Technical support (often shortened to tech support) refers to a plethora of services by which enterprises provide assistance to users of technology products such as mobile phones, televisions, computers, software products or other electronic or mechanical goods. In general, technical support services attempt to help the user solve specific problems with a product rather than providing training, customization, or other support services. Most companies offer technical support for the products they sell, either freely available or for a fee.
Categories of technical support
- Call out This type of technical support has been very common in the services industry. It is also known as "Time and Materials" (T&M) IT support. The customer pays for the materials (hard drive, memory, computer, digital devices, etc.) and also pays the technician based on the pre-negotiated rate when a problem occurs.
- Block hours Block hours allow the client to purchase a number of hours upfront at an agreed price. While it is commonly used to offer a reduced hourly rate, it can also simply be a standard non-reduced rate, or represent a minimum fee charged to a client before providing service.[original research?] The premise behind this type of support is that the customer has purchased 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.
- Managed services Managed services means a company will receive a list of well-defined services on an ongoing basis, with well-defined "response and resolution times" for a fixed rate or a flat fee. This can include things like 24/7 monitoring of servers, 24/7 help desk support for daily computer issues, and on-site visits by a technician when issues cannot be resolved remotely. Some companies also offer additional services like project management, backup and disaster recovery, and vendor management in the monthly price. The companies that offer this type of tech support are known as managed services providers.