Technical support specialist is a common IT position found at many companies, but what does the role entail? In short, technical support specialists provide help with a product or IT system to customers and sometimes employees of a business. If the company has a product or service, the technical support specialist will handle difficulties in obtaining, installing, and using it. If the end user encounters a problem, a technical support specialist will troubleshoot and try to solve the problem. Employees can also benefit from technical support at times, as well as using technical support specialists to resolve a problem for a customer.
If a technical support specialist can’t resolve a user’s problem over the phone or by email, they may be authorized to send a repair technician to make repairs or handle the problem in person.
Responsibilities of a Technical Support Specialist
The main responsibility of a technical support specialist is to meet the user’s needs in the best possible way. Besides having the technical knowledge to provide support, being sure to communicate well, so the user understands what to do is an important responsibility. Following the specific methods and practices taught during training for the position is also crucial to the job.
A technical support specialist may also train users directly to use the product or system, particularly employees. Finally, these professionals may test products and systems to see how they work and may perform upgrades or improvements to the system when warranted.
Skills and Requirements of Technical Support Specialists
Knowledge of the programming language, user interface and other relevant information needed to solve technical problems is the foundational skill needed to be a technical support specialist. Other skills include communication, multi-tasking, and being able to find and solve problems independently, as well as documenting solutions so they can be used by others.
Presentation skills and/or public speaking may also be needed to train others to use the system or product. Learning to explain things clearly and avoiding technical language that will confuse many users is also important. Good phone skills are important for some jobs, while other jobs deal more with email or online chat.
Some technical support positions may now be telecommuting positions, particularly those that deal primarily with end users and customers making inquiries by phone, email or web chat. Positions that require testing software and training employees usually need technical support specialists who are on site.
Although some companies require a bachelor’s degree for technical support specialist positions, many may only require an associate’s degree or training courses that include IT certifications. PC AGE offers IT coursework that can lead to certifications, and through an agreement with Thomas Edison State University, credits can be used toward an associates degree. Request info from PC AGE to discover how you can become a technical support specialist in as little as 9-12 months.