Customer Support, Communication and Professionalism
Job Roles and Responsibilities
PC Support Technician – Works on-site, closely interacting with users and is responsible for PC maintenance
PC Service Technician – Goes to Customer site in response to a service call and possibly repairs a PC
Bench or Depot Technician – Works on a lab environment, might not interact or have very limited contact with users
Help-Desk Technician – Provides telephone or online support
Traits of a competent technician:
Positive Attitude, Own the Problem, Dependable, Honest, Professional, Accountable and Respect the work and clients
Use proper language and speak clearly – avoid jargon, acronyms and slang when applicable
Listen and do not interrupt a customer
Be culturally sensitive
Be on time (If late contact the customer)
Avoid distractions (personal calls, talking with co-workers while interacting with customers and personal interruptions)
Avoid arguing with customers and/or being defensive
Do not minimize customers’ problems
Avoid being judgmental
Clarify customer statements (Ask open-ended questions to narrow the scope of the problem)
Restate the issue or question to verify understanding
Set and meet expectations/timeline and communicate status with the customer
Offer different repair/replacement options if applicable
provide documentation on the services provided
Follow up with customers/users later to verify satisfaction
Deal appropriately with customers’ confidential materials (Located on computer, desktop, printer, laptop, etc.)
Do the right thing
Deal with customers professionally
Help desk and Service Desk Skills (Communication, Technical and Business Understanding)
A help desk is a central point of contact that provides technical support to clients.
Service Desk (More extended services)
Service Desk Structures (Local, Central, Virtual and 24/7 Follow the Sun)
Tools and Software (Use for tracking and documenting issues, incidents and problems for better resolution and support)
BMC Remedy, HP Open View, ITIL, LAN Desk, and FAQ
A call center is typically a large collection of support people located in a common facility use to provide support
Three types of Computer Level Support
- Level-one support (tier 1) is the initial technical support contact. This is typically made with technical support from a help desk, Web site, or call center. Most problems can be corrected at this level.
- Level-two support (tier 2) is when the problem is elevated to a person with more experience or expertise than the first person contacted. While level-one support handles most problems, the person at level one typically answers technical support questions from cue cards or a software program that has answers available for the most common customer problems and questions. (Networking and High Level Technician resides at these levels)
- Level-three support (tier 3) is typically provided outside the immediate technical support location. For example, a third-party company, such as Microsoft and IBM, provides level-three support when a problem cannot be solved locally by level-one or level-two support. (Developer and Programmers resides at these levels)
Customer support is often outsourced to a company that specializes in technical support. (Cost & Expertise are the main reason)
Body Language (Phone support especially)
Body language and mannerisms can say more than the spoken word and reveal your true feelings.
Handling Difficult Situations
When a client is angry and upset, they will vent their emotions toward the person who represents the company or problem. Dealing with difficult people requires patience and composure. Do not take complaints personally.
Never react to a difficult customer, but rather listen and respond with empathy.
When not able to solve the problem escalate to someone who can help you.
Escalation Functional (expertise) or Vertical (management)
Empathy means that you show by your words that you understand the other person’s feelings and their situation. There is likely always a situation that would warrant a statement like, “I can understand how this problem is frustrating you.”
Is the Customer Always Right?
There is a very old business saying: “The customer is always right.” Well, this is true most of the time, but there are times when this motto just doesn’t apply. When the customer or client wishes you to do something unethical or illegal, they are wrong. If they become verbally and physically abusive escalate to proper channels.
Incident Management (Restore normal service due to interruption ASAP)
Problem Management (Root Cause) Diagnosis and Investigation
Change Management (RFC Request for Change) Password reset etc Normal, Standard and Emergency Change
Request Fulfillment Management – Handles Service requests which are not incidents
Access Management – Privileges, Permissions and Rights
Event Management – Monitoring of Events
Release and Deployment Management – Handles releases and use for testing, building and validation
Service Level Management – Handles relationships with customers
Incident Response and Documentation
First Responders, Documentation, Chain of Custody and Secure Evidence
SLA – Service Level Agreement specifies how clients and support personnel are to interact, what to expect from each other, and timeframes for the resolution of issues.
Typical SLA contains (Contact tech support, response time, services provided, escalation problem etc.)
Closure happens when the customer is satisfied with the outcome
Workaround (Temporary Fix)
Known Errors (Solution to a known error put in KEDB)
Metrics (KPI Key Performance Indicators)
A follow-up helps to build a good relationship with the customer or client.
Teamwork is two or more people working toward a common goal.
Software Federal Copyright of 1976
Was designed in part to protect software copyrights by requiring that only legally obtained copies of software