Until quite recently I had a chance to talk with a tech support from a VoIP company. Not to ask for technical or customer service but a deep check and friendly chat with him.
I’ve asked him to write a short job description so we all can know better how a VoIP customer support is providing their skills and professionalism to all of us.
This unnamed volunteer agree without hesitation and I really admire his honesty and passion for his job.
For your record, I did bought him a lunch and a coffee. That’s all!
Check out his writing below.
Please be reminded that this post is not intended to hurt or finger pointing to anyone or any parties. This information is purely for reference and hopefully to bring self awareness to certain companies or services. The intention is to bring a better customer service experience and to up-hold and appreciate the hard work and professionalism of all our customer service support staffs.
I worked as a technical support agent for a large unnamed VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) company. It had it’s ups and downs, well, mostly downs, but if you are thinking about becoming a technical support agent for any company, this is a good starting place.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Most people think you would probably have to be somewhat qualified to work at a tech support job. Most people are wrong. While I personally have a pretty technical background, my co-workers did not. I worked with 16 year old high school kids and 65 year old grandmothers. So if you were worried that you might not qualify, get that out of your head, because you do.
The first thing I noticed after being hired was just how much information they tried to shove down people’s throats during the two week long training class. Internet Protocol, UDP ports, port forwarding, MAC cloning… these things were all talked about in just one day of class. While I understood everything before going in, it was easy to understand why the 65 year old grandmother and the 16 year old high school kid had issues retaining the information.
“You don’t have to remember any of this,” the trainer would say, “we have knowledge base articles for you to use. If you can read, you can work here. The knowledge base articles will walk you through, step-by-step, for most problems that members may have.”
He wasn’t kidding. The company had over 400 articles for employees to refer to during calls. All grandma had to do was look up, “Internet isn’t working” in the knowledge base, and she would find an article that walked members through, step-by-step, how to get the Internet working again.
Now you might be starting to understand why calling technical support is sometimes a nightmare. Sure, companies could hire more knowledgeable people, who don’t need the knowledge base articles, but then they would have to pay more. Ah yes… the pay.
If you are dreaming of a new house and fancy cars, wake up. Technical support, at least in the mid-west, doesn’t pay that well. I made $8.50 an hour. And those guys over in India that take tech support calls? They make about $3.00 a day. So yeah, if you are looking for a career, look elsewhere.
Now what about the job? Is it hard? Not at all. Is it boring and repetitive? More so than any other thing I have ever done.
Everyone you talk to has the same issue, “my phone doesn’t work.” Guess how many people just need to plug their phone back in? About half.
That’s right, the majority of the people you talk to couldn’t tell you the difference between a telephone jack and an electrical outlet. It gets frustrating when you talk to people over and over again who each have the exact same problem. During some days I would talk to almost 40 people in a 4 hour period.
So there you have it. It’s not glorious, technical, or financially rewarding to work a tech support job for a VOIP company. So unless you really like sitting down all day and repeating yourself over and over, look elsewhere. There has to be a better paying job just around the corner.
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