January 30th, 2018
A Technical Support Specialist works in an office setting, typically in a common room (sometimes there are cubes, more often just partitions separating work spaces). The day is spent taking phone calls from people using our computer system, listening to their problem, troubleshooting their problem, trying to solve it, and passing it on to 2nd tier support (actual programmers) if we cannot solve the user's problem. While on the call, we enter the user's details into a tracking system to create a ticket. As part of creating a ticket, we enter their name, contact details, what their reported problem is, and what they were doing when the problem occurred. If it's something we know the answer to, we provide it. Otherwise, we'll search in the tracking system to see if we can find a similar reported problem to see if an answer is recorded for how to solve it. We'll talk them through trying a variety of steps to better isolate and hopefully solve the problem - as many users don't know how to describe their problem very well. If the user's problem is solved, we close the ticket. If not, we assign the ticket to the tier 2 support team. Another part of the job is checking reports from the system to follow-up and make sure that any open tickets are being addressed. The tracking system reports let us see open tickets by age and by a priority assignment, so we determine if we need to call the 2nd tier support or even the software vendor to find out what is going on. In some cases, we'll call or email the user and give them an update on the status.
We've had cases of people saying their computer wasn't working, and after asking them numerous questions finding out that someone had unplugged it from the wall outlet - so all they had to do was plug it back in. Another time, a user who had never worked on computers before couldn't get the mouse to work - after several minutes of asking questions and trying different things she was asked to tell us exactly what she was doing - found out this novice user was picking the mouse up and putting it on the computer monitor. We get a lot of wacky stories like this, and it's important for us to remain patient and professional throughout the call.
I like it when I can solve someone's problem. Especially when they are appreciative of the help. While we don't get to do as much research as I might like, one of the more interesting things is trying to figure out why the user is having their problem. Sometimes it can be quite basic.
Sometimes we get very annoyed and even downright angry callers who can be quite rude. They treat us like it is our fault that they are having whatever their problem is. These are the same people who are least likely to thank you after you solve their problem - even if it is their stupid mistake in the first place. With multiple people answering calls at the same time, sometimes it gets hard to tune out the distraction of all the conversations and be able to hear and listen to the caller well enough.