The need for providing additional information about products and services has always existed.
Yes, people have always wanted to know what color is this lamp available in and how to find the shoe number that will fit them perfectly. It’s just that, when they’d go into the store to buy something, it’s the salesperson providing the information.
However, when it comes to informational technology, it’s not enough to just visit a shop and buy a piece of employee monitoring software, for example. If something’s not right, if they’re not satisfied with it, or just don’t know how to use it - they’ll need help from a specialist.
This is where tech support comes into play.
Pretty much every company has a tech support department these days. But are you really sure yours is the best group of people for the job?
Types of Tech Support Skills
First, let’s consider what kind of skills tech support needs to have as a prerequisite for doing this job. It will also tell you what to pay attention to if you decide to implement software for monitoring computer usage of your employees.
Technical and Analytical Skills
Yes, it’s important to have an understanding of how electronic devices and software work, to be able to troubleshoot issues and to keep up with the latest developments in the field. But, soft skills play a part here as well and allow optimal effect.
Tech support must be:
- Able to learn new software and hardware
- Listen actively
- Access customer support needs
- Able to analyze technical issues
- Troubleshoot problems
- Identify process improvements
- Explain technical information clearly
- Redirect problems to appropriate resources.
In order to work efficiently, a tech support representative must have excellent organizational skills. It’s not just about having a clean desk, a coherent way of thinking and speaking is important too.
To some, it comes easier than others, but it can also be learned. Here are some of the tools and techniques:
- Employee productivity monitoring software
- Technical instructions and playbooks
- Help desk reporting systems
- Working quickly and efficiently
- Writing clear and comprehensive emails, messages, reports, etc.
- Employee time management software.
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Tech support people need to have extensive knowledge, but they also must be able to explain what they know in a cohesive manner. Showing some empathy for the person on the other side of the line won’t hurt matters either.
To achieve that, tech support must possess:
- Phone etiquette
- The ability to maintain composure
- Friendly demeanor
- People skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Conflict-resolution skills
- The ability to manage customer expectations
- Teamwork skills
- Stress management
- The ability to train customers to use technology.
Types of Tech Support People Personalities
No two people are the same (no matter what they say).
The bigger the number of people you employ, the bigger the number of different people that have to find a way to work together. If you are monitoring remote teams, software just for those purposes will come in handy.
But before you get to that, you need to make sure you’ve hired the best candidate. A good screening process is required in order to hire the right person - or in this case, someone who will be able to get along with team members and be productive at the same time.
To that effect, here are the four types of tech support workers that your team consists of.
The Script Readers
It’s the stereotypical tech support representative - answers the phone with a generic greeting, and starts parroting standard, scripted answers in a flat, dispassionate tone to a problem once it’s stated. While this may work for simple and uncomplicated customer issues, once the problem starts unraveling from what their script covers, they start repeating standard procedures, not solving problems, like they’re supposed to.
If you are monitoring employees, software like Workpuls will help you find this type of workers.
Managing tip: Although irritating to customers, this is not a sign of a bad tech support worker - only an inexperienced one. Nothing a week or two of training with a more experienced colleague can’t solve.
The Lazy Delegators
This type of tech support guys is why some companies require reading from pre-prepared scripts - they have no scripts (or don’t want to use them). Moreover, they have the complete freedom to solve a customer problem in their own way, but show a complete disinterest to do so. More often than not, that’s because they don’t actually know how - monitoring employees’ computers will give you a better picture of that.
Everything about them is slow. The way they talk, the way they don’t offer any solutions to customer problems. They speak reluctantly and offer shallow platitudes in response to customer increasing frustrations.
In the end, they anger the customers so much they either hang up the phone or demand to talk to the manager. The third option is that a team member steps in and does their job for them.
Managing tip: While it’s not shameful to lack knowledge of something, especially if the employee is new, it’s a serious problem if they are not willing to learn and put in the effort to at least try to solve a customer problem. If you find yourself with an underperforming employee in your team, you need to take a firm stand in order to deal with slackers properly.
In any case, should you want to know what they are doing, install an employees tracking app. After all, the tech support department is representing your company when the customers need your help the most, so they should always be at the top of their game.
The Relationship Builders
These employees are born to work with other people. No matter if they are dealing with a current bug or nervous customers, they possess troves of patience, calming presence, persuasion skills, positive attitude, and can even act a little bit. What they lack in technical knowledge, they make up for in relationship building skills.
Managing tip: Keep them, sit back, and let them do their magic. Every team needs relationship builders, so give them a little bit of autonomy to do their thing, and never let them go - any good employee monitoring system will suggest the same.
These guys are known as Silent Wizards, Problem Solvers, and Final Saviors. They usually know everything, but talk about it with a casual and sometimes even slightly disinterested tone.
They understand the problem better than anyone - sometimes you even get the impression that they’ve started analyzing the issue before it’s even been properly explained. Their full knowledge of company product or service, willingness to learn more and problem-solving mindset make them an absolute must have for every company.
Managing tip: Every company wants to have them, every employee wants to be valued as this tech support employee is. However, it’s important to make sure they have everything they need. They tend to be the silent types, so it’s for them to end up being overworked - pay attention to your employee activity monitor software to prevent that from happening. It’s up to the company and manager to give them space, time, financial incentive and corresponding appreciation to ensure their job satisfaction.
Note that these are four arbitrary tech support worker types most commonly found in modern day companies. It’s not unusual for managers to “classify” their employees into self-specified internal categories. This practice can be quite helpful to comprehend their differing needs and capabilities - and thus, successfully manage them.
This article was originally written on September 23rd, 2016 by Gina Ora. It was updated on June 15th, 2020 by Aleksandra Djordjevic.