Tesco-owned technical support firm Tesco Tech Support is to provide shoppers with pre-sales advice on its home technology range.

Tesco has signed a deal with software supplier RightNow to deploy its customer relationship management system and will open a contact centre later this year. The grocer will then explore providing support through the web and in stores.

Tesco Tech Support managing director Rod Brown told Retail Week the move is part of a long-term plan to improve support to Tesco customers buying more complex and technical products.

Tesco bought IT support service The PC Guys in November 2007 and during last year extended the original concept by transforming the business into Tesco Tech Support.

Initially, Tesco will use the customer relationship management system to track customer interactions by telephone and email at the contact centre, and to create a knowledge base of information on products and frequently asked questions.

Tesco Tech Support wants to extend the use of the RightNow system to a web self-service system for customers, and for staff in Tesco stores. The company will also investigate introducing web chat so customers can connect with contact centre staff while online.

Brown said using the same system for all channels will allow customers to receive joined-up service. “We want to give the same advice in different channels,” he said. “If the customer wants to give us a unique identifier, the agent in the contact centre can see that a customer has already enquired in a store.”

Contact centre staff will update the knowledge base as they answer new questions. Brown said that he wants to ensure these staff are as qualified to deal with these types of enquiries as possible.