I worked in tech support for many years for a software company. And when I say tech, I mean really technical. I did a lot of coding, I had to go through hex dumps to find where the customer’s database crashed, test installation and so on. It’s what led me into testing. Our company had no testers (this was in the 80s/early 90s) and our new releases often had terrible bugs. We asked our devs to give us advance copies of the new release so we could find the bugs before the customers did. That made our managers say Oh, testing would be a good idea, let’s start a testing department, and that’s where I went.
At my current job, when I started, we didn’t have dedicated support staff, so I spent probably half my time on support (fortunately, email only, no phone support). It was a super way to learn how customers use our product and where their pain points are. I still help with support and find it really helps me do a better job of asking questions about proposed features and do better exploratory testing. When we release a new feature, I watch support tickets to see what kind of feedback we get that maybe our analytics won’t tell us.
Doing nothing but tech support on the phone leads to burnout pretty quickly, but helping with support on a regular basis is invaluable to me. And, it’s really rewarding to hear nice feedback from a customer who is happy with the help I gave them!