Important Skills for Tech Support Jobs

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Most large or medium-sized organizations that use computer systems (which is just about everyone) hire in-house tech support staff. Smaller groups and private individuals often rely on independent contractors for the same services.

Qualified tech support specialists are in demand, but the work is not easy, often requiring on-call or shift work. It is possible to spend a career in tech support, moving up to supervisor and management levels. Alternatively, technical support work can provide a firm foundation for careers in other fields that also involve extensive computer use.

What are Tech Support Skills?

Technical support staff maintain computer systems, ensure that they run smoothly, and fix problems as they arise. Tech support staff may also install and configure new hardware, undertake regular upgrades, and help other employees set up accounts, reset passwords, and other computer system related questions. Duties also include maintaining records of software licenses, re-stocking equipment, and staying abreast of current developments in technology.

Requirements for entry-level tech support jobs vary. It is possible to find employers who will accept candidates without a degree, provided you can do the work. Others require a degree but do not care about the type of degree, again as long as you can meet the other job requirements. In general, though, a college degree helps a great deal, especially if it is related to computer science.

Aptitude for new ideas plus a willingness to learn is vital, due to the simple fact that technology changes so quickly. 

Additionally, experience in customer service also helps. Experience or training in recent computer/software developments helps a great deal.

Types of Tech Support Skills

Technical and Analytical

Of course, you need to know how computers and other related electronics work and how to troubleshoot them. You must not only understand the systems that you work with but also any new developments in related hardware or software. While the technical part of technical support is indispensable, it’s not enough all by itself. You also must have the soft skills necessary to work efficiently and to work well with others that lack the same experience that you do.

  • Ability to Learn New Software and Hardware
  • Active Listening
  • Adaptability
  • Analyze Technical Issues
  • Application Support
  • Assess Customer Support Needs
  • Attention to Detail
  • Case Notes
  • Data Migration
  • Data Settings
  • Detail Oriented
  • Diagnosing Hardware
  • Diagnosing Software
  • Error Logs
  • Explaining Technical Information Clearly
  • Identify Process Improvements
  • Mechanical Reasoning 
  • Mobile Devices
  • Operating Systems
  • Networks
  • Patience
  • Redirecting Problems to Appropriate Resources
  • Web Applications
  • Web Support
  • Troubleshooting

Organizational

To work efficiently, you will need to organize both your time and your equipment properly. While being organized does come more easily to some than to others, these are skills you can learn and practice. There are various techniques you can use to improve your time management, keep better track of your material, and plan your projects well.

  • Productivity Software
  • Follow Technical Instructions
  • Help Desk Reporting Systems
  • Meeting Deadlines
  • Multitasking
  • Prioritizing 
  • Scheduling
  • Working Quickly
  • Writing Clear and Concise Emails, Memos, and Reports

Interpersonal and Communication

Although tech support means working with machines, it also means working with people. Not only do you need to work well with your coworkers, but a major component of tech support is customer service. Most of the people you assist will not know anywhere near as much as you do about computers. That means that you must rely on your interpersonal skills to demonstrate that you are taking their problems seriously and working to resolve the issue as rapidly as possible.

If your first suggestion does not work or if the problem recurs, your clients won’t be able to tell that there is a legitimate reason - unless you can earn their trust.

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Customer Service
  • Empathy
  • Flexibility
  • Follow Scripts
  • Friendly Demeanor
  • People Skills
  • Conflict Resolution 
  • Convincing Customers to Stay with Platforms
  • Interacting Calmly with Agitated Customers
  • Maintain Composure
  • Managing Customer Expectations
  • Mentoring Junior Staff
  • Soliciting Customer Feedback to Improve Service
  • Teaching Customers How to Work Around Product Limitations
  • Teamwork Skills
  • Training Customers to Use Technology
  • Stress Management

More Tech Support Skills

  • Accuracy
  • Administrative Skills
  • Phone Etiquette
  • Application Installations
  • Comprehending Technical Documents
  • Conducting Online Chats
  • Critical Thinking
  • Debugging
  • Decision Making
  • Documentation
  • End User Support
  • Enterprise Systems
  • Hardware
  • Installing Systems
  • Microsoft Office
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Promoting Additional Products and Services
  • Quality Assurance
  • Quality Conscious
  • Reliability
  • Reporting
  • Software Support
  • Software Upgrades
  • Support Systems
  • Technical Aptitude
  • Technical Support
  • Testing
  • Ticketing Systems
  • Working Independently

How to Make Your Skills Stand Out

Add Relevant Skills to Your Resume: In your resume and application, remember to highlight the skills your prospective employer is looking for.

Mention Skills in Your Cover Letter: Allow your cover letter to expound concisely on ways that you’ve maintained or upgraded technologies in past jobs.

Share Examples in Job Interviews: When you prepare for your interview, plan to give examples of particular ways you have embodied the various skills your prospective employer wants.