What is the Hardest Thing About Working in Tech SupportA person who earns a degree in information technology, computer science or a related field may want to know what the hardest thing about working in tech support is. This answer is important because a lot of people get their start in a tech support position. Each person’s idea of what is the hardest thing about working in tech support is often different.

Handling Rude Customers

Gift Gugu Mona said, “Do not be threatened by rude people, because rudeness is a sign of insecurity.” A person may call tech support out of confusion, frustration or bewilderment. When they express their problem, they may come off as rude. On the other hand, some people are rude. They expect their problems to be given top priority. They may not care if there is a crisis going on at the time. Handling rude customers is a constant issue in tech support and all other types of customer service. Part of the learning curve of working in tech support is knowing not to take the rudeness personally. A tech support worker needs to develop a thick skin to handle the rudeness they will inevitably encounter.

Acting As the Voice of the Company

Tech support workers should not take customer problems personally. On a call, the tech worker is acting as the voice of the company. They are not personally responsible for the customer’s problem, but they have to act as the company’s representative to solve the problem. For a new tech support worker, not taking problems personally can be a challenge.

Moving the Call Forward

Maintaining an open line of communication is important for tech support workers. The customer should feel as if the conversation is moving forward. This means that the tech support worker needs to document what they have done, what the customer did and what they recommended. The tech support worker might also be able to provide updates to the customer after the call concludes, such as an email update about the problem. For example, if the tech support person needs someone in accounts to take action for the problem to be resolved, this should be documented in writing. When the action has been taken, the customer should be notified. Once the customer is notified, the ticket can be closed.

Remaining Calm Under Pressure

Patience is a virtue for a tech support worker. Part of working in tech support requires solid customer service skills, explains the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expressing sympathy, listening and communicating with objective information are critical actions for a tech support worker. The person should be able to ask the customer the right questions to get at the heart of the problem. When a customer initiates the call out of frustration, the tech support worker may have to talk them down or calm them down to understand the situation.

Customers Asking for What Cannot Be Provided

Tech support cannot be all things to all people. While most tech support people would like nothing more than to fulfill a customer’s wish list and fix everything that has ever gone wrong, there will be customers who ask for something that is not possible. Tech support specialists do not have a lot of power. They cannot change company policies or write new rules. Explaining this to an irate customer can be a challenge.

Feeling Overwhelmed At a Backlog of Tickets

In a survey of customers, 41 percent reported that they expect an answer to a customer support email within six hours. Nearly all customers expect the receipt of a response within 24 hours. If a person had a problem Friday afternoon, and the company does not have 24/7 tech support, a tech support person could easily have a backlog of tickets at 8:00 am on Monday. Even worse, those people have waited all weekend for a reply, and if they work weekends or check-in over weekends, they may already be frustrated by the lack of response.

Dealing With an Angry Customer

There will be a time when a tech support specialist has to deal with an angry customer. This will likely happen a lot, sometimes a lot in one day. Zapier suggests trying the HEARD technique, which is what Disney uses at its theme parks. Disney is known for providing an excellent experience to its customers. The HEARD technique includes:

  • Hear: Let the customer tell their whole story, without interrupting them.
  • Empathize. Show the customer that their feelings are understood.
  • Apologize with sincerity: Apologize for how the customer feels.
  • Resolve: Try to resolve the problem, or ask the customer what resolution they want.
  • Diagnose: Find out why the problem happened, and take action so that it does not happen again.

No matter what the occupation, the hardest part of it for one person may be no big deal to another. Before taking a job as a tech support specialist, a person should make sure that they have the key character traits as listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Understanding what the hardest thing is about working in tech support could help a person be prepared and know what to expect in their new job.

Related Resources:

What is Technical Support?

Is There a Difference Between Tech Support and Customer Support?

Do Many Companies Allow Their Programmers to Work Remotely?

Is it Better To Specialize in One Area or Being Competent in Multiple Areas? 

What is the Best Format For My Resume as a Programmer?