Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends
Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
With technology such as remote control applications hitting the market, tech support and customer service roles can increasingly be performed remotely by anyone with the right skills, a computer, a phone line and a reliable Internet connection.
Is tech support or customer service the web working career for you?
Types of Tech Support and Customer Service Careers
Tech support and customer service jobs don’t just involve working directly with customers using a product or service. Brian Roberts of nesaru consulting, for example, acts as the focal point for communications between his clients and their U.S. customers, service centers, sales groups, distributors.
Here are three general careers in tech support and customer service:
Customer service: Provides support for products and services including set up, repair, training, distribution and other logistics.
Tech support: Solves technical problems, remove malware, and provide help with applications. Jobs may involve specializing in several areas, depending on the business and its products or services.
Trainer: Show users how to use business applications. Training may be included in the responsibilities of someone working in tech support or customer service. In addition to offering tech support to clients, tech “go to” guy and WebWorkerDaily writer Scott Blitstein conducts training.
How to Qualify
Tech support pros often begin learning the job by taking care of their own computer problems and becoming the “go to” resource for family and friends. “I have been a technology innovator for almost 30 years. I love learning about new technology; it was fun to roll up my sleeves and learn about VoIP long before it was easy (like 10 years ago),” says F. Andy Seidl, president and co-founder of MyST Technology Partners, Inc.
In his role as founder and president of eSeMBe Technical Services, Scott Blitstein provides technical support services for clients. His experience comes from a combination of formal training, self-teaching and collaborating. “I do a lot of reading and internal testing to stay up to date and comfortable with current technology,” he says.
These jobs often involve interfacing directly with customers, so people skills matter. Managers often say they’d rather hire those with people skills first than those with tech support knowledge, because you can’t teach people skills. Another important trait is patience, as customers often feel frustrated or aggravated and take it out on the first representative they speak with from the company. Representatives not only deal with the physical problem of a product or service, but also the customer.
Tech Support and Customer Service Tools
People in this career rely on specific applications that help them review and identify problems. For example, computer tech support workers use remote control software such as LogMeIn, CrossLoop and NTRsupport Pro to access a customer’s PC to see and fix problems. Of course, a fast Internet connection is a must and headset comes in handy so you can free your hands for heavy-duty keyboarding and mousing. Customer support staff often also rely on a support ticketing app.
Word-of-mouth marketing continues to be the leader for lead generation in these fields. F. Andy Seidl finds his company’s primary sources for leads come from the company web site, and via resellers and value-added resellers (VARs).
Cold calling still works, as Brian Roberts attests, and so does face-to-face marketing. “We network a lot in international trade events to identify potential clients and have developed a community of companies and people with complementary skills and services we can offer to our clients,” says Roberts.
Would you consider a tech support or customer service career?
Photo credit: c ps