Helping hands in the world of enterprise middleware - Technical Support

Recently, I got an opportunity to work on a domain which is bit different from my subject matter specialization, software testing and quality assurance. I started to work as a lead of technical support team at WSO2 since November 2012. I thought to put together some key observations I made in technical support career in general and how I position it in terms of my beliefs.

Willingness to help - the most important characteristic of a support engineer

Are you really a helping hand regardless of your profession? How can I understand my willingness in helping others. I would simply list down some questions to evaluate your likelihood to help others.

Do you get frustrated when someone requests your help? If someone asks a question, what is your initial reaction?
In our life, we have seen people who do not even look at the person who requested help. Some people just route the request to some other party without even understanding what kind of help is required.

If you are really a helping hand, you just do not do it because of your professional obligations. You do it simply because you like to help others. You enjoy by observing how your help solves some other's problems.

If you are generously help people in need without hesitation, you possess one of the fundamental characteristics expected from a good technical support engineer.

Listening to others and clear in communication

A good support engineer always listen to others very carefully. She raises many follow-up queries to get the question clarified. She does not attempt to solve the problem blindly without completely understanding the issue at hand. She also communicates very clearly with the clients as well as the other stake holders to help in providing the the best answer.

Expertise in user perspective

Support engineers are clients advocates who should look at the problem through customer point of view. How painful is this issue to my clients? How does it affect their business transactions? When you approach problem from the customer point of view, you first look at what needs to be done before considering how you are going to address the concerns.

Enthusiastic in learning new technologies

To help needy people, you must have a good understanding about the relevant subject matter. You will be clueless if you do not know the problem domain. This is one of the most important attributes especially  in middleware technical support. You will not at least understand a basic question, if you do not step in to learn the technology. The technical support engineer should eager to learn various technologies and find out various solutions to address common problems that can occur.
At WSO2, technology becomes obsolete quite frequently. The technical support engineer must stay up-to-date with the latest features and enhancements introduced to the product platform.

Focus on SLA

Generally, technical support contracts are based on different Service Level Agreements (SLA). There can be various levels of SLA policies. A good support engineer always consider his SLA is now and act fast to find the best resolution for client's issue.

More experiences on technical support, specially related to WSO2 product platform are to be followed....


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