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Starting a new tech support job


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#1
PineyCreek

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It appears that I will be starting a job at Edited to protect user with their technical support department, more specifically, the Resolution Expert Center. This is an upper level queue that customers get sent to when the regular people can't hack it. This is only for desktops, laptops, and the like, but I can't help but wonder if I can handle it. I've done technical support before, but never in a call center environment. They say they'll train me, and I am working on an A+ Certification, but I have to confess that I'm always a bit nervous when put into a new situation.

What I'm looking for is advice...constructive advice. Anything about attitudes and behavior, typical customer complaints and issues, and what the best escape plan is when you have no clue what the customer is talking about. Fortunately, I think the last point has already been taken care of. I will be at the first level, and I can escalate it if I am unable to help.

So...yeah...advice. I'd like to keep the job and rapidly get accommodated, but I'd like to stay sane as well.

:tazz:

Edited by ScHwErV, 20 October 2005 - 01:36 PM.

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#2
NullWolf

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1. Tylenol and caffeine are your friends.
2. Most call centers will give you scripted or canned responses for most issues (especially when you're working for the call center and not directly through the company).
3. I've heard good things about Dell's training. A few years ago when I worked at Bleep, basically same kinda outsourced place like Bleep, they had a Dell contract, and most of the people are basically picked up off the street, ran through 1-2 weeks training, shadow another tech rep (listen in on their phone, ask ?s after called etc...), then are placed on the phones themselves.
4. Attitude: Don't take anything the customer says personally. It can be hard sometimes, I've seen techs on the verge of tears because of a nasty customer on the phone. No matter how irate the customer gets with you, always be polite. And depending on the company policies, if they curse / swear, you'll normally give them 1-3 warnings, then terminate the call.

Dress as comfortably as possible, while remaining within any rules required by your employer. Dress for what is comfortable for you. (Just because I have to wear a tie and collared shirt, doesn't mean I can't wear my hawaiian shirts and dragon ties...)

BTW, I hope you didn't sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement), or you may be in violation of it by saying

Got this too

.
MOST of the big companies require NDA's when they outsource their support.


Almost forgot:
Use the Knowledge-bases provided and when you can't find the answer there, Google it.

Edited by ScHwErV, 20 October 2005 - 01:38 PM.

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#3
dsenette

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first... NullWolf...i'm supprised your first bit of advice wasnt "Don't"...but yeah...the more you work it the better it will get...i'm not quite in the same position..but...my current job is as a network administrator (should be read THE ONLY network administrator) for my current company....i've never ever worked as a proffession in this field...first job...right out of the can....NO idea what i'm doing.....but...it makes sense after a while....just stick with it and if you don't know the answer...ask until you find someone who does.
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#4
PineyCreek

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Thanks for editing my post. Someone might want to edit the second post to remove the company's name completely. However, from a legal standpoint, I'm still good. I didn't sign the NDA until after I posted that :D
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#5
officeguru

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I spent 14 years at various help desks, part of the time as a supervisor and I found that attitude is very important. Don't look at customers as being adversaries. Here are some other suggestions:

1) Don't try to bluff if you don't know the answers. As stated in another post - ASK!
2) Take good notes so that when you get the same call again you will know the answer.
3) Don't depend on your memory! Find out if the ticket system you are using has search capabilities. If so, you won't need as many notes.
4) Make sure that you are complete in filling out your tickets so you can use the information again. Make sure spelling is correct. Be specific in the problem and in the resolution (I hate seeing 'resolved' in the Resolution field)
5) Look at every call as a challenge not as a bother.
6) Find a couple of message boards (including this one) that you can link to in a hurry. If you are doing a lot of MSOffice support, they have a wonderful board at http://www.microsoft...us/default.mspx (sorry guys but this one's a bit thin in that regard; your strengths are in other areas that I appreciate)

When I was doing the hiring we looked more for people skills than technical skills. You can teach the tech skills but it's a lot more difficult to teach someone how to handle people.

After 5 years out of the HD environment, I am starting a new job as a HD person (not supervisory) next month. I share some of your anxieties since the IT world has changed during the time I was unemployed/doing other things. I will try to practice what I just preached. Good luck - to both of us!

Suzan
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#6
officeguru

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Forgot one other thing: I disagree with the poster regarding the canned scripts. They are frustrating to the caller when you're asking him/her to do things they've already tried because you have to do things in a certain order. If you must used them, try and learn what they're about and use your own words when trying to figure out the problem and resolution. And, if you have to turn pages, for heaven's sake do it quietly so that the caller doesn't know you're looking for something. Your credibility gets shot!

You'll be fine. Know why? Because you're worried. If you weren't concerned, you'd probably bomb!

/s
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#7
dsenette

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i agree guru.....the last time i had to call dell for a personal problem...i got the best tech support guy i've ever had.....i knew he was looking at a script...but...not only did he listen to me...but he wasn't just reading the paper in front of him...he was very good at paraphrasing and making me feel like h e really knew what was going on....he had a lot of funny jokes...and just a great personality....

i find that the only tech support that i can't stand is the kind where they sound like they have no idea what they are doing...and when they read off the script word for word and don't listen to you...you just feel like they don't care about your problem..

like the time it took me 45 minutes to convince the lady my power supply was dead..and that i knew what i was talking about "what happens when you press the power button" nothing...the psu is dead " ok well boot the machine up and go to the event viewer" THE PSU IS DEAD I CAN"T BOOT!!
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#8
ScHwErV

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Just remember that there are a lot of people out there that know more than you and you will be fine.

The thing I hate most, even more than that scripting (which I dont like either), is someone who acts like they know what they are talking about and try to tell me I am wrong. If I call tech support, its only to get very specific information or to get replacement parts. I have already done all the outside research I can do and have never had a phone tech tell me something I didnt know.

Phone tech support for people like me is the very last resort, the faster you learn which people are like me and which people dont know how to turn on a computer, the happier you will be.

ScHwErV :tazz:
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#9
FreddieKrugerGuy

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The only advice I can give you is Do The Best You Can and don't let ANYONE piss you off about anything!

FKG
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#10
don77

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A bit off topic here but this partcular quote speaks volumes in all aspects of life

the faster you learn which people are like me and which people dont know how to turn on a computer, the happier you will be.


I oversee millions of square feet of commercial property. In general it takes about 3 or 4 question to know who and what ability Im dealing with.

With that said I know my limits and If I don't know, I don't pretend to, People will respect you more if your honest,

There is an old saying " " want to be smart ? hang around smart people"
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#11
Pi rules

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Like the others said: listen to the customer, don't pretend to know more than you do, etc.

Canned speaches are OK, but don't just read them word for word. You could paraphrase, and just look at it for ideas. It's easier to explain it if you know it, so you may want to read, and possibly memorize some of them so you can help the person faster.

And please don't try to make the person go through troubleshooting steps they already did on their own (if they told you), or try to tell them to turn on their computer if they said it won't start; it gets fairly annoying.

Just relax and I'm sure you'll do fine. :tazz:
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#12
NullWolf

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Also, think about bringing something to DO when you're on the phone. Especially after you've been there a while, and start running into the "same old same old" kind of things, or things that you know right off the top of your head, you'll likely get bored. Thats when forums like G2G and hobbies come in handy. I knew one guy where I worked that would make chainmail while he was on the phone. You'd walk by his cube and hear "snip snip snip" or the whir of his power drill as he wound the wire. (It was very interesting going out for a 15 minute break to play hacky-sack with a chainmail sack...)

Personally, I'm currently making graphics to put on my car and making a small set of picks to practice with while I study to be a locksmith...
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