IT Support Tiers Explained

When technology fails, most people contact IT support right away, expecting quick and efficient help to fix any tech problems. Because that is what our customers want, that is what CITOC strives to do.  As of the date of this blog, CITOC responds to every ticket on average in less than 30 minutes. In addition, CITOC resolves every ticket on average in 30 minutes or less.

“A structured yet flexible approach to IT support, ensuring that every tier operates not just as a solution provider, but as a strategic partner, is essential,” says John Hougen, Vice President and General Manager at CITOC, Inc.

Due to the fact that CITOC standardizes all of our clients, we find that our ticket counts go down dramatically as a result.  This allows our team to be able to handle tickets when they arrive rather than categorizing them in tiers based on importance with “different” response times.

This is not to say that CITOC doesn’t have target tiers to address tickets we do.  However we won’t schedule a ticket for tomorrow because it is a tier 3 rather than a tier 1. Let’s talk about how most managed services providers schedule their tickets to be worked on.

Typically, managed services companies have  IT support tiers 1 to 4, detailing the services each level provides, how to structure them, and the qualifications needed for each level in your tech support team.

In a Nutshell: Differences Between Different IT Support Tiers

TierSkill RequiredWhat They DoTypes of Problems
4None, customer does it themselvesUse chatbots, FAQs, knowledge bases, forumsSimple issues that customers can handle without specialist help.
3BasicAnswer emails, give product/service info, basic problem-solving, reset passwordsCommon, straightforward IT questions that don’t need much expertise.
2ModerateHandle requests for products/features, sort out backend and billing issues, fix network troublesIT problems that are more complex than tier 1 but don’t need a specialist.
1AdvancedTackle unique technical issues, advanced troubleshooting, handle security incidents, fix bugsComplicated issues needing expert knowledge or specific solutions.

IT Support Tiers 1 – 4 Explained

Tier 4

Tier 4 support covers problems that customers can fix on their own, given the right tools. This includes things like online tutorials, frequently asked questions (FAQs), or automated chat services. It’s common for customers to expect businesses to offer these options.

Customers with issues that fall under tier 4 usually don’t need to call for help. But sometimes, customers might still call even when their issue is a tier 4 type. 

Tier 3

Tier 3 is the level where customers get help from a person after trying self-service options. Often, customers reach out to your tier 1 support team if they can’t solve their issue with the tier 4 resources.

Customers are looking for more detailed information and basic problem-solving at this level. Highly experienced IT professionals are not required here, but support personnel should have a solid understanding of technology.

Tier 3 technicians guide customers through their issues, suggesting and trying out different solutions. They also need to know when a problem is beyond their scope and when to pass the customer on to tier 2 for more advanced help.

Tier 2

Tier 2 is the more advanced technical support level. Here, technicians understand your products or services in-depth and have broader technical skills. They might collaborate with other teams or outside suppliers to fix the customer’s issue.

Usually, tier 2 technicians bring 2-4 years of IT support experience. They’re expected to deliver great customer service as well as solve technical problems. Their duties are like those at tier 1 but involve more complex issues. They also need to know when an issue is too challenging and should be passed to tier 3 for even higher-level support.

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Tier 1

Tier 1 is the top internal support service desk. Typically, a customer’s issue will have been addressed at tiers 2 and 3 before it gets here. Customers are sent to this tier only if they need the most advanced expertise available within your company.

At times, tier 2 support might involve technicians going to the customer’s location. 

Here is the CITOC difference. Other companies may say that since a customer’s ticket is a level 3, for example, that their responsibility is to work on that ticket by the next day or in an 8 hour time frame because it is not considered a “critical” issue, whereas in their system they will say that a tier 1 needs immediate attention.  So they base their responses on the severity of the problem, not on what their customer actually needs. Or, when looked at from a different perspective, when it is convenient for them.  

CITOC looks at IT support tiers differently. Regardless of the severity of your problem, it needs attention and it needs to be fixed immediately. That is why we avoid differentiating between tiers. Our goal is to respond to and resolve every ticket we receive within 30 minutes or less, on average.

Differences Between Different IT Support Tiers
Trusted Remote IT Support Services Near You

CITOC provides managed IT support quickly. We can lighten your IT team’s workload or step in as your support specialists if you don’t have an in-house team.

Reach out to CITOC to get a quote for our managed IT support services.