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Tech Support

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June 1, 2011 4:07:11 AM

First off I'd like to say that yes, I probably shouldn't be posting this here. It's just that the "Work & Education" section seems pretty dead and that I happen to see a lot of tech support workers around this part of the forum (and I figure more of those people will see this if I post here). So please don't hate me if this is in the wrong place :p 

Anyways, I just put in an application at a tech support firm (a 3rd party organisation that contracts with wireless electronics companies like Motorola to provide customer service). The position is for a phone-based tech support provider; it's basically a big hub where customer calls go.

I'm not exactly the most experienced person, but my sister (even less experienced than myself) managed to land a job there, so I figure I should give it a try. The place is like 200 miles away (I live in the middle of nowhere), so I want my interview to go smoothly (so that the 400 mile round trip isn't just a waste of time).

Anyways, here's the crux of this post: are there any tech support specialists out there that can give me some tips for my interview? I'll have to answer a few (something like 2 or 3) test phone calls to see if I'd deal with customers properly. How should I react on these calls? What'll I do if I get an irate customer or something like that? What can I do to make a good impression and maximize my chances of getting this job?

I'd appreciate any advice. Even if it's just interview/job-hunting advice in general. Thanks, TH forum. You guys always helpful :D 

More about : tech support

a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2011 6:44:14 AM

Can't give you tech support advice man, but general phone worker info I can manage

Open every call with a positive greeting, 'Good morning' etc, the company name, and yours
Be polite to the 'customer' at all times even if they get narky
Assess the problem and if unsure of details, ask for clarification
If you can deal with the issue yourself, do so, thats your primary function after all
If not, decide how best to proceed, refer to supervisor, transfer to different dept etc,
You would be inducted for a few days anyway to familiarise you with procedures and if your sister already works there, ask her for the lowdown, you have an inside contact right there man, use it to your advantage
I know its not much, but hopefully some tech sector workers will chip in and help you too, hope it goes well for you
Moto
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June 1, 2011 6:48:18 AM

Thanks for the advice, Moto. I appreciate it :D  Apparently the company will hire on a group of people and then fire off anyone who isn't doing well by the end of the training period (2 weeks). Haha, I'll be thinking of your advice when I'm trying to stay afloat XD

I just talked to my sister and she says the test is just listening to a recording and answering some multiple choice (whew, I can handle that :)  ). Anybody else have some phone-support advice?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2011 4:30:34 PM

Hehe, trust jsc to inject a little humour :) 
reminds me of my research machines days, when teachers (The people responsible for childrens education) used to send computers back because the coffee cup holder stopped working.....
Moto
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June 1, 2011 9:50:11 PM

Haha. Maybe tech support is gonna be more frustrating than I thought XD

Nice link, jsc. Also, coffee cup holder? Mine stopped working when I switched to a laptop :D 

But still, I'm open to any advice that's floating around :) 
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Best solution

June 1, 2011 11:01:39 PM

I used to be in the phone-based help desk. I hated every day, but I sucked it up (ie, don't complain) as it's a good way to get your foot in the door for a tech career in an economy like this. If you're competent, professional, don't act like you're a super awesome know-it-all and are decent at keeping your mouth shut, then things may start getting better. My old employer started taking me out to meet with clients during business lunches as a kind of show and tell of the type of people they have picking up the phone. I didn't say much and got tasty free lunches to boot.

At my old work the main things we would look for in a potential employee were:
1. Reliability, people regularly wouldn't show up to work since it's an entry level tech job that sucks, past employment refference will cover this nicely.
2. Friendliness, as most troubleshooting is predetermined for the first level of support. So handling an irate customer is better than knowing every in and out of troubleshooting. You'll most likely be filling out a checklist to pass up to a different tier of support if the base troubleshooting doesn't solve the issue. Troubleshooting competency is good to get promotions though.
3. Typing Skills, we had to log tickets for every call. They don't want someone unavailable to take a call because they are too busy typing out the ticket from the last call. You need to be able to talk and type at the same time to keep your time at work 90% on the phone.
4. Flexibility, you need to cover for people who didn't show up. I at least got overtime pay.

I did that for 8 months and was able to jump ship to a better job (more than double the money, 3 weeks paid vacation and benefits) handling tech support for an office. Although the tech support phone monkey job sucked it lead to better jobs.

Now I'm a developer making web apps. Don't get infected by the standard tech support attitude as it'll hold you back. If you got a decent head on your shoulders, you'll see what I mean once you land the phone support job.
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June 2, 2011 4:48:49 PM

Well, thanks for the advice, all. Due to problems, I can't work at the place that I applied for, but I like to think I can use this advice elsewhere.

Peace out :D 
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June 2, 2011 4:49:24 PM

Best answer selected by guitarjanitor.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2011 6:38:04 PM

Sorry to hear of the issues man, but all the best for future employment prospects :) 
Moto
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