Technical support representatives, also known as tech support reps, are responsible for providing customer service to individuals or companies and helping them troubleshoot technical difficulties. Technical support representatives can vary in location, but many work in call centers. Those who take incoming calls assist customers in resolving problems with their computers, Internet, phones, networks, etc. Other technical support representatives not in call centers may visit the customer directly or communicate via chat or e-mail to troubleshoot specific problems. Technical supports representatives are concerned with two important tasks: excellent customer service and problem solving. They should be polite and helpful in dealing with all clients and must be able to communicate with them effectively to solve each technical issue. Technical support representatives of the call center variety must also be able to type while speaking to the customer in order to document the interaction.
Technical support representatives who work in call centers often work with a scripted list of solutions. At the very least, they receive comprehensive training. Therefore, for call center technical representatives, degrees are not usually required past a high school diploma, although customer service experience is often preferred. Other than that, proficient computer skills are mandatory, as well as quality written and verbal communication skills. Technical support representatives who are not in call centers, however, may need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in computer science and a higher computer proficiency than call center workers.
Both types of technical support representatives work indoors and the work is purely mental. They must be prepared to offer multiple solutions to a single problem and must be ready to deal with frustrated customers or clients. They may work long hours, with some call center tech support reps working up to 12-hour shifts. They can also work weekends, nights, overtime and sometimes even be on-call. Non-call center technical support representatives who go to the client or work with them remotely should be prepared to travel.
Technical Support Representative Tasks
- Guide customers through the installation and updating of software and hardware.
- Escalate complex problems to appropriate staff member or department.
- Help customers identify and resolve problems with products by phone, through e-mail, or in person.