How to hire IT support specialists
From mobile apps, to IoT devices, and SaaS platforms, technical products require technical solutions. If you’re looking for a specialist who can help you continue to deliver a seamless customer experience, a tech support representative can help.
So how do you hire tech support? A big part of finding the right tech support agent for your needs lies in the type of software product or service you’re looking to support. Need help with your ecommerce platform? Then you might require experience with Shopify. Selling a physical product such as a network router? Some basic knowledge of the software and hardware may be required. Asking yourself questions like these can help you get specific about your needs.
How to shortlist tech support specialists
As you’re browsing available tech support consultants, it can be helpful to develop a shortlist of the specialists you may want to contact and interview. You can screen profiles on criteria such as:
- Technical fit. You’re looking for profiles that have the skills, technologies, and platforms used by your business.
- Professionalism. Remember that tech support will be the face of your business when customers have technical issues with your product.
- Feedback. Reviews can reveal any red flags about how a tech support specialist will treat your customers.
Once you’ve narrowed your list of candidates, you’re ready to conduct the interview which will lead you to your ideal tech support agent. Here are some sample tech support interview questions:
- “Describe your troubleshooting process.” Technical support is crucial to customer retention. You want to know that they’ll be able to gather details, document issues, diagnose problems, and send data to the technical team.
- “Explain a time you handled a difficult customer, how did you handle it?” Nothing like a personal testimony to tell you if your tech support agent can remain calm and de-escalate tense situations.
- “How familiar are you with [insert technology here]?” They don’t have to be a developer or an engineer, just familiar enough with your products and services to know when to solve an issue and when to pass it on to the technical team.
How to write a job description for a tech support specialist
Now that you have a clear picture of the type of tech support you are looking for, it’s time to write that job post. Provide enough detail for a specialist to know if they’re the right fit for the job.
An effective tech support job post should include:
- Scope of work: From problem diagnosis to tracking bugs and relaying them to the development team, list all the deliverables you’ll need.
- Project length: Your job post should indicate whether this is a shorter or larger project.
- Background: Translate your tech support needs into a candidate profile. If you prefer experience working in a specific industry, be sure to mention this here.
Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.
TECH SUPPORT FAQs
What is tech support?
Tech support consultants deal with common IT related issues for your product or service, such as failed installs, lost passwords, misconfigured settings, and software bugs. Whether it’s via phone, email, live chat, or other tools, it’s tech support’s job to field technical questions from the end user.
Here’s a quick overview of the skills you should look for in a freelance tech support consultant:
- Customer relationship management
- Strong communication, problem-solving, and troubleshooting skills
- Familiarity with in-house ticketing systems such as Zendesk
- IT fundamentals: desktop support, managed hosting providers, computer networks, etc.
- In-depth knowledge of the specific technologies behind your product or service
The tech support specialist strikes a critical balance between people skills and technical know-how.
Why hire a tech support specialist?
If you want to find a top tech support consultant, it helps to get specific about your needs. There’s a big difference between offering tech support for a mobile app and a refrigerator. Are you looking for tech support for an ecommerce site based on Shopify? Or is this a hardware product that requires familiarity with microcontrollers and system-on-chip (SOC) devices? Different products and services will require different levels of technical skills, which can have a direct impact on cost.