Working as an End User Support technician can be very rewarding because of learning new technologies and support users with technical issues.
An End-user Support Technician is responsible for responding to client queries, supporting technical issues and maintaining an organisations infrastructure, networks, software and hardware peripherals. They are also commonly referred to as desktop support technicians.
Working as an End user technician is crucial when starting out in IT as you get to learn a vast amount of technologies and learn how to manage users effectively. However, end-user support can be very detailed so in this blog post I will dig a bit deeper into each section.
The role Of the An End-User Support Technician
As it stands, an End-user technician is responsible for resolving and helping users with technical issues and maintaining an organisations infrastructure. However, this begs the next questions of the role of the end-user in that regard as well as the technical responsibilities of the technician. I will outline them briefly below.
The End user term refers to individuals that use a particular product or service, often on a regular basis. End users are also customers that directly work with other types of products and tools to achieve business goals. To achieve these goals, these end-users are supported by technicians that are well versed with the products or services they use with any technical issues that may arise.
For the technicians to achieve the goals outlined by the business, they would need to upskill and learn the products very well to support the end-users should any technical issues arise. This learning is usually provided in a form of classroom or online workshops. Because of the knowledge and learning the technician obtains and the well-documented process and procedures set by the technician, they would be the best sources of information with all technical issues regarding the product at hand.
End-user Support technician responsibilities
The End-user support technician role and responsibilities vary from business to business. However, they have all of the same goals which is to provide excellent customer service to their users and support their technical issues to a professional standard.
To paint the picture a little bit easier, below is a list of what the end-user support technician would be responsible for
|What would I be doing?
|Provide 1st and 2nd line Technical support under the guidance of senior service desk professionals.
|Deliver a first-class service focusing on SLA and setting the clear expectation to the end-user
|Supporting both Windows 10 & MACOS operating systems.
|Be able to follow processes and procedures and suggest improvements where necessary.
|Collaborate with technical teams and maintain a good work ethic.
|Deliver first-class customer satisfaction and responding to internal user needs.
As you can see, technical skills are needed but more so the soft skills are highly desirable and sometimes essentials to be successful in this role.
Is being an IT technician hard?
This is one of the most common questions when people are trying to get started in IT. Whether the job they are looking to do is actual fact difficult for them to complete.
As a general rule, being an IT technician is not difficult at all, it is actually straightforward. When you have the right process and procedures and the correct escalation points it will become very straightforward and much easier to learn and develop.
However, it can also be very difficult if you don’t have any of these in place. For example, you may start a new place where the volume of tickets and support is to the roof where you barely have any breathing space. Or you may be in a situation where there is no help or process to fix any of the issues you may have.
In these cases, yes it will very hard because you have to learn everything yourself and it may take hours to find the answers that you seek which means your response for answering tickets and helping users will be delayed.
How many hours do IT technicians work?
Working as an IT technician may seem a bit daunting but you may also ask, how many would I work a week and what about if I cant finish in time because of the tickets.
The average working hours for an IT technician is 37 to 40 hours per week excluding overtime shifts that you may require to work. Some companies require out of hours work and weekends, but this entirely depends on the organisation.
Generally, an End-user support technician is required to only work between 37 – 40 hours a week if there is a job that is purely tech support. When it comes to end-users support that works with the wider teams by maintaining and monitoring servers, they may be required to stay a bit longer on the weekends. Again, this depends on the organisation and its rules.
Communicating with end-users
Communicating with end-users is very crucial and how you deal with them can make you succeed or fail in this industry. Just solving technical issues for end users is not enough if you’re unable to provide excellent service.
Most users generally feel overwhelmed and scared when something does not work for them. When they call the helpdesk they are nervous as it is because sometimes they may feel that it was their fault and they are unable to do work due to this. Maintaining a soft natured approach to their issues will not only build a solid relationship but you will be the go-to person for these types of issues in the long run.
The most common soft skills required are:
- Excellent communicator
- Excellent customer service and success
- Able to break down high technical language to simpler language for end-users
- Polite and understanding
- Great teamwork
- Problem-solving skills
These soft skills are crucial for success when working in End-user support and generally working in customer-based environments. Technical skills can always be developed by having this as part of your personality or the ability to develop their skill is crucial for success.
Supporting End Users Technical Issues
As technical issues is a big part of the job we need to find out what types of technologies that we would need to support to maximise success.
Organisations use different technologies to support their users but there are some big ones that are common. We will look at Microsoft technologies.
A high-level overview of Active Directory simplifies life for technicians and administrations while enhancing security for organizations. Active Directory is a centralised user and rights management that has control over user and computer configurations through AD Group policy feature.
Generally, an Active directory is where you would store all of your user objects, computer and groups in on centralised place They are all authenticated through domain controllers and gives them the functionality to log on to their computers, accounts and third-party apps that is published in the organisation. To get a deeper dive check this resource.
Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription-based service and a very popular productive suite. This heavily used in businesses because it provides productivity tools. Office 365 core apps help businesses with essentials apps to perform every task such as creating documents, communicating information and collaboration with external teams within a given business. There is also tailored plan options available for companies of all types of sizes and additional support dedicated to the suite they use.
From a technician point of view, these are the tools used when creating a new account and licensing them appropriately for users to continue and do their day to day activity with no intervention.
Dealing with Irate End Users
When it comes to dealing with difficult customer and end-users, you really need to get through to them by understanding their pain points and to try finding a solution for them.
Within End-user support, this is often related to a technical problem they have when they are working towards a tight deadline and getting pressure from everywhere. The best way to deal with these types of users is to really understand them and do not provide false deliverables. By making sure that you work on the issue and continually updating them on progress will help immensely. These are all best practices with End-user support.
When your working as an End user support technician your constantly dealing with every member of the business. one day you might be working with the most junior person of the business and the next your solving a problem for a CEO.
Building and maintaining relationships are key within this business as will go very far and have a list of contacts that you can refer to in the future.
Maintaining Professionalism and Establishing Process
Professionalism is very important because you want to make sure that you’re approachable. With the same token, it is also relatively important that you are also establishing a process for the end-user. For example, let’s take a new person is starting the organisation, this would be a crucial time to demonstrate the process of providing a laptop and all of the necessary apps they would need to login to. Further guides will be sent by their line manager.
This is a way of establishing professionalism and establishing a process for every new starter that joins the organisation.
Creating and Distribution of helpful guides
As you will be dealing with many technical problems and issues, it is very important to document some of these problems and issues. This way, when someone has an issue again then it will be very simple to provide them with a link or have a big gallery of documents they can go through themself to solve these problems.