- Run Book Automation (RBA)
- Technical support
- businessdictionary.com > customer support Retrieved Mars 2011