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 using active listening skills 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.

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 learn “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:

  • Greet customers positively and professionally over the telephone and in person.
  • Actively listen to customers’ concerns.
  • Use positive language and avoid inflammatory words and phrases.
  • Use emotional intelligence and a proven de-escalation process when dealing with difficult situations and challenging people.
  • Practice stress-reduction techniques to minimize the possibility of anxiety, anger, and job burnout.
  • Document customer concerns in such a way that they are understood by others who may need to reproduce or further assist with a problem.
  • Compose courteous and complete email messages.
  • Explain technical information in such a way that non-technical people can understand a subject.
  • Develop a personal action plan to improve customer-care skills.

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 thingamajig 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. During this introductory discussion, we will identify service challenges specific to a help-desk environment and tailor the agenda for the session.

Credible Service: How to Build Rapport and Actively Listen

Beyond the required technological knowledge, help desk workers must be great at putting customers at ease, communicating a sense of urgency and listening to what people tell them. This portion of the program focuses on those essential people skills. Through a series of exercises, we will look at the attitudes and behaviors that contribute to an agent’s credibility and those that detract from it.

Write This Way: Effective Email and Documentation

Even though support providers do a lot of their work verbally, they must know how to strike the right tone when writing email.  Furthermore, they must understand how to quickly and accurately document technical issues in their backend systems. This part of the course focuses on writing and best practices for creating professional text. 

Patience and Poise: 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 facilitator will offer practical strategies for participants to use to calm unknowledgeable, inexperienced, perplexed, angry, or abusive customers at the time they request help. 

Stress Management Skills: How to Survive Turbulence

As we will have explored in the previous discussion, despite their coming to the help desk, some people just aren’t that easy to help. Additionally, sometimes systems aren’t compatible, technology doesn’t work as planned, and help isn’t something an agent can easily provide. This part of the workshop focuses on stress management skills and techniques for managing the challenges most agents eventually encounter at some point during their careers.

Next Steps: Moving Ahead with a Plan

In the final workshop segment, participants will create a personal action plan based on their specific needs as help desk staff. 

By the conclusion of this program, participants should have a renewed sense of purpose and some tips and tricks for better managing their work at the help desk.