Technical or tech support involves providing assistance to the customers with computer hardware, software, electronic and mechanical goods and services. Technical support generally aims at delivering technical support to the users to solve their specific problems with the product that they may have purchased from your company. The services do not include any training and customization or other similar services.
Sale of Spares
Technical support services are generally provided by the on-site technicians of the companies that sell hardware and software to the customers. These services are provided over the telephone or through the online media like email, live chatting, applications like instant messaging and faxes. The most common means of technical support is telephone and assistance by remote log-in to the networked computer equipment. The latest approach involves the use of Web 2.0 community based technical support sites where both the experts and guidance seekers interact with each other independently. Companies and institutions quite often provide the internal tech support for their employees, students and their business associates or franchises. Besides the tech support coming directly from the companies themselves, can also be availed from the tech support forums on the internet where many good Samaritans are only too happy to volunteer help for the novices. There are private enterprises which provide fee based services such as Geek by Minute whose services are available round the clock.
The Scope of Technical Support
Technical support depends on various factors and possibilities. Sometimes the ordinary technicians in the field may not be able to provide the complicated and higher level of support. In such cases, the company experts have to be approached through telephone, SMS and fax where basic software problems can be addressed through direct questions. A remote controlled technical support can also be provided over the internet.
Cost of the Technical Support
The cost of the technical support varies from company to company. While some companies offer limited free support when their hardware or software is purchased, others charge by premium rate telephone calls. There are Annual Maintenance contract services as well.
Computer Technical Support
If you have purchased a personal computer, its accessory, a hardware or software, you may need technical support to fix it. Or, your existing machine may develop some functional glitches for which you may need technical support. Some technical services providers offer free services to generate good will and popularity while others provide free guidance and service if you purchase any soft ware or hardware from them.
Technical Support through Internet
Since internet has made the online purchases of computer goods and services easier from the comfort of your home, it makes sense to seek technical computer support on the Internet too since the scope for the availability of such services is much wider on the net than in your local area. If you have time to browse through the net, you are most likely to be rewarded with very competitive or even free computer technical support. There are thousands of computer related sites that offer tips, tricks, tutorials, glossaries, computer acronyms, definitions and articles that can assist you to understand your operating system and get over the problem.
Why Free Technical Support?
Some computer related sites offer special FAQ pages to answer questions regarding problems such as Window's Vista System Restore feature, computer security, viruses, firewalls, slow speeds, hang outs, clean installation of Windows Vista, installing home network, configuring a network card, partitioning a hard drive and offer technical support. They benefit by selling their goods by offering free technical advice. The customers too benefits by getting free technical consultation and support through tutorials, articles and one-to-one basis. These sites also host technical support forums where the moderators and members exchange notes or offer help based on their own experiences on troubleshooting. The customers may have to make payments for more complicated cases requiring specialists' attention. These sites also offer downloads for a wide variety of free software and DLL files and ask only for voluntary donations.
Online Technical Support
Online technical support, sometimes also called online help desk is an information and assistance resource that troubleshoots the computers' and their hardware and software problems. The big corporations quite often provide online technical support to their customers through their toll free telephone numbers, live internet chats or emails. There is a log-in provision for the regular customers whereby they can log into their accounts by entering their customer ids and passwords.
How does the System Work?
The company's online technical support system carries out multifarious functions. It is a central point for the customers to receive assistance on various computer problems. The complaints are recorded and tracked through software such as an incident tracking system. This facility provides each customer with a unique ticket number that details the problem and enables him to track the action taken upon his complaint. This is also called the local bug tracker. Generally this facility provides complaint registration and redressal services round the clock. This software is an extremely useful tool as it can locate, analyze and eliminate common technical problems in the company's computing environment.
Levels of Technical Support
If the first level examination of the problem succeeds in solving the problem, the ticket is closed and updated with the record of the problem and its solution is sent to other technicians for reference. If the issue cannot be resolved at the first level, it is referred to the higher level technicians and engineers for their intervention.
Benefits of online Technical Support
Online technical support is not only beneficial to the customers who can seek it without any delay or hassle, it provides the much needed feedback to the company on the functionality of their devices and the capability of their technical staff in tackling the problems related to their products. Online technical support services provide a platform for the company to earn good will of their customers through helpful interaction with them. They can monitor the user environment in respect of technical issues, user preferences and their satisfaction. The data gathered through the online technical support system can be a valuable asset in planning for product development and sales promotion.
Technical Support Specialist
A computer has become an integral part of our everyday life. We have computers in our homes, schools and offices. Since a computer too is a machine, it quite often fails to work sending the user into delirious frenzy. The hard drive may crash or the computer is hanged out due to viruses. The explosion in the use of computers has created a huge demand for technical support specialists to provide assistance to the users n their day-to-day administration, maintenance and network support.
Functions of a Technical Support Specialist
A technical support specialist is the troubleshooter who receives the customers' complaints, analyses them by using the automated diagnostic programs, interprets them and provides support for hardware, software and systems. Usually a technical support specialist works within the company that uses the computer systems or directly for the computer hardware and software vendor. Sometimes he works for technical support services companies on contract basis.
He usually works on monitors, keyboards, printers and installs, modifies, cleans and repairs compute hardware and software. He may also be required to write training manuals and train the users about how to use their new hard and software. He also evaluates the software programs in respect of their usefulness. He is a conduit to receive feedback from the customers about the company's products and services.
A technical support specialist normally works in well-lighted, air-conditioned and comfortable environment in offices or computer laboratories. He has to work usually 40 hours every week, though overtime work may also be sometimes necessary. He may be required to visit the customer's workplace for hands-on solutions, or, may provide assistance online through chats or emails.
Since a wide range of skills is required for maintenance and updating of the computers, there are many ways to work as a technical support specialist. A bachelor's degree in computer science or information is considered an essential qualification for some jobs. In some jobs even an associate degree may work. A practical work experience is provides an additional value to the college degree.