1. On-Site Call Out
This type of technical support has been very common in the services industry. It is also known as "Break-Fix" IT Support. The concept behind this type of support is that the customer pays for a service of support based on their pre-negotiated rate when they have a problem with their PC / Laptop / Mobile Device
2. On-Site Call Out with Block Hours
Block Hours is basically a way to purchase a bunch of hours upfront to pay a reduced hourly rate. The premise behind this type of support is that the customer has negotiated a discounted rate and a fixed number of hours to use either per month or year. This allows them the flexibility to use the hours as they please without doing the paperwork and the hassle of paying multiple bills.
3. Multi-tiered technical support
Technical support is often subdivided into tiers, or levels, in order to better serve a business or customer base. The number of levels a business uses to organize their technical support group is dependent on a business’ need, want, or desire as it revolves around their ability to sufficiently serve their customers or users. The reason for providing a multi-tiered support system instead of one general support group is to provide the best possible service in the most efficient possible manner.
Tier/Level 1 (T1/L1)
This is the initial support level responsible for basic customer issues. It is synonymous with first-line support and various other headings denoting basic level technical support functions. The first job of a Tier I specialist is to gather the customer’s information and to determine the customer’s issue by analyzing the symptoms and figuring out the underlying problem. When analyzing the symptoms, it is important for the technician to identify what the customer is trying to accomplish so that time is not wasted on "attempting to solve a symptom instead of a problem." This level will gather as much information as possible from the end user. This information is useful to analyze the symptoms to define the problem or issue. Once identification of the underlying problem is established, the specialist can begin sorting through the possible solutions available. Technical support specialists in this group typically handle straightforward and simple problems. This includes troubleshooting methods such as verifying physical layer issues, resolving username and password problems, uninstalling/reinstalling basic software applications, verification of proper hardware and software set up, and assistance with navigating around application menus. Personnel at this level have a basic to general understanding of the product or service and may not always contain the competency required for solving complex issues. Nevertheless, the goal for this group is to handle 70%-80% of the user problems before finding it necessary to escalate the issue to a higher level.
Tier/Level 2 (T2/L2)
This is a more in-depth technical support level than Tier I and therefore are more experienced and knowledgeable on a particular product or service. It is synonymous with level 2 support and various other headings denoting advanced technical troubleshooting and analysis methods. Technicians in this realm of knowledge are responsible for assisting Tier I personnel in solving basic technical problems and for investigating elevated issues by confirming the validity of the problem and seeking for known solutions related to these more complex issues. However, prior to the troubleshooting process, it is important that the technician review the work order to see what has already been accomplished by the Tier I technician and how long the technician has been working with the particular customer. This is a key element in meeting both the customer and business needs as it allows the technician to prioritize the troubleshooting process and properly manage his clients time. If a problem is new and/or personnel from this group cannot determine a solution, they are responsible for raising this issue to the Tier III technical support group. In addition, many companies may specify that certain troubleshooting solutions be performed by this group to help ensure the intricacies of a challenging issue are solved by providing experienced and knowledgeable technicians. This may include, but is not limited to onsite installations or replacements of various hardware components, software repair, diagnostic testing, and the utilization of remote control tools used to take over the user’s machine for the sole purpose of troubleshooting and finding a solution to the problem.
Tier/Level 3 (T3/L3)
This is the highest level of support in a three-tiered technical support model responsible for handling the most difficult or advanced problems. It is synonymous with level 3 support and various other headings denoting expert level troubleshooting and analysis methods. These individuals are experts in their fields and are responsible for not only assisting both Tier I and Tier II personnel, but with the research and development of solutions to new or unknown issues. Note that Tier III technicians have the same responsibility as Tier II technicians in reviewing the work order and assessing the time already spent with the customer so that the work is prioritized and time management is sufficiently utilized. If it is at all possible, the technician will work to solve the problem with the customer as it may become apparent that the Tier I and/or Tier II technicians simply failed to discover the proper solution. Upon encountering new problems, however, Tier III personnel must first determine whether or not to solve the problem and may require the customer’s contact information so that the technician can have adequate time to troubleshoot the issue and find a solution. In some instances, an issue may be so problematic to the point where the product cannot be salvaged and must be replaced. Such extreme problems are also sent to the original developers for in-depth analysis. If it is determined that a problem can be solved, this group is responsible for designing and developing one or more courses of action, evaluating each of these courses in a test case environment, and implementing the best solution to the problem. Once the solution is verified, it is delivered to the customer and made available for future troubleshooting and analysis.
4. Remote PC repair or Computer Repair
This is a method used for troubleshooting software related problems via remote desktop connections. Technicians use software that allows the technician to access the user's desktop via the Internet. With the user's permission, the technician can take control of the user's mouse and keyboard, transfer various diagnostic and repair applications to the user's desktop, run scans, install antivirus programs, etc. If the remote service permits it, the technician can even reboot the PC and reconnect remotely to continue his/her work without the user's assistance. Common repairs available with online computer support providers are computer virus and spyware removal, computer optimization, Windows Registry repair, device driver issues, Web related issues, and Windows security updates. Most software can be "repaired" remotely. A computer with a broken hardware component (such as a motherboard or hard disk) can, in some cases, be diagnosed and worked around but must be repaired or replaced while co-located with the defective hardware.