Unusually for someone in IT technical support, Lowri did a degree in international tourism and was more interested in using computers to help customers meet their business needs rather than in the technology itself.
After my degree I went to work for STA Travel in their travel agent support department, which meant I had to support 100 agents as part of a team on fares, products and applications support.
After this, I went to RWA where I've now been for four years. RWA sell online booking systems to the travel industry. My role now is technical support of the applications. I manage a web-based support system and check tickets on a daily basis. I either resolve problems myself if it's a data issue or, if it's more second line support and a development issue, I refer it on. Customers can email requests into the system and set priorities, which generates a ticket, or else I raise a ticket. I monitor the support system daily and track and manage where tickets are in our system. I spend quite a lot of my time on the phone, updating customers or dealing with their queries. I also liaise very closely with the second line support officer who deals more with the database queries and the development team. I try to be proactive as well and, since I know the customers well, I can often predict likely queries.
Part of my job is also to test new enhancements and check the product has no impact on other areas. I then release the version to the customer's test environment and liaise to release to the live environment. To support the new enhancements, I'm also responsible for writing the release notes and updating the product training manuals.
The work does go in peaks and troughs, but when it's busy I'm fortunate that I work with a supportive and understanding team.
Most of my training is in-house, but I've been on 'train the trainers' courses, as we run customer courses on the applications. I've been very fortunate to travel to Italy, South Africa and Guernsey so far to run these courses.
If you're looking to work in IT support, good communications skills are essential for dealing with customers. You also need to be very well organised to deal with a large number of customers, retain an understanding of the problems and queries they've raised and keep a cool head when under pressure. Good presentation skills are required if you're training to ensure you make people understand how the system works, and you must have good problem-solving skills, and the ability to know where to go and how long it would take to fix a problem. You need to be able to manage customer expectations, too. At the end of the day, my interest lies in keeping the customer happy.
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