How do I take this course?

Help Desk Training

help desk seminar

S.O.S.: Help for the Help Desk

Course Outcomes

This help desk course will:

  • Provide guidance for managing customer expectations.
  • Offer suggestions for asking questions that will get to the root of a customer's concern.
  • Give practical advice for active listening and staying focused.
  • Review the ins and outs of email etiquette and staying positive online.
  • Explain communication styles and how to tailor service to different types of people.
  • Make suggestions for staying productive and managing stress.

Available Formats

  • Half-Day Course
  • One-Day Course

Course Overview

With few exceptions, the job of help desk representative is one of the most challenging in today’s technology driven society.

Those who seek expert help by phone or email are often perplexed, stressed out, or downright ticked off. They want answers, results, solutions—and they want them NOW!

To the rescue, Business Training Works’ course for help desk staff will keep these workers from being pulled under by the riptide of requests they get each day.

Besides learning methods for effective listening, questioning, and resolving problems, participants will also find out how to write clear, accurate email responses and follow-up reports that will answer users’ requests and satisfy their managers’ expectations.

They will also be given “life preserving” techniques to help reduce stress and maintain enthusiasm and productivity while dealing with even the most difficult clients.

Program Objectives

At this program's conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the types of requests they most frequently receive while manning the help desk.
  • Outline and implement steps for active listening.
  • Define four specific communication styles people demonstrate most frequently when interacting with others.
  • Understand their individual communication styles for the purpose of making adjustments to best handle their users’ problems.
  • Cite responses they should provide and those they should avoid when trying to resolve users’ issues.
  • Comprehend the importance of keeping emotions in check when dealing with difficult people.
  • Practice stress-reduction techniques to minimize the possibility of anxiety, anger, and job burnout.
  • Recognize the components of clearly written email solutions for users, knowledge-base entries for coworkers, and incident reports for their supervisors.
  • List workplace features and practices that contribute to or detract from a positive work experience at the help desk.
  • Develop a personal action plan for the purpose of implementing positive changes in attitude, productivity, and overall well-being.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Hearing Distress Signals: Identifying Calls for Help
“The whatchamacallit won’t turn on.” “The thingamagig keeps blinking.”  “There’s no volume.” “There’s too much volume.” “The printer won’t print, and my report is due in 5 minutes!” Anyone who has worked at a help desk is familiar with any or all of the previous complaints from frazzled callers or frantic emailers. The introduction to this training program in help desk help is designed to give participants the chance to interact, brainstorm, and ultimately identify the most prevalent problems they are asked to solve as help desk agents. By establishing common issues and describing discrete personality types through anecdotal information, they will be prepared for the following units designed to help them provide solutions while exercising exceptional customer service.
Now Hear This!: How to Actively Listen
Beyond the required technological knowledge, help desk workers must be exceptional listeners. Regardless of their willingness, patience, desire to be of service, support staff must possess the ability to listen to users in order to find out the exact nature of the problem that needs to be fixed. By carefully listening, they can then ask specific questions that will lead to solutions. In this unit, participants will learn the difference between hearing and listening, and they will learn how to increase their active listening abilities through practical, interactive exercises they will complete with other program attendees.
Who’s in the Troubled Waters?: Understanding Communication Styles
Once participants understand the procedure for active listening, they will learn to identify four distinct communication styles by using Business Training Works’ signature diagnostic tool, The Communication Jungle. In addition to recognizing the prevalent features of each style, they will be able to classify their own style and learn how to adjust it to best communicate with those who seek their help.
Sandbags and Life Lines: Verbal Responses that Let You Sink or Swim
Effective listening and determining users’ communication styles are essential skills for help desk representatives, yet providing solutions also requires expert verbal ability. In this portion of the training, participants will learn how to ask clearly stated, specific, and courteous questions to both clarify the users’ problems and provide accurate answers. They will review effective responses and proven techniques to keep users calm, provide viable solutions, and promote customer satisfaction. They will also learn phrases and responses they should avoid when dealing with long-winded, frustrated, offensive, or irate callers.
Swimming with Sharks: Keeping Your Head When the Situation is Tense
Beyond the necessity for exceptional listening and verbal skills, support providers must also possess enough patience, poise, and maturity to ride out the storm of negative comments they may sometimes hear when dealing with upset users. In this unit, the instructor will offer practical strategies for participants to use to calm unknowledgeable, inexperienced, perplexed, angry, or abusive customers at the time they request help.
Riding Out the Storm: How to Survive Turbulence
During this part of the instruction, participants will learn invaluable techniques for reducing stress that occurs during problematic calls. By following simple steps they can take while on the job, they will learn how to maintain composure while minimizing the physical and emotional tension that frequently accompanies dealing with difficult people.
Rescue by Writing: Effective Written Communication
Even though support providers do a lot of their work verbally, they must also possess excellent writing skills for the purpose of responding to users who contact them by email and for passing on information to those with whom and for whom they work. This unit offers participants clear instruction in how to write brief yet accurate email replies that will enable those who contact them to know how to resolve their problems. They will also know how to draft useful knowledge-based entries for use by their coworkers and how to produce incident reports that will meet their supervisors’ expectations.
Treading Water: Surviving Possible Undertow
This important portion of the program involves discussion of workplace features that sometimes enhance or detract from productivity, enthusiasm, and overall well-being. Participants will examine the positive aspects of their work as support staff and gain a renewed sense of their importance as solution providers. They will also learn small changes they can make to their workspace to create a more physically and emotionally appealing environment. The instructor will explain the importance of time management, taking breaks, practicing relaxation techniques, and taking advantage of training opportunities when they present themselves.
Just Keep Swimming: Moving Ahead with a Plan
The final lesson will enable participants to create a personal action plan based on their specific needs as help desk staff. By assessing their individual strengths and weaknesses, they will develop an outline of specific steps they may take to both capitalize on their assets and overcome any current difficulties they might be experiencing.

Upon completion of the program, participants will have a clear understanding of their need to be exceptional communicators when users call for their assistance. They will know the steps involved in active listening and speaking to people whose communication styles might be vastly different from their own. They will also be aware of techniques they can use when dealing with difficult users who contact them by phone or email. With the information they receive on stress reduction and workplace enhancement, and with their individualized plans for improvement, they should be able to implement changes that will allow them to perform their jobs with renewed enthusiasm.

  Questions This Page Answers About Training in Help Desk Training

  • Where can I find "people skills" training for my help desk team?
  • Who offers soft skills training for help desk professionals?
  • I need a customer service course for my help desk team. Who offers this?
  • Does Business Training Works offer customer service workshops specifically for help desk professionals?
  • What is typically covered during a customer service seminar for people working at a help desk?