How to be a tech hero: seven technical support tips

Great service suits every business, no matter the shape, size or income. You want to be your customer’s hero when things go wrong, and a hero’s cape can fit anyone, after all. Of course, general customer support advice is all useful stuff, but what about technical support tips?

Tackling the more technical side of customer service can be tricky. Yes, there’s a narrower scope of issues you’re likely to encounter, but those customer issues are likely to need a more specialised touch and understanding to resolve.

So, how can you ensure a great experience from the tech support crew? Here are seven technical support tips from our team to help you out.

1.    Identify the problem

Some tech problems will be easier to solve than others. Simple problems have quick fixes that won’t take too much of your time to solve, while complex problems won’t present a clear solution right away.

Sometimes, however, a problem that seems complex is simpler than it appears. So, making sure you understand the problem — and its causes —  is a priority.  If you don’t take the time to find the cause of the issue, you can create more problems for yourself without helping the customer at all.

Understanding the problem will help ensure that correct troubleshooting is applied, and a fix found faster. If a person can’t log in, for example, you don’t want to start rebooting servers when that person just forgot their password.

2.    Understand the customer’s grasp of technology

Some people are more tech-savvy than others, and that’s okay. Just be sure to identify the customer’s grasp of technology when you start your tech support call. This will help you adjust your language use and tone to suit their knowledge.

For example, a customer that has almost no grasp of technology might find even a simple fix difficult to follow, so you’ll need to guide them through more closely than others. Similarly, if a customer clearly has a strong knowledge of computing and technology, you can be less descriptive with your service and guide them through steps that they can easily interpret and follow themselves.

3.    Remember the impact

All tech problems, simple or complex, impact the customer. For the customer, even trivial issues can have a negative influence – from hampered productivity to frustration to time loss. Now they just want the issue fixed. The customer doesn’t care about the complexity of the issue, and they won’t appreciate having their problem brushed off as trivial.

It’s simplistic to you; it’s caused headaches for them. Easy to fix or not, the problem has had enough impact on the customer to warrant using their time to contact you. So, regardless of whether it’s a simple password reset job or a complex code fix, treat every problem coming your way with earnest and attentive service.

4.    Avoid jargon

Using layman’s terms as much as possible might seem inefficient, but it’s far better than confusing your customer. A confused customer makes for an irritated customer. And inevitably, irritated customers mean a bad customer experience.

Jargon is the enemy. Even customers with good tech knowledge can get lost if you use too many technical terms. The best practice in technical support is to keep it simple. Throwing jargon at customers might sound impressive, but doesn’t necessarily indicate a genuine understanding of the situation.

By explaining something in simple, understandable terms, you’re demonstrating a clear knowledge of the fix you’re talking about. People don’t like feeling ignorant or stupid, so don’t make your customers feel that way. Slow down and take the time to explain what you mean and what you’re doing.

5.    Have ample self-service options available

Having good self-support content to help customers fix common, simple tech problems themselves is a great way to reduce the volume of your support tickets. It might seem a bit backwards, but if customers don’t need to reach out to you, you’ve successfully supported their tech needs.

Plus, if customers do still get in touch, you always have that content to assist their support request. All you need to do is help customers apply the fixes outlined in your content to their issue. This combination of helpful, readily available resources and personal human support makes for a smooth, quick support experience. After all, you both want to get back to your other work.

Effective use of self-support content is a technical support win. While some customers want you to metaphorically hold their hand the first time they use the self-service content, that content will be there for next time, and they might be able to help themselves.

6.    Be motivational

With technical support, difficult problems can be frustrating for both parties. When things go wrong, customers are stressed that they can’t get on with work, while you need to make sure that you can help them efficiently so that you can take the next call for help.

Motivational, supportive language helps reduce the stress of resolving issues. If a fix isn’t working, be proactive. Use language such as ‘let’s try’ and ‘we can’. These are positive terms that will promote a sense of teamwork and help keep things co-operative. Helping the customer feel included in their service experience helps build stronger customer-business relationships, and keeps their faith in your abilities.

7. Make it easy to follow up with you

Sometimes a fix that should work, doesn’t. So, make it easy for customers to get to you after hanging up or ending their chat session. One good way to do this is providing your own email address for customers to follow up directly, or sending a follow-up email yourself if you don’t hear back.

Encouraging customers to stay in contact following a fix assures customers that you are personally invested in fixing their issue. They’ll be happy that they can reach the person that they’ve spoken to again, and won’t have to worry about repeating themselves to someone else.

Technical support tips: be a tech hero

For businesses, offering a great customer experience is as integral to success as glasses to someone that can’t see. A huge part of this is the quality of technical support provided.

These seven technical support tips are only the start. Making your customer’s issue resolution journey a great experience requires great processes, a great attitude, and ongoing employee training.

Do you have any technical support tips to add to the list? Tweet us and join the discussion.

Useful links

Tech assumptions make an ass of your users15 ways to annoy your SaaS customersAre you eating your own dog food?
Communication, technical support, and the Pictionary problem A universal tech code of conductManaging caSaaStrophe: communication during a crisis