Your friendly neighborhood Therap Customer Support Team was fortunate enough to be selected to be judges in the competition to become one of the 10 Best Web Support Sites of 2006.

This is a competition held annually by The Association of Support Professionals, a group which I am a member of. It’s a competition that we certainly hope to enter (and even win) in the future, but for now it was a great process to take part in, affording an opportunity to see what’s out there in terms of web based customer support.

Of course if you have any suggestions for how we could improve the support that we offer, we would love to hear from you.

Here’s what Jeff Tarter had to say about the awards:

The Association of Support Professionals (ASP) has announced the winners of its ninth annual “Ten Best Web Support Sites” competition, a prestigious award that showcases excellence in online service and support.

The 2006 winners include (in alphabetical order) eight Open Division entries—Dell, Hewlett-Packard Customer Care, Juniper Networks, Lucent Technologies, McAfee, Microsoft, Reuters, and RM. In addition, two companies—Made2Manage and think3—were named winners in the Small Company Division.

Microsoft and think3 were also named to the ASP’s Web Support Hall of Fame, which honors sites that have been named among the “Ten Best” for at least four years. Other Hall of Fame sites include Cisco, Cognos, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard ITRC, and Symantec.

The award winners were selected by a panel of judges with expertise in Web support design and implementation, using a s coring system based on 25 separate performance criteria. The evaluation process covers the following areas:

  • Overall usability, design, and navigation
  • Knowledgebase and search implementation
  • Interactive features
  • Personalization
  • The major site development challenge

With the help of any of the top web design companies you will be able to set up your presence from scratch and some will show you how to maintain it while you can pay others to maintain it for you.

The ten winning sites will be profiled in a book called “The Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2006,” to be published by the ASP in June.

“The diversity of this year’s winners is a striking indication of how widely the Web support model has spread,” says ASP executive director Jeffrey Tarter. “We have winners whose customers range from relatively inexperienced consumers to high-end enterprise systems managers, and whose products cost anywhere from a few dollars to millions of dollars. Yet in all these market segments, technology companies have found that high-quality online support appeals to users and generates real customer loyalty. It’s getting hard to imagine a customer segment where the Web isn’t becoming the preferred way to deliver support.”

The Association of Support Professionals is an international membership organization for customer support managers and professionals. In addition to its annual “Ten Best” awards, the ASP publishes research reports on a wide range of support topics, including support compensation, services marketing, and fee-based support.

:: Justin