Technology permeates most facets of personal, business and institutional life. From the advancements, customers have more communication, business and personal use options. Sources of information appear instantaneously. With a digital or technology-based world comes sometimes difficult to understand features or breakdowns. In need of answers, customers turn to technical support representatives. The following description of duties, skills, qualifications and career outlook explains how they ensure customers – as much as possible — the full benefits of the technology and can find employment in the digital and technology world.
What Does a Technical Support Representative Do?
Through the talents of a technical support representative, companies hope to retain customers and avoid refund requests for and bad reviews of a product or service. To accomplish these objectives for their companies, technical support representatives draw from the worlds of customer service and modern technology to provide answers to frustrated customers.
Technical Support Representative Job Description for Resume– Responsibilities
- Answer calls, emails or messages from customers with service problems or questions
- Assist customers with troubleshooting technical problems
- Offer solutions customer can attempt for standard or simple issues
- Refer customers with more complex questions and problems to higher-level technical support staff
- Schedule in-person service visits to address repairs and replacements of equipment
- Log questions and comments from customers and by representatives
- Record reasons for calls, problem or issue presented, resolutions and referrals
- Follow-Up with customer on use of service and whether problems resurface
- Explain functions and uses of products and services to consumers and owners
In call centers, representatives initially present scripted solutions for internet connectivity issues, loss of signals or other problems. If those fail, the representative may escalate, or send the issue to more advanced technicians.
Technical Support Representative Job Essential Skills
Communication. Listening is a significant part of communication for a support representative. To know what solutions to suggest, the representative must understand the customer’s concerns or problems. Communication skills also include the ability to explain the product, system, service and potential solutions without highly technical or scientific jargon. Representatives use oral or type-written methods, the latter often including real-time web chats or instant messaging.
Interpersonal. As customers experience frustrations from service interruptions or malfunctions, representatives must exercise patience and calm. During the call or encounter, the representative must exhibit willingness to solve the problem or the customer may demand a refund and take his or her business elsewhere.
Problem-Solving. At the heart of the technical support representative job description lies solving problems. This skill encompasses the ability to analyze possible or likely causes of the technical problem and knowledge of the item or service. With a proper understanding of the issue, the representative can determine whether a scripted or simple solution is possible or whether the customer should be referred to another representative or section. In technical support, problem-solving may require “trial and error.”
Technical. Representatives must have basic knowledge and familiarity with the services or products and the technology that makes them possible. For those in computer, smart phone and tablet companies, this includes a grasp of operating systems, network connections, applications and features.
How to Become a Technical Support Representative
The technical support representative job description combines technical knowledge, especially in computers, digital technology and telecommunications, with superior customer service. Job applicants can build a background in customer service and technology through education, training and prior work that focuses on these concepts.
Education & Training
Normally, call center technical support representatives need no more than a high school diploma to meet the educational requirements. For those who operate in the field with customers, an associate’s degree in computer science or related disciplines is more likely a prerequisites. Some employers, especially those providing technical support to industrial and commercial outfits, might even prefer on-site technical support representatives to hold even a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Employers may train their call-center support representatives. The sessions cover the types of products and services offered by the company. For example, a representative for a cable company usually learns the channel packages, internet service and speed tiers and the features of equipment provided for the customer. In training, the representative memorizes or otherwise grasps a commanding knowledge of scripted solutions.
Candidates for technical support representative positions should have prior work in customer service, especially fielding telephone calls or instant messages. Experience as a receptionist, sales associate or clerk or in call centers taking payments or orders should help representatives find jobs.
Employers may also seek those who have worked in computer, electronic, telecommunications or related fields. This experience may include jobs that require or involve the use of computer applications, hardware or particular types of operating systems and configuring internet connections, security or networks.
Technical support representatives log full-time hours. In call-centers, shifts may last between eight and twelve hours. Representatives who make on-site service visits also have similar work windows.
Many call-centers, especially the ones affording basic-level support, operate around the clock. As a result, representatives in these settings have the prospect of nights, weekends as some holidays. For more advanced support technicians, shifts may be limited to weekdays or to normal business hours.
The schedules often depend on the company and the availability of workers, especially where a customer may need a support representative to come to the home or workplace. For larger companies, even on-site technicians may visit on the weekends as customers spend more time at home and use devices during those periods away from work.
With wireless and internet technology, many representatives who don’t staff call centers can work remotely from their offices or even homes. Remote support representatives can “see” into computers to diagnose and make changes on computers.
With consumers, businesses and other organizations relying on technology, technical support representatives will see a strong demand for their services. Internet technology downtime, caused by outages or viruses, costs businesses approximately $700 billion per year. Service interruptions require expenditures to fix problems and can drive away revenue generators, such as sales, for businesses. Consumers use smart phones, tablets and computers to pay bills, shop, apply for jobs and communicate with families, acquaintances, friends and others.
Some firms may slow hiring of call center technical support representatives to reduce operating costs. These jobs have either been exported oversees or are filled in regions of the United States with lower labor costs. Certain companies may establish databases, frequently asked question links or other resources for customers to troubleshoot on their own. These devices, sometimes the product of customer relations management software, may replace some call-center workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer user support specialists should climb by 75,100, or 13 percent, through 2024.
Technical support representatives should see solid employment prospects, especially away from call-centers. Those who perform service calls at businesses or homes may have associates or bachelor’s degrees and deliver a higher-level of support and repair service than those in call facilities. Representatives who serve non-residential customers may have to solve issues that can affect a broader array of people who rely on the business or institution.
Across the board, technical support should remain in strong demand as customers of all types seek the benefits of living in a digital and highly technical environment.