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How do you define tech support levels?

By TomSal ·
I've recently been asked by the VP of IS to formalize and document our entire IS staff's job descriptions and also he wants me to define what our levels of tech support are.

I realize most companies have support levels 1-3. 3 is usually meaning its the support issues that go to the senior support staff and 1 are handled most likely by junior level/entry level tech.

Is there an easy way or "trick" to determine what issues are at what level? For so long here I handled all support by myselffrom as simple to cleaning a mouse ball because the mouse wasn't tracking right to building servers with RAID controllers, SCSI controllers, redundant power supplies, etc and of course network design and administration tasks.

But now it appears to be that I'm being tasked with letting go of some of these roles to delegate them to new staff we are taking on in our department. As the IS manager in charge of the tech support functions, I need to have the criteria for tech support levels in writing. For whatever reason, I finding it hard to think in these terms. I've always looked at all issues as things I had to fix.

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Got this from TR

by Cactus Pete In reply to How do you define tech su ...

I did a quick search right here at TR and found what I think you're looking for:

http://tinyurl.com/gbqf

Let me know if this is what you're getting at.

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Multi-tier support

by timwalsh In reply to How do you define tech su ...

One of the advantages behind using a multi-tiered support model is that it allows you to put the experience and skills of your techs to maximum advantage.

When you're the only support person, obviously you do everything. Once you start building a support staff, this flat support model just doesn't make sense. It doesn't make much sense for you (with your numerous years of experience) to be talking a user through how to cut and paste, when the poor kid with 1 networking class under his beltis trying to troubleshoot the VPN.

Multi-tier support is about categorizing the problems that occur and assigning them to staff with the appropriate skills and level of experience.

While 3 tier support seems to be "standard" with many companies, there is no standard as such. Nor is there a "standard" definition for the various tiers. There is nothing that says you can't go with 2 tiers of support or 5. It really depends on the complexity of the applications/hardware you need to supportand the skill mix/experience level of your support staff.

The download that dpetrak pointed you to is one way of looking at categorizing support requests. It really depends on your particular situation.

If you only have a couple of really experienced techs, and the rest of the support staff are newbies/entry-level techs, it might make sense to go with only a 2-tier approach (Tier 1 being stuff that entry-level techs should be able to handle, and Tier 2 being every thing else).

It's up to you to provide definitions for the various tiers that make sense for your organization and what you have to work with.

Good Luck.

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variations

by Cactus Pete In reply to Multi-tier support

Tim is right about your situation dictating what is best for you.

When I was at Motorola, a large campus indeed, we had split support and basically a two tier approach:

The help desk would take the call, and if they could not remedy the issue at that point, would send the call to a specialist in that application.

Those were the tiers.

However, for minor or infrastructural problems, this might be sent to a mid-level tier which also ran the machine distribution part of the shop. [They were also the hardware people specialists, so it's just a somewhat more complicated two tier approach here.]

The key is that people talked to each other, and if the call was misplaced [for whatever reason], it was still handled.

There was a sompletely different support structure, though, for corporate executives [the officers]. They had their own person who would normally handle everything, from hardware installation to showing the corner office VP of whatever how to change the signature in Outlook.

Take the information you get and customize it to fit your company.

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EXCELLENT FEEDBACK THANKS!

by TomSal In reply to How do you define tech su ...

Your posts so far have been among the most on-target, useful advice I ever got asking a question on this site. I appreciate it guys. Your information has helped a lot.

Thanks.

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