Technical Support Representative: Job Description, Salary, Skills
People experiencing tech-related difficulties with hardware or software depend on technical support representatives to make things right. If you’re a good problem-solver who enjoys interacting with others, a position as a tech support rep could prove ideal.
Here’s a look at what technical support reps do and how to become one.
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Technical Support Job Description
Tech support reps troubleshoot customer tech problems. They resolve issues related to computers, phones, tablets, modems, internet, networks, software, and the like. To that end, they perform tasks such as:
- Answering customer questions to learn about their situation
- Asking questions to get a better idea of what might be wrong
- Diagnosing and providing clear advice on what the user can do to solve their problem
- Logging information about the correspondence into the company’s system to keep a record of actions
- Maintaining composure and a positive attitude during difficult situations
- Knowing when it’s time to pass the customer to a supervisor, repair expert, or another appropriate team member for further assistance
Desirable Skills for Tech Support Representatives
Tech problems frustrate customers. Good tech support reps sympathize with the issues customers may have. They remain calm and display a positive, can-do attitude that reassures the customer that the company cares and that you will help them solve their problem.
Besides being compassionate listeners, tech support reps need the ability to think through problems. When one path doesn’t work, they must continue to analyze the situation and try other routes. Developing a solid knowledge of the product and issues that commonly arise proves valuable.
Tech support reps also should possess adequate typing and data entry skills. Organizations depend on their reps to keep timely, accurate documentation of interactions with customers.
Requirements vary by employer and by the complexity of the problems tech support reps in a particular position are expected to handle. Some tech support roles aren’t particularly “technical,” in that some reps follow a scripted list of questions and solutions. These kinds of roles may only require a high school diploma.
More technical roles, such as those that troubleshoot computer issues, may require an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s in information technology, computer science, or similar field. While there may still be scripts for the support rep to follow, an understanding of the underlying technology is helpful and often required.
Regardless of the specific role or level of education a tech support rep has, anyone interested in a tech support representative position should expect to undergo on-the-job training. This preparation allows reps to learn the ins and outs of the organization’s products and what types of customer inquiries are likely to arise.
Tech Support Salary and Career Path
Tech support representatives earn a median salary of about $37,000. At many organizations, serving as a tech support rep acts as a springboard to higher positions as technical prowess and thorough knowledge of the company’s products increases.
Work Environment and Flexibility
Tech support reps often work in call centers or from home and report directly to a tech department supervisor or shift manager. Some may travel to deal with a client’s situation on-site.
Because companies want to be available to help customers whenever they experience problems, opportunities frequently exist to work non-traditional hours. Job seekers may be able to find early morning, evening, and weekend shifts that suit their needs.
Use FlexJobs to Find a Technical Support Job Today
The FlexJobs database contains a variety of listings for technical support representatives. Recent opportunities include providing assistance for florists using industry software, troubleshooting customer high-speed internet problems for a telecommunications company, and offering tech support to organizations that use a website designed to match kids with online summer camps and classes.
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