Course Highlights

This course for help desk and IT support professionals will:

  • Provide a process for identifying service targets.
  • Outline best practices for communicating via ticket, chat, telephone, and in-person.
  • Introduce frameworks for troubleshooting and escalating issues.
  • Suggest customer-centric language for managing expectations, acknowledging concerns, and more.

Course Overview

With few exceptions, the jobs of help desk representative or field technician are among the most challenging in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven environments. Those who seek expert help by phone, ticket, or email are often perplexed, stressed out, or downright angry. They want answers, results, and solutions—and they want them NOW! This course for service desk support providers focuses on best practices for delivering great service in myriad situations. The workshop introduces several repeatable frameworks and service-centric language. It also uses a series of case studies so participants can apply the course concepts in real-life scenarios.

Program Objectives

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

  • Discuss why people contact the help desk and why they don’t.
  • Identify the extent to which they have control or influence over various issues they encounter.
  • Explain the Purpose Triangle and the role of a help desk provider.
  • Describe how service targets help service providers create a uniform service experience.
  • Identify team service targets.
  • Discuss the competencies providers must develop to hit service targets.
  • Explain best practices for communicating via a ticketing system, chat, telephone, and in person.
  • Leverage pre-call language to manage expectations.
  • Acknowledge user concerns.
  • Use the SOLVE framework to troubleshoot issues.
  • Leverage the RISE model to escalate issues.
  • Explain the importance of good documentation and best practices for documenting user concerns and issues.
  • Outline ideas for stress management.
  • Select service-centric vocabulary.
  • Apply learning to solve case studies.

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

The Callers and Writers: Why People Get in Touch

HELP. I can’t open my document.” “The projector won’t turn on.” “My printer says it’s connected, but nothing is printing.” “I have no sound.” Anyone who has worked in technical support has encountered those issues and more. In this introductory segment, we’ll explore the reasons behind help desk contacts and the typical mindset of users when they reach out.

What’s the Problem: Usual Suspects

Knowing why people get in touch is the first step in proactively addressing preventable issues and preparing for the unexpected. In this part of the course, we will examine 21 issues service providers encounter. Next, we will decide whether these challenges are directly controllable, areas where we can influence or anticipate, or if they are situations where responding in the moment is the only option.

Out of Central Casting: The Role of the Help Desk Provider

This workshop segment looks at the role of the help desk provider and how people, processes, and the work product intersect. Working in teams, we will dig into the Purpose Triangle model and look for opportunities to strengthen each leg.

Knowing Where You’re Going: Service Targets

Service targets are essential for aligning a help desk team with a clear vision of its desired perception from customers. Using specific target words like “responsive” and “knowledgeable” as guiding pillars keeps everyone focused on what matters most: meeting (or possibly exceeding) customer expectations. In this part of the program, we will explore service targets and how support centers can use them to guide service interactions.

Crucial Competencies: Skills to Hit the Targets

This module explores crucial competencies service providers must have to hit the targets we defined in the previous segment. We will self-assess skills and identify development opportunities in four key areas: communication and interpersonal skills, problem-solving and analytical skills, teamwork and collaboration, and personal management and resilience.

Switch It Up: Best Practices for Communicating Via Various Channels

Tickets, chat, telephone, and in-person support are similar but not the same. In this part of the course, we will look at best practices for communicating via each channel and when switching from one channel to another makes sense.

Essential Muscles: Key Communication Tactics

Managing expectations and acknowledging concerns are two areas where support staff can greatly influence the customer experience. During this workshop segment, we will explore language for accomplishing those goals, the SOLVE model for troubleshooting, how to handle unsupported and third-party products, and the RISE model for escalating issues to the next tier of support.

Detailed Documentation: Creating Great Notes

Great documentation facilitates troubleshooting, improves collaboration, reveals trends, enhances the customer experience, and facilitates knowledge sharing. This part of the course looks at 18 best practices for effective documentation.

Stress Management Skills: Surviving Under Pressure

Working in a help desk environment can be challenging and stressful at times, and if service providers don’t effectively manage their stress, they ultimately won’t deliver the best possible service. This final seminar segment discusses seven best practices for managing stress and staying calm under pressure.

By the end of this interactive training, participants will gain renewed purpose and additional tools to enhance their service delivery.