Five Tips for Effective Tech Support

February 9, 2012

Today’s guest post was written by Yolanda Wilson, Office Manager at the Connecticut Health Foundation.

As the Officer Manager here at the Connecticut Health Foundation(CT Health), I have a lot to do. I keep the books, process payroll, supervise employees, maintain and manage all the office equipment, and provide administrative support to the board – just to name a few.

I’m also the day-to-day support person for technology issues that arise. And if there’s one thing we know it’s that technology issues ALWAYS arise. You can have the latest-and-greatest, but technology will find a way to glitch when you least expect it. And here I had thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier.

I’ll be honest:   Tech support is part of my job and I really enjoy it because there’s so much to learn, and it gives me the opportunity to grow my skill-set. But I’ll be honest again: it can also be time-consuming! Here’s how a busy woman like me balances everything.

  • Love what you do. The right mindset is everything. Looking at the rapidly changing world of technology could be overwhelming, but I embrace it. I have a saying – be like water and go with the flow. Sometimes it’s smooth, sometimes there’re ripples, and then there are the rocks.  Do you go around the rock, or over the rock? Being flexible about the inconveniences of life makes it easier.
  • First things first: solve the problem. If your colleague is having a tech problem, don’t over think it, just get our colleague up and running. Later, you can learn more about what happened and why.
  • Just call me Nancy Drew. Meaning, think like a detective! And think of yourself as a detective too. Solving technology problems is just that: problem solving.
  • Use your resources. Like me, you probably have a wealth of resources at your disposal: staff, consultants, internet searches, magazine articles. Use them. I also love NTEN and TechSoup.org. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Hey, I’m not afraid to admit I read For Dummies ! (And please let me give a shout out to my IT team of Carol Pollack, Hugh Brower, Michael Pelletier, and David Hale who have taught and helped me so much).
  • Put your software to work. Are you really getting the most out of your technology? For example, I use the heck out of some Microsoft Outlook colored labels. Red is for urgent, and everything else is broken out by activity. This system really helps me prioritize, organize, and stay productive.

We’re on an exciting journey with the rapidly advancing world of technology, but it can be scary sometimes too. Which brings me to my most important tip: don’t forget the espresso and the deep breaths.

What do you do to keep technology working for (and not against) you?

6 Responses to Five Tips for Effective Tech Support

  1. Lina Paredes says:

    I, for one, could not survive without your tech support and smiling face, Yolanda, every time I have a computer or printer problem. Thanks for your help on so many occasions!

  2. Yolanda says:

    Thanks, Lina!

  3. Jessica Wilson says:

    I just took a new position that starts on Monday. I know that I’ll be facing new “opportunities” as well. Thank you for these helpful hints, it’ll help me to go with the flow and keep panic at bay. Here’s to breathing and smiling while keeping those plates spinning; keep up the good work!

    • Yolanda says:

      Congratulations on the new position! If you discover any ideas in keeping organized or tips in general, please feel free to share with me. Good luck and let me know how the new position is working out for you.

  4. Sir Specta says:

    Wow! Very insightful and intuitive analysis Yolanda, thank you! Embracing multiple roles and responsibilities with a positive attitude, and a results driven focus, on a daily basis, can be quite overwhelming!

    You have approached a general conundrum in the global administrative community, and proposed a systematic solution based on mental clarity, resourcefulness, and just plain common sense! I love it!

    I personally have found that understanding the subtle complexities of your professional environment and those individuals in it, from the lowest on the totem pole, up to the people you only see on the corporate website (but whose philosophies reign supreme throughout your local management mentality), can prove an invaluable skill set when integrating your particular brand of “customer service” (where your customers are the people you support), and maintaining productive harmony in the workplace.

    The ability to successfully address pressing needs on a more personally suited or individually customized level, versus going about the motions in a perfunctory manner, can make all the difference in the world whether your objective is to successfully ascend in your professional career, or to simply maintain peace and civility in your workplace! Use ALL of your resources, including your ability to interrelate with your peers, and you will find that Yolanda’s “Microsoft Outlook colored labels” can often times be used to successfully identify and relate to many varying personalities and attitudes as well!

    Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>