You are previewing Technical Support Essentials: Advice You Can Use to Succeed in Technical Support.
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Technical Support Essentials: Advice You Can Use to Succeed in Technical Support

Book Description

Technical Support Essentials delivers 101 short and concise pieces of advice with actual examples that readers can use immediately to improve their technical support career.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. Preface
  5. Introduction
  6. 1. Advice for Dealing with Yourself and Your Work
    1. 1. Your Work Ethic
      1. 1.1. The Value of Technical Support Work
      2. 1.2. A Dynamic Career: Moving Up Laterally, and Even Down When Necessary
      3. 1.3. Keep Your Job
      4. 1.4. Yeah, It's a Job, But Make It More
      5. 1.5. Look Out for Your Company
      6. 1.6. Tell It Like It Is
      7. 1.7. You Either Have It or You Don't—Troubleshooting
      8. 1.8. Leave the Work Where It Belongs
      9. 1.9. Make a Difference in Every Call
      10. 1.10. Success is Up to You
      11. 1.11. Take the Initiative
      12. 1.12. Specialize in Something
    2. 2. Intricacies of the Field
      1. 2.1. The Status of the Profession
      2. 2.2. The Curse of the One-Eyed Man
      3. 2.3. The Paradox of the Solo-Solver
      4. 2.4. Technical/Mechanical Support Style Theory
      5. 2.5. The Avit Phenomenon
      6. 2.6. Support Demand Function
      7. 2.7. The Multidisciplinary Field
      8. 2.8. The Vernacular of the Profession
      9. 2.9. The Expert Proletariat
      10. 2.10. One Last Note About Science
    3. 3. Your Work Practices
      1. 3.1. Write Down Anything New Immediately After You Learn It
      2. 3.2. The Above-Average Performer
      3. 3.3. The Resource Collector
      4. 3.4. Work Smarter, Not Harder
      5. 3.5. Following the Watson Way
      6. 3.6. Don't Be Afraid of the Tough Issues
      7. 3.7. Find Your Zebra
      8. 3.8. The Knowledge Seeker
      9. 3.9. Reinventing the Wheel
      10. 3.10. The Technology Contributor
      11. 3.11. Recognizing Opportunities
      12. 3.12. The Approachable Expert
  7. 2. Working with Others
    1. 4. The Technical Support Group
      1. 4.1. Group or Team: Which Is It?
      2. 4.2. Informal Groups
      3. 4.3. What's So Good About Groups Anyway?
      4. 4.4. Groups: What's In It for the Individual?
      5. 4.5. The Vision of a Group
      6. 4.6. Group Communication
      7. 4.7. The Involved Group
      8. 4.8. The Open Group
      9. 4.9. The Group Crisis
      10. 4.10. The Constructive Group
      11. 4.11. Support Group Development Cycle
      12. 4.12. The Successful Group: An Inventory
        1. 4.12.1. Cohesiveness
        2. 4.12.2. Collaboration
        3. 4.12.3. Sympathy
          1. 4.12.3.1. Total Value = 3 — The Dysfunctional Group
          2. 4.12.3.2. Total Value = 4–5 — The Struggling Group
          3. 4.12.3.3. Total Value = 6 — The Idiosyncratic Group
          4. 4.12.3.4. Total Value = 7–8 — The Healthy Group
          5. 4.12.3.5. Total Value = 9 — The Communal Group
    2. 5. The Technical Support Colleague
      1. 5.1. Work on Trust
      2. 5.2. Respect Among Colleagues
      3. 5.3. Coworker Solidarity
      4. 5.4. Teach Them How to Fish
      5. 5.5. Personal Conflict
      6. 5.6. The Power of Criticism
      7. 5.7. Comforting the Demoralized Colleague
      8. 5.8. Understanding Your Colleagues' Behaviors
      9. 5.9. The Customer Within
      10. 5.10. The High Performer Vs. the High Producer
      11. 5.11. The Self-Sustaining Colleagues
      12. 5.12. Dealing with the Impossible Coworker
    3. 6. Leadership in Support
      1. 6.1. What Is a Leader?
      2. 6.2. The Leader: Made or Born?
