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Five tips for giving better tech support

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Having worked in tech support for close to five years, I find I still enjoy my work. Yes, at times, I feel like a target at a live fire exercise, but at the end of the day, I still find fulfillment in knowing that I am able to help my users. Here are five tips to giving better tech support:
 

  1. Let the user talk, and listen to what they say
    • Allowing your user to talk may yield not only clues to what has gone wrong, but also clues to reproducing the problem as well as to fixing it.
  2. Ask open-ended questions
    • By asking questions like “what were you doing when this happened?”, you invite the user to communicate with you, again prompting them to describe their problem
  3. Don’t expect knowledge or skillset
    • The level of a user’s knowledge will vary, depending on their job role, which might be virtually anything (in my current position they range from CEO to warehouse clerks)
  4. Ask leading questions
    • Instead of saying “could you give me your IP address”, say “do you know how to find your IP address”, allowing an opportunity to teach the user something
  5. Be understanding
    • Many users have little or no knowledge of computing, and will oftentimes be apologetic about that fact. Try to assure them that you are there to help, and help them to the best of your abilities.

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