level of support (support level)

Level of support indicates a specific extent of technical assistance in the total range of assistance that is provided by an information technology product (such as a software product) to its customers.

Level of support indicates a specific extent of technical assistance in the total range of assistance that is provided by an information technology product (such as a software product) to its customers. Each company decides how to organize its total technical support into levels and what to name them. Some companies name their levels of support basic and advanced. Others call them level 1, level 2, and level 3 or level A, level B, and level C.

Typically, when a software user calls for technical assistance, a level 1 technician tries to answer all questions, which might include help with simple problems or general "how-to" questions. If the question is more complex, the user is passed on to the level 2 technician. Level 2 questions may, for example, deal with advanced features and possible product bugs or failures. If the level 2 technician cannot help the caller, a level 3 technician may be consulted either by the customer or by the level 2 technician. Some research and investigation at this level might be required, which can take time. Some companies offer certain levels of support only on a fee basis.

This was first published in March 2007

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