What is technical support?

In customer service, technical support or tech support refers to the assistance that businesses offer to resolve technical problems customers run into while using their products or services. Tech support agents specialize in resolving technical issues such as fixing bugs, customizing configurations, and more whereas customer support reps focus on training customers on how to use the product, onboarding them, etc.

What are the types of technical support?

Technical support services can be classified based on the mode of operation, and the mode of billing.

Technical support services based on the mode of operation

In-field support - Some customer issues require tech support agents to go to the customer’s location to resolve the issue. For instance, if your internet connection or your broadband goes down, you invite a tech support agent over to your residence and get your issue resolved.

Remote support - In remote support, tech support agents are not required to be physically present to offer assistance. They can assist customers remotely on different channels of communication. For instance, let's say a customer raises a ticket via email saying that the product crashes when they’re trying to complete an action. A technical support representative can initiate the troubleshooting process, resolve the issue, and respond to the customer. For more complicated issues, tech support representatives can even get on a call with the customer to resolve the issue. Remote tech support services can further be classified into:

Technical support services based on the mode of billing

Managed services - This type of support is commonly extended to large businesses. Here, a comprehensive list of services along with service level agreements (SLAs) are provided to the customer on an ongoing basis for a fixed rate.

Block hours - Here, technical assistance is provided on a prepaid system where the customer pays for the services over a certain amount of time.

Time and material - In this type of tech support, customers negotiate a rate for the payment of the materials and service charge, before the commencement of the agreement.

How to structure your technical support team?

Like customer service teams, technical support teams typically follow a structure that spreads across three levels. This structure is based on the nature of the customer issues that come in. So, this helps ensure that support agents at each level are well equipped to handle their daily tasks. Here’s what the three-level structure looks like:

Level 1 - Agents in this level are also referred to as ‘frontline support reps’ as they are the first point of communication for customers. They answer all the basic how-to questions about the product or service, fix common problems, and pass on more complicated issues to the other two levels. 

Level 2 - In this level, technical support specialists resolve customer issues that require troubleshooting. These tech support agents are more experienced than those in level 1, have more technical knowledge, and well-versed with nuanced know-hows.

Level 3 -  Some customer issues require a developer’s assistance to be resolved. So, the agents in this level work closely with the product team to resolve bugs reported by customers, and consolidate feature requests and enhancements. 

You can follow this basic structure and further categorize your support team on the basis of:

What is a technical support software?

Technical support software refers to the technology that enables support teams to seamlessly provide technical assistance. With a technical support system, agents can hold and manage conversations across different channels of support, automate support operations, generate reports, and more.

How does Freshdesk enable businesses to provide great technical support?

Unify communication

When you use different tools to handle conversations on different channels of support, your agents spend a lot of time on jumping back and forth between platforms. This not only eats into their time, but also requires a lot of effort. 

However, with Freshdesk, you can provide technical support on all channels of communication from a single platform. Additionally, you can also integrate Freshdesk with tools like Zoom or Teamviewer and offer remote tech support effortlessly. 

technical support - omnichannel

Manage on-premise support effortlessly

If your business requires you to provide on-premise support, then having a tool that lets you manage customer service, as well as field service, will help you build frictionless workflows. 

Using Freshdesk’s field service module, you can assign and track service tasks such as regular maintenance or system updates, right from within Freshdesk. This helps you balance workload, and eliminate lapses in communication between the customer, the tech support agent, and the field agent.

tech support - field service

Offer self-help support 

Customers today prefer to find answers to issues on their own instead of reaching out to seek assistance. It’s really important for you to offer a variety of self-service options for your customers and help them find answers easily. 

With Freshdesk, you can build a digital library that contains help guides and FAQs about your product or service. You also add a chatbot on your self-service portal, and a website widget on your webpages to improve the self-service experience.

tech support - self service portal

Analyze performance

Tracking and measuring performance periodically helps you analyze trends in customer conversations and gauge agent productivity. These insights are also necessary when you’re planning and forecasting for the month, or quarter, or year ahead. 

Freshdesk lets you generate reports with the click of a button. You can even monitor the happenings of your helpdesk in real-time using a live-dashboard, and spot red signals well in advance.

technical support - reports and analytics

What more can you do with Freshdesk?

Improve team productivity

Automate repetitive and mundane tasks and help your team focus on solving complex customer issues.

Collaborate effectively

Handle cross-team dependencies without stepping on each other’s toes, using tools like Freshconnect.

Increase your capabilities

Do more with Freshdesk by integrating with over 650 cutting-edge applications from the marketplace.