Help Desk: A Service-Oriented Career Track

Laymen often assume the job of a help-desk worker is to continuously smile and bear the brunt of irate callers’ wrath when a piece of technology breaks down or refuses to cooperate with the end user. While that scenario may be a stretch, in reality, the help-desk function does exist to serve customers with malfunctioning technical devices.

“A lot of help desks out there [focus on]: ‘If your technology is broken, here’s [the number] you call to fix it,’” said John Ahlberg, president of Waident Technology Solutions, a provider of IT support. Waident takes a slightly different approach.

“For us, it’s, ‘Your end user needs help.’ And that could include, ‘My technology is broken,’ but about 50-60 percent of [the time], it revolves around [situations] like, ‘What’s the most effective way to do a mail merge?’ or ‘How do I open an Office 2007 file when I only have Office 2003?’” Ahlberg said.

If an end user shopping around for a home computer calls the help desk for advice, employees must go above and beyond traditional service norms to help the customer find what will suit their individual needs and e-mail them special deals or useful information they come across.

“For me, help desk is the people part,” Ahlberg said. “It’s the ‘we’re here for you; what can we do?’ part.”

Service: The Fundamental Objective
Responsiveness and communication skills should be engrained in anyone looking to serve in a help-desk function. Most service-level agreements require a company to respond…

Deanna Hartley


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