4 Ways to Cultivate a Strong Technical Support Team
Outstanding technical support teams are important to modern organizations. They resolve IT issues that may impede an employee’s ability to do his or her job and prevent technical issues from becoming major ones. However, a great technical support team doesn’t create itself. It has to be carefully cultivated. Here are four steps you can use to develop an outstanding technical support department.
#1: Hire the Right Talent
If you want a strong technical support team capable of providing exemplary service and resolving complex IT challenges quickly, it is critical to hire the right talent in the first place. While some skills can and should be taught on the job, there is a level of professionalism and prior knowledge that cannot. To cultivate a strong team, it is important to understand what makes for a strong technical support team for your organization.
First, identify the key characteristics of someone who finds success within your organization. You’ll need to know what kind of skills they have, whether they had primarily technical or soft skills and their temperament. By understanding these qualities, it will be easier to understand what to look for. Craft interview questions that address these specific preferences to weed out poor performers early on.
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#2: Provide Training and Professional Development
In terms of training and professional development, there are two important facets to consider. First, you want to foster a workplace culture of learning, where staff members are encouraged to learn and become better IT professionals. Incorporating regularly scheduled training meetings to keep abreast of evolving best practices is one more formal way to accomplish this. However, encouraging professional development can be as simple as continually developing new resources and learning programs.
Second, staff members working toward a promotion will outperform someone who feels that they are in a dead end job. They will feel that there is more in it for them if they perform well, when they know they can continue to grow professionally with your organization. Make the career progression within your organization clear so staff members know what opportunities may be available to them in the future. This will help motivate them to perform at a higher level.
#3: Find Ways to Track Performance
In order to reward great performance, you need to understand your team’s key performance metrics or KPIs. For technical support teams, you should identify both individual and team goals that provide more information about performance. Involve the team by implementing a colleague recognition program where staff members praise each other. This can take some of the negative pressures off of team members when individual performance is assessed.
In terms of individual performance, it is critical to measure customer satisfaction, the rate of ticket escalation, and the time spent resolving an issue. Together these metrics provide a more comprehensive capture of employee performance. Using this information, it will be easier to recommend specific professional development goals to help colleagues grow.
#4: Manage Daily Operations
Managing the daily operations for a technical support team can be difficult, as daily tasks are largely dictated by IT issues generated by end-users. A large network outage could derail even the best made daily operational plans. This is why if you want to run an outstanding technical support team, it is important to stay organized and continually work toward improving internal operations and customer experiences.
If you are looking for a more comprehensive resource on providing outstanding technical support, check out our webinar on “Offering Outstanding Technical Support.”