Technical Support

What Does Technical Support Mean?

Technical support (tech support) refers to a range services companies provide to their customers for products such as software, mobile phones, printers, and other electronic, mechanical or electromechanical products. Technical support services usually provide users with help in solving some common problems rather than providing training on how to use the product.

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Techopedia Explains Technical Support

Technical support is usually delivered over telephone, via email, over chat (IM) or using special software or software extensions that the user can employ to directly contact tech support. Technical support representatives are very familiar with the ins and outs of the products for which they provide support.

If a problem cannot be solved by tech support, it is escalated to the development team or, for example, your website hosting provider, and logged as a bug that should be fixed by a future product update or the next product iteration.

There are a few key types of technical support:

  • Time and Material: This type of support is common in the tech industry. Also known as “break-fix” IT support, the payment of the materials and technician service charge falls upon the customer for a pre-negotiated rate.
  • Managed Services: This is usually given to large-scale customers rather than individual consumers. A list of well-defined services and performance indicators are provided to the customer on an ongoing basis for a fixed rate, which is agreed upon on contract. Services provided could be 24/7 monitoring of servers, 24/7 help desk and the like. This may include on-site visits when problems cannot be solved remotely.
  • Block Hours: This is a prepaid support system where the customer pays for a certain amount of time, which can be used per month or per year. This allows customers to use the hours flexibly without the hassle of paper work or multiple bills.
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.