Also known as application or tech support, "technical support" is a term used to describe the combination of services that aid customers in getting the most benefit from various devices. Support of this type is provided for a wide range of mechanical and electronic goods, although the concept of technical support often focuses on providing assistance with communication-related technology like cell phones, computers and various types of software applications. The idea behind all forms of technical support is to aid customers in overcoming real or perceived obstacles to making use of the equipment in their possession, which in turn helps to increase the chances of that customer returning to make additional purchases in the future.
The actual strategy used to provide technical support will vary. One of the more common examples of this type of interaction with consumers is a telephone hotline that allows consumers to contact technicians when they need assistance with some type of technological device or service. For example, a new customer who needs help setting up a modem in order to make use of a high-speed Internet connection may call the manufacturer of the modem or the provider of the service in order to receive some assistance in making the most efficient use of the device. In like manner, the owner of a laptop may use the hotline to contact a manufacturer and find out how to go about increasing the amount of random access memory for the unit, or how to download and install certain types of software programs. The idea is to get immediate assistance and manage the desired task with as little delay as possible.
Another approach to technical support is making use of online messaging or email support to get detailed instructions in how to manage a task with software or an electronic device. While the messaging offers the same real time response as the hotline, it has the additional benefit of allowing the end user to copy and archive the responses for future use. Email responses are usually not immediate, although many companies strive to respond to all queries for technical assistance in less than a single business day. This approach also makes it possible to document the interaction and file it away for future reference.
As part of an ongoing technical support strategy, many manufacturers of software and electronic devices will also provide some type of on-site support. This means that if there is something wrong with a television or computer, technicians may be dispatched to the customer’s home or place of business. This often provides a chance for the technician to see what is occurring within the environment where the device is located, making it easier to identify contributing factors that may have caused the issue. While this particular type of technical support is often costly, it may be necessary when other support strategies have failed to produce the desired result.