Job Title: Software Support Consultant
Type of Company: My company makes financial software.
Education: High school and some college
Previous Experience: I have been at my current company for 32 years. Prior to that, though, I worked for another software company as a software developer.
Job Tasks: I primarily provide telephone support to our customers. Callers have problems with our software or questions regarding its use and it's my job to work with them to straighten things out. In order to do that, I have to understand what their business needs are and which features of the application they are having trouble with. I normally deal with people over the telephone or the internet, but occasionally we set up a webcast to get a first-hand look at the problem. If the problem stems from a defect in the software, I log the problem in our internal tracking system and provide the necessary information to our systems maintenance team, which then will handle the "repair."
Another of my responsibilities is customer training. This can either take place at the customer's or in our office. I train the customers on how to install and use our software.
In the past I have worked in other areas of the company. The most rewarding assignments were the start-up work I did in Europe. I spent two years in Europe working with newly-hired employees to develop new markets for our software. My duties included marketing, sales and "anything else that came up."
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is definitely the satisfaction I get from resolving difficulties that customers have been experiencing. This requires many skills. I need first to understand the business needs of the customer, get the details of what they are doing and re-construct it myself. Once I've got all that, I use my knowledge of our systems to formulate a solution to the problem.
The worst part of my job is probably handling hostile situations. Sometimes a person contacting us with a problem is unhappy for personal reasons. It is hard to work with people who are uncooperative and who, sometimes, from sheer spite, will withhold information that we need to make a fix.
1. The most important skill in my job is to be a good listener. Let the customer explain what the problem is, then probe for more information. Do not interrupt them before they have finished explaining what the problem is.
2. If you are interested in a customer service job, you must be very patient. You are often dealing with a person who is not able to do his job because your software has malfunctioned. You must empathize with the customer and try to calm him down before you move on to resolving the problem.
3. The software business is in constant flux and you need to keep up with the latest technology. You should not depend entirely on your company to provide you with the training you need.
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