Mishi is a Technical Support Manager and leads a team of PSI Technical Support Agents helping hundreds of test takers around the world every day. Mishi and her team troubleshoot and solve technical issues to ensure the remote testing experience is as smooth and positive as possible.
With the increase in popularity of remote testing, the work Mishi and her team do is more important than ever.
How does a typical day start?
I start my day by checking emails for any urgent issues that need to be immediately addressed or escalated. For example, an investigation request about a technical issue that has occurred overnight. We conduct investigations to not only find out what has caused an issue, but also to make recommendations to avoid the same thing happening again.
I check the latest data on our service levels and scorecard. This includes attendance figures and quality scores, which we are audited on daily. I am always keen to check we are meeting our target for handling times, which is less than 15 minutes.
Serving different test taker needs
We are able to consume and leverage the data across our teams who work around the globe. We have teams across multiple countries to support our online proctoring test takers 24/7/365. And for clients who have opted into language support, we can source agents to facilitate that need for their niche markets.
We also have team members dedicated to testing programs with specific needs. One example is the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) in the UK. These remote music theory tests are available on demand and test takers are mainly children. We often speak to parents and this includes making calls to families where children might be having difficulties with the technical side of accessing a test.
As well as tier 1 agents working on issues that come up more frequently, we have a small team of tier 2 agents who deal with complex issues. This might be investigations and enquiries, or test day support for test takers who have had challenges with completing a test in the past. Our tier 2 agents are extremely skilled in identifying and fixing potential issues with a test taker’s device or operating system, for example, that might be preventing them from taking their test.
Upskilling PSI Technical Support Agents
As Technical Support Manager, coaching team members is the most enjoyable part of the job. I work closely with Team Leads to coach Technical Support Agents on a regular basis. These ‘triad’ sessions can take place 2-3 times per week when there is a skill the individual needs to improve on, or 1-2 times a week for someone that is performing well.
It’s so satisfying to see someone progress in line with their SMART action plan and see them improve and grow. Particularly when this leads to a promotion they have been working towards.
We help our Technical Support Agents to learn and grow in other ways too. For example, we have regular team huddles where we share script, process flow and product updates. Product enhancements take place every other week so it’s important we are all fully up to date on these.
There are additional resources available for the team to gather new knowledge and share best practice. We conduct regular training with both the team leads and our in-house training department. An important training session we run is on active listening skills, where we run role plays that help the team develop their communication skills.
We are encouraged to read up on relevant topics through books, PSI updates and knowledge base articles. Articles are available through our ticketing system for tracking enquiries, which is also a source of information and advice for troubleshooting issues. The database of knowledge base articles is updated regularly and is an important resource for the team. Articles are approved and reviewed regularly by multiple people to ensure accuracy.
Solving technical issues
The most challenging part of the role is when we need to talk to agitated test takers. Test day is stressful so people can understandably get emotional when they can’t access or complete a test due to a technical issue. Our team needs high levels of both empathy and technical skills to manage this.
Common examples are prohibited programs or applications on a test taker’s device that they think they’ve closed but are still running in the background. We can assist with identifying what these are and instructing the test taker how to properly close them so they can proceed with their test.
Another potential issue is a blurry ID, where the image looks clear to the test taker but isn’t coming through clearly for the online proctor. It’s important that the test taker is who they say they are, so this step of the check-in process needs to be thorough. Our agents support test takers through the steps needed to get a clear photo and proceed with their test.
Outdated operating systems and devices that don’t support online proctoring are another common issue. We explain to the test taker what they can and can’t use and then send detailed information so it’s clear what technology they need. It’s important for test takers to read any confirmation emails from their testing organization and run system compatibility checks before their test to prevent issues on the day. Sometimes these emails end up in people’s junk folders so they need to check there too!
Whole team effort
Making sure our test takers have a positive experience involves several different teams. We all work together to ensure we are delivering the best possible service and continually improving. This includes our team of online proctors, client services and candidate services, as well as my team of Technical Support Agents.
My days are very busy. They can be challenging at times but the work is extremely rewarding. I am constantly driven by the knowledge that the work I do is helping test takers achieve their goals, start a new career, get a promotion, move to a different country – it’s making a difference to people’s lives.