When looking at the different IT support options available, you are likely to come across pages mentioning 1st, 2nd and 3rd line support and be left wondering what those terms mean. They are basically the most common forms of IT support and outline different levels or tiers of support.
Some IT companies also refer to 0 line which means self-service systems such as FAQ’s on a website, or 4th line support which refers to external software vendors or senior IT consultants with more experience.
To get a better understanding of the different levels of IT support that are available, take a look below:
1st Line Support
1st line support is focused on a quick resolution or identification of an issue. If a problem takes more than 10-15 minutes to fix, then it is something that needs to be moved to a higher tier.
Many companies may see a shift to more self-serve or automated methods when looking at 1st line IT support. Automated software and systems are taking over a lot of the basic and easy issues, with problems being escalating to other tiers of support as needed.
Examples of 1st line support is submitting an online ticket to a support company, or contacting them via email or phone.
2nd Line Support
2nd line support gives you access to members of the team that have more specific technical knowledge and can investigate issues in more depth.
The 2nd line support technicians will know a lot about IT systems, device and connectivity, which allows them to solve more complex issues that can’t be sorted by 1st line support alone, but are too minor for 3rd line support to take on.
3rd Line Support
3rd line support technicians will have more specialist knowledge and will take on issues that require more than walking through a resolution process.
At this level, the technicians will stick to their specialism but they will have a deep repository of IT knowledge, skills and experience. They will usually rely on level 1 or 2 professionals for more general expertise and instead be the go-to person for a particular system, hardware, databases, network, or infrastructure problem
A professional IT support provider should be able to provide you with every level of IT support that you need, allowing them to be flexible depending on the size of your business. When searching for an IT provider, be sure to ask them what levels of support they offer and what is included within that.