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Free Example of Personnel in Technology Essay

Customer service plays a crucial role in the level of customer satisfaction in any sphere of technology. Technical customer support can be the first and sometimes the last consumer’s impression of a company. Consumers make their opinion about company’s products or services by dealing with customer support representatives. Often customer contacts company’s support in case the product they bought no longer performs expected functions or they can’t properly use the service, sold by the company. Therefore support specialists begin their conversation with a customer at a disadvantage. There is a huge responsibility for them to change customer’s opinion of a company from negative to the positive one. For this particular reason team creation and establishing an effective working process are the number one priority for the manger of support department.  

Process of creation of an optimal technology support team starts with creating a work environment that ensures effective issue tracking system, communication, knowledge sharing, training, role clarification and motivation.

Hiring process

Prior to the all mentioned above, the most appropriate staff should be hired. This preliminary stage of technology team creation should not be underestimated since it often determines the success of the whole process. In case HR manager is responsible for hiring in the company, he/she should be given clear instructions from support manager for which qualities and technical knowledge a successful candidate must have. Sometimes support manager is interviewing candidates personally on all the stages of hiring process, especially if a company is of a small size. In this case he/she should create not only a list of technical skills and personal qualities, but also a methodology for determining features of character and skills of each candidate in order to decide if any of them match the job requirements. It is obvious that not every potential employee will have all the desired technical skills or personal qualities from the list. Therefore it is important to hire those candidates who can perfectly complete each other and will contribute to the support process as team players.

 Among the desired skills and qualities of the candidates to the technical support team managers often mention communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work in stressful conditions and under pressure, high level of responsibility, logical thinking, politeness, trainability, database knowledge, specific application knowledge and others. In addition, curiosity often helps support professionals to successfully find the cause of the problem by exploring and investigating it.  

Communication process

As a rule, communication is the most significant part of technical support job. Whether support professional communicates an outcome of issue investigation to the customer or asks for the piece of advice from other company departments, effective communication often guarantees best results in customer service related jobs.

“Communication skills provide a technology support team with the ability to complete the necessary task of coordinating, helping, and dealing with people inside and outside of their team”.

Ability for attentive listening and for clear and concise speaking are the essential parts of effective communication process, hence these are the qualities that each successful support professional must have.  

It is also important that support team members demonstrate patience, politeness and respect in both verbal and written communication process. They often need to adapt to the customer’s personality during the conversation, consequently they must be flexible and have good problem and conflict resolution skills.

Issue tracking systems

Various issue tracking and ticketing systems are widely used in the technical support sphere nowadays. On the one hand, they play an important role in documenting problem solutions, customers’ feedback and overall workflow of the support process. On the other hand, these documenting systems provide management staff with an effective base for employees assessment and evaluation of their competency, productivity etc.

The best option for a support department within an organization is to have an electronic issue tracking system along with a database backend in case for any system failures. For example, some companies operating in Information Technology sphere use “Trac” ticketing system for documenting both software defects, detected by testers and customer complaints. The system enables employees to have an easy access to the most frequent consumer problems and ways of their resolution.

Factors for consideration in the process of creating a support team

Among other significant areas of consideration in the process of creating a technology support team are: product trainings and workshops, setting reasonable goals and boundaries, retention and motivation activities, role clarification, knowledge sharing and so on.

 Role clarification provides team members with an understanding of their job duties and responsibilities. It also allows members to focus on areas of work where they possess the best knowledge and skills. Setting both short and long term goals outlines the direction for employees. It is also the base for creating Professional Development Plan as a part of employees’ motivation.

Knowledge sharing can be done in the form of weekly meetings where team members report most complicated or interesting to their opinion issues that they have faced with during the week. Such approach allows sharing experience, customers’ feedback and as a rule it leads to a plenty of useful improvements to the working process. Knowledge sharing can be a part of the training process, which is essential for any newly created technical support team.

Some managers prefer to use the ‘SMART’ approach when settings goals for their employees. This approach means acting according to its keywords, which are: “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely”. 

Performance reviews are usually take place as a part of motivation program for employees and are based on the result of achieving the goals and professional development of the team members. Methods of employees’ retention may include: corporate parties and events, external trainings and certification, additional bonuses and vacation days etc.

Personality issues

Significant factor in creating a successful technology support team is taking into account personal qualities and features of its members. A successful manager should be able to evaluate the potential impact that each of the team members may have on a team as a whole. Factors to consider in this case are: employee’s attitude to criticism by colleagues, ability to effectively handle stressful situations, and ability to act as team player as well as to take decisions independently.  “During the application and interview stage of the recruitment process, a good manager should be thinking about the existing team members personalities and what affect the new member will have on the team”. Many companies use various personality tests in order to determine what kind of personal qualities each candidate has and whether these qualities correspond to the job requirements. As an example of such tests “The Rainmaker Group’s pre employment personality profiles” can be mentioned.

Conclusion

There are several important areas of consideration in the process of creating a successful technical support team. Hiring process and defining appropriate job requirements is one of the crucial factors in overall success of the future team.  Building an effective technology support team relies on several areas of consideration. Good communication skills enable support representatives to deal with customers’ complaints effectively and to downgrade the level of customers’ dissatisfaction with company’s products or services. Efficient issue tracking system allows to save employees time for searching problem solution as well as to save company’s money for trainings.  “A documentation system effectively used can prevent duplication of work, establish training trends, and serve as a resource guide to commonly encountered problems”.

When building support team a good manager should consider strengths and weaknesses of subordinates and set adequate and reasonable goals for them. Managers should not underestimate personality issues since they may have negative impact on the team performance.

Thus, all the mentioned above factors should be considered and applied in conjunction in order to create an effective and successful technical support team.

Code: Sample20

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