Professional organizations and corporations are bombarded by challenges when managing and handling an organization, this, is in large part, brought about by the diversity of the members within a particular group. Contradicting ideologies and principles are common problems managers face in the work environment; and to some extent, issues in egos and morale of employees also threaten the life expectancy of team-based companies.
The field of technology support, for this matter, is not alien to the usual tendencies of organizations to conflict due to diversities of members. As such, management systems need to ensure full-proof and cost-effective management strategies to avoid conflict within the workplace. What does it take to establish an effective Technology Support Team? Technical Support Defined In determining ways of how to effectively establish a technology support team, it is important to first comprehend what is the definition and scope of technology support.
Technology Support or more commonly known as Technical Support, as the term suggests, is an array of services inclined on giving assistance for technological devices such as desk top computers, laptop computers, mobile phones, mp3 players, and internet service providers (Colt, 1998, 248-9). The Technical Support Organization Technical support usually is provided by a company’s resource centre called Help Desk, and may be done over the phone, through e-mail, or other electronic means of communication such as text messaging and live chat (Khandpur & Laub, 1996, 2).
It is comprised of individuals, organized in to teams, handling technical matters regarding a specific product. The technical support organization serves as the middle-persons between customers and the company by resolving a customer’s concerns with their own expertise or making use of external sources available immediately available. Tips to achieve Technical Support Efficiency Like other services offered by business organizations, technical support also has a system which guides the technical support representatives in doing their jobs well.
It has similarities with standard customer service protocol with a few distinctions that sets technical support apart. First is to greet the customer with utmost sincerity to establish a friendly interaction, asking for the customer’s name is one good way of building rapport with the customer. Promising words implying willingness to help the customer is another step to becoming an efficient technical support representative. Asking questions such as “How can I help you today? ” helps in guaranteeing the customer a resolution of the issue at hand.
Likewise, active listening also helps in convincing the customer that everything is under control, it would also contribute in assuring that the technical support agent has a complete understanding of the customer’s problem (Blokdijk, 2008, 53). To effectively help the customer, it is viable to utilize technical know-how and make use of all possible resources; it would greatly help in providing resolution to every customer interaction. In addition, after settling the customers concern, excellent closing remarks would ultimately make the interaction successful (Blokdijk, 2008, 53).
Asking questions like “is there anything else you would like me to help you with? ”, expressing gratitude for calling them, and telling them to call you back should another problem arises are common closing remarks that would give the customer smiles even after the interaction has been done (Blokdijk, 2008, 53). Managing Diversity in the Workplace Apart from the given guidelines, diversity management serves as an effective tool in establishing an effective technology support team. As previously mentioned, the domain of technology support is not exempted from the possibilities of conflicts brought about by diversities of employees.
In this context, it is important to determine what diversity is, and up to what extent it applies. The University of California, San Francisco’s Chancellor’s Committee on Diversity holds that diversity is the variety of experiences and perspectives which arise from differences in race, culture, religion, mental or physical abilities, heritage, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics. However, most individuals do not have complete understanding of the true context of diversity, and simply connect the term to superficial aspects such as religion, race, and to some extent, gender, without sufficient analysis .
In line with the factors incorporated with diversity, it is also important to analyze its effects on business practices, productivity, and overall performance. In its application in technology support work environments; effectively managing diversity leads to competence in the field simply because practicing diversity management also means paying unbiased homage to people’s cultural heritage and their work ethic, while considering the diverse demographics of technology’s market (University of California, San Francisco).
The evolution of telecommunications technology for examples has increased demands for production of mobile phones to several parts of the world, and with it, an increase in demand for technical support employees that would balance the number of consumers that would require technical assistance. A cost-effective way to achieve such balance is to establish centralized contact centres for all the technical concerns of the consumers.
As a result, companies are more likely to hire a multitude of technology support representatives that would be randomly categorized in to teams, and by being random means there is no telling what sort of differences and similarities are possessed by each employee. Aparna Joshi and Susan Jackson (2003, 281-7) speculate that two aspects would be highly affected by diversity in the workplace, one is the team functioning and the other is intra-team relations.
Likewise, the two aspects mentioned are discussed on the contexts that encompass diversity such as gender, age, tenure, academic background, as well as race and ethnicity which ultimately affect cooperation between teams. In the dynamics of team functioning, Joshi and Jackson used gender, age, and race and ethnicity as metrics to determine the effects of relations-oriented diversity on a team’s function. In the context of gender, Joshi, and Jackson entail that employees form relationships based on gender (cited in Ibarra, 1992).
As such, relationships in and out of the job may be formed through gender diversity within a certain team (Joshi & Jackson, 2003, 285). As frequently seen in most organizations, it is, by nature, normal for individuals to express a certain extent of hostility if he or she does not share common factors with the others around him or her. However, for minority groups often expressed tendencies to interact with other similar groups. As a result, team ethnic diversity results to poor relations among team members while constituting greater possibilities of cooperating with other teams (Joshi & Jackson, 2003, 285).
Diversity in age, meanwhile, illustrates a different pattern of relations among team members considering that people under a particular age bracket share similar traits, behaviour, and experiences. In this regard, team members under a specific age bracket are more likely to practice the principles of co-existence and cooperation. However, the high possibilities of cooperation among teams under a similar age group would equal to lower chances of promoting good relations among other teams with a different age bracket due to conflicts in values and ideologies (Joshi & Jackson, 2003, 285-6).
The general principles of workplace diversity management proved to be applicable to a technology support team. While the profession has its own distinctions in terms of task description, diversity management’s context applies to all professional organizations regardless of what domain of profession it is applied to. Although there are specific points to consider in managing diversities in technology support teams, possible conflicts of interest may still be avoided as long as there will be a comprehensive analysis of each team member’s distinction from the others.
Blokdijk, G. (2008). Help Desk 100 Success Secrets. Morrisville, NC: lulu. com Colt, S. B. (1998). The Sales Compensation Handbook. New York: American Management Association. Joshi, A. , and Jackson, S. E. West, M. A. , Tjosvold, D. Smith K. G. , (Eds). (2003). Managing Workforce Diversity to Enhance Cooperation in Organizations. In International Handbook of Organizational Teamwork and Cooperative Working. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.