Technical support (often shortened to tech support) refers to services that entities provide to users of technology products or services. In general, technical support provide help regarding specific problems with a product or service, rather than providing training, provision or customization of product, or other support services. Most companies offer technical support for the services or products they sell, either included in the cost or for an additional fee. Technical support may be delivered over by phone, e-mail, live support software on a website, or other tool where users can log an incident. Larger organizations frequently have internal technical support available to their staff for computer-related problems. The Internet can also be a good source for freely available tech support, where experienced users help users find solutions to their problems. In addition, some fee-based service companies charge for premium technical support services.
Technical support may be delivered by different technologies depending on the situation. For example, direct questions can be addressed using telephone calls, SMS, Online chat, Support Forums, E-mail or Fax; basic software problems can be addressed over the telephone or, increasingly, by using remote access repair services; while more complicated problems with hardware may need to be dealt with in person.
Technical support is a range of services providing assistance with technology such as televisions, computers, and software, typically aiming to help the user with a specific problem.
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F.A.Q. about Technical Support
What are the categories of technical support?
This type of technical support has been very common in the services industry. It is also known as "Time and Materials" (T&M) IT support. The customer pays for the materials (hard drive, memory, computer, digital devices, etc.) and also pays the technician based on the pre-negotiated rate when a problem occurs.
Block hours allow the client to purchase a number of hours upfront at an agreed price. While it is commonly used to offer a reduced hourly rate, it can also simply be a standard non-reduced rate, or represent a minimum fee charged to a client before providing service. The premise behind this type of support is that the customer has purchased a fixed number of hours to use either per month or year. This allows them the flexibility to use the hours as they please without doing the paperwork and the hassle of paying multiple bills.
Managed services means a company will receive a list of well-defined services on an ongoing basis, with well-defined "response and resolution times" for a fixed rate or a flat fee. This can include things like 24/7 monitoring of servers, 24/7 help desk support for daily computer issues, and on-site visits by a technician when issues cannot be resolved remotely. Some companies also offer additional services like project management, backup and disaster recovery, and vendor management in the monthly price. The companies that offer this type of tech support are known as managed services providers.
Crowdsourced technical support
Many companies and organizations provide discussion boards for users of their products to interact; such forums allow companies to reduce their support costs without losing the benefit of customer feedback.
What is outsourcing technical support?
With the increasing use of technology in modern times, there is a growing requirement to provide technical support. Many organizations locate their technical support departments or call centers in countries or regions with lower costs. Dell was amongst the first companies to outsource their technical support and customer service departments to India in 2001. There has also been a growth in companies specializing in providing technical support to other organizations. These are often referred to as MSPs (Managed Service Providers).
For businesses needing to provide technical support, outsourcing allows them to maintain a high availability of service. Such need may result from peaks in call volumes during the day, periods of high activity due to introduction of new products or maintenance service packs, or the requirement to provide customers with a high level of service at a low cost to the business. For businesses needing technical support assets, outsourcing enables their core employees to focus more on their work in order to maintain productivity. It also enables them to utilize specialized personnel whose technical knowledge base and experience may exceed the scope of the business, thus providing a higher level of technical support to their employees.