      3. 6.3. The Major Leadership Models
      4. 6.4. The Pragmatic Leader
      5. 6.5. The Linda Effect
      6. 6.6. Characteristics of a Support Leader
      7. 6.7. Leadership Development
      8. 6.8. The Situational Support Leader
      9. 6.9. Leading by Involving Others
      10. 6.10. Cultivating Leaders Within the Support Group
  8. 3. The Support Organization
    1. 7. Support Roles and Behaviors
      1. 7.1. Your Excess Value
      2. 7.2. The Contributor Role in Regard to Management
      3. 7.3. The Role of the Support Manager
      4. 7.4. The Nature of Management
      5. 7.5. Systems Theory in Support
      6. 7.6. Managing Behaviors
      7. 7.7. The Davila Cycle
      8. 7.8. The Price of Recognition
      9. 7.9. The Management Support Structure
      10. 7.10. The Fallible Manager
    2. 8. Structures and Tiers
      1. 8.1. The Structure Dilemma
      2. 8.2. The Tiered Approach
      3. 8.3. Technology vs. Skill
      4. 8.4. The Service-Oriented Structure
      5. 8.5. The Meaningful Support Structure
      6. 8.6. The Reactive/Proactive Tiered Approach
      7. 8.7. The Performance-Driven Structure
      8. 8.8. Common Mistakes from the Upper Tiers
      9. 8.9. Wiping Off the Tiers: The Flat Structure
      10. 8.10. The Hybrid Support Structure
    3. 9. Process and Practice
      1. 9.1. What's a Process?
      2. 9.2. Discretionary Process Principle
      3. 9.3. The Reasons Behind Process Changes
      4. 9.4. The Support Practice: A Definition
      5. 9.5. Group Process Evolution
      6. 9.6. Process and Maturity
      7. 9.7. Practice and Incompetence
      8. 9.8. The Process Map: Friend or Foe?
      9. 9.9. Problem Solving: A Waste of Time
  9. 4. Working with Customers
    1. 10. Customer Service
      1. 10.1. Customer Service: A Dimensional Explanation
      2. 10.2. Customer Reality
      3. 10.3. The Customer's Iceberg
        1. 10.3.1. Find the Affliction
        2. 10.3.2. Real Wants
        3. 10.3.3. Real Needs
      4. 10.4. All About the Behaviors
      5. 10.5. The Open Mind Approach
      6. 10.6. Problematic Interactions and Coping Strategies
        1. 10.6.1. Rational-Emotive Therapy
        2. 10.6.2. Systematic Desensitization Therapy
        3. 10.6.3. Cognitive Character Replacement
        4. 10.6.4. Mindful Agreement Technique
      7. 10.7. Customer Service: The Hierarchical Approach
        1. 10.7.1. Meet the Customer's Needs
        2. 10.7.2. Address the Customer's Requirements
        3. 10.7.3. Accommodate the Customer's Requests
        4. 10.7.4. Respect the Customer's Wishes
        5. 10.7.5. Consider the Customer's Suggestions
        6. 10.7.6. Reshape the Customer's Unrealistic Demands
      8. 10.8. The People Business
      9. 10.9. Talk Is Not Cheap
        1. 10.9.1. Inexperience
        2. 10.9.2. Buying Time
        3. 10.9.3. Inefficient Processes
    2. 11. Communications
      1. 11.1. At the Core of Our Work
      2. 11.2. Colleague Communication: It's All About Us
        1. 11.2.1. Talk in Terms of "Us"
        2. 11.2.2. Be Genuine in Small Talk
        3. 11.2.3. Speak a Common Language
      3. 11.3. Communication Challenges with Language Accent
      4. 11.4. Get to the Point: Cutting the Useless Chatter
      5. 11.5. Situational Communication
        1. 11.5.1. Email
        2. 11.5.2. Online Chat
        3. 11.5.3. Online Forums
        4. 11.5.4. Phone Support
      6. 11.6. When All Else Fails
      7. 11.7. Spinning the No
    3. 12. Perspectives
      1. 12.1. What the Future Holds
      2. 12.2. The Renaissance Professional
      3. 12.3. The Preventive Support Model
      4. 12.4. No More Training Down the Drain
      5. 12.5. The Support Contractor
      6. 12.6. Opportunities in Global Labor Dynamics
      7. 12.7. The Need for Uniformity
      8. 12.8. Going Customerless
      9. 12.9. The Extra Mile
      10. 12.10. Where to Now?