Customer Service for the
Technical Support Professional

Refining skills for success in PC and network support
Course developer: Glenn E. Weadock, MCSE


Tech support involves more than bits and bytes. It requires many interpersonal and organizational skills, such as active listening, diplomacy, and time management. But above all it requires a refined understanding of "customer service." This 2-day course takes a hard look at soft skills.

1. Overview: The Help Desk Analyst

A. Role of the Help Desk
B. Evaluating Business Goals
C. The Skill and Knowledge Matrix
D. Transferrable Skills
E. Combining People and Systems

2. Refining Interpersonal Skills

A. Elements of Courtesy
B. Eight Points of Professionalism
C. Team Orientation
D. The Customer’s Perspective
E. Elements of Diplomacy
F. Negative Patterns: Attack and Defend

3. Improving Telephone Techniques

A. "Phone Attitude"
B. Anatomy of a Support Call
C. The Handshake: Greeting the Customer
D. Active Listening
E. Getting the Details
F. How and When to Use "Hold"
G. How to Transfer a Call Correctly
H. Closing the Call
I. Subtleties of Voice
J. Difficult Callers and Techniques for Dealing with Them

4. Writing Technical Documents

A. Documents, Analog and Digital
B. Defining the Audience
C. Key Elements of Writing Style
D. Tips for Creating Tech Notes
E. Tips for Writing E-Mails
F. Focus on Practicality

5. Problem-Solving Skills

A. Verbal, Mathematical, and Visual Thinking
B. Problem Definition and Delimiting
C. Problem Conceptualization
D. Recognizing and Avoiding Conceptual Blocks
E. Four Analytical Techniques
F. Workarounds vs. Solutions

6. Identifying and Using References and Resources

A. Books, Directories, Periodicals
B. Reference CD-ROMs
C. Web-Based Resources
D. Building and Organizing a Tech Support Library
E. Identifying and Cultivating Resource People
F. General Research Techniques

7. Managing Your Own Technical Education

A. Education Sources
B. 1-Year and 3-Year Plans
C. Preparing for Training
D. Techniques for Reinforcing Knowledge and Skills
E. Self-Training Techniques

8. Referral and Escalation Procedures

A. Time- and Activity-Based Escalation
B. Documentation
C. Routing Procedures
D. Following Up with Specialists
E. Following Up with Customers
F. Closing Out Referred Calls
G. Tracking Performance

9. Personal Organization Management

A. Using Personal Information Managers
B. Setting Realistic Priorities
C. Fundamentals of Time Management

10. Recognizing and Avoiding Burnout

A. Symptoms of Job Fatigue
B. Identifying Burnout Causes
C. Measuring Job Stress
D. Communicating with the Boss
E. Internal and External Techniques for Minimizing Job Fatigue

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