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The MOST Important Person In any technical organization
Most Tech. Support people do not think their position is IMPORTANT. This is completely wrong. Tech Support and IT personnel are THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE in any organization that must deal with problems about their products or procedures. These people must have the ability to communicate effectively with the people they are talking (CHAT) with and must ascertain their level of expertise of the person they are dealing with. SO many Tech Support people have a "Canned FORMAT" they use when attempting to assist a person that is asking for support. This "CANNED FORMAT" in most cases has nothing to do with the problem that is being or will be presented. Tech Support personell are NOT sales person's and IF someone has a problem they certainly do not wish to have someone sells them a product. This degrades the effectiveness from the very beginning. Find out what the person knows before you insult their intelligence. There are THREE (3) CATAGORIES of people using Tech Support. ONE - (1) - The person that does not have a clue on what is happening or any knowledge of how they arrived where they are or how to get back and can barely turn their equipment on and off PROPERLY. This type of people must be lead STEP BY STEP through a process that is both problem solving and educational. TWO-(2) - The person that has a general working knowledge of what is going on, however; probably has not read any instructions, manuals, or been online to the "Knowledge Bases" of "SELF HELP". They fancy themselves as a "pretty savvy operator". This is probably the most difficult person to deal with and this is where the "Soft Skills" come into play. YOU must be able to (in a manner of speaking) tell him he is an "IDIOT" and make him like it or you will never be able to assist him in his problem(s). Other words - YOU MUST BE SMARTER THAN HE THINKS HE IS BUT NOT LET HIM KNOW IT. THREE(3) - This person has expert knowledge in certain area's and may or may not have Certifications in many area's of computer's and software. IF you start treating him as you have the first two - you will lose him and either make him mad or your boss will hear from him about YOUR inability to give good Tech Support. Most cases this type of person can be found out by asking them to describe their problem (as you should ask the other's also) and at this point in time you should be able to ascertain APPROXIMATELY what knowledge he has about the area's they are requesting assistance. The BIGGEST MISTAKE ANYONE IN TECH SUPPORT CAN MAKE IS TO 'UNDER ESTIMATE" the person they are attempting to assist. YOU can always back up in your assessment of a person, BUT you will never be able to go forward from treating someone as an IDIOT that is an engineer, designer or worst of all another Tech Support person or IT professional.