House Calls: On-Site Assistance for Customers

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Help desk and support is a core division of any business service and operation. It is responsible for bringing together multiple resources to address a problem or an issue. And because help desk and support users can be both external and internal, the function is vital to the success of an organization and the satisfaction of its customers. That said, help desk and support professionals—especially desk-side support—should not only understand help-desk tools, possess essential analytical and problem-solving skills and be knowledgeable across a variety of computer and network technologies, but they should exhibit good manners as well. Although etiquette alone will not deem desk-side support professionals successful, it is definitely a critical part of their jobs because they represent the company. Here are some standard rules of etiquette that will surely help you put your best foot forward while offering assistance on-site.


Before even stepping out of your office, make sure that you are prepared. Because desk-side support professionals often work in tandem with a company’s call center, it is important that you understand the customer’s problem before rushing over to the location to fix it. Simply speaking with the call center representative will improve the quality of customer service that you can provide. Also, thoroughly understanding the customer’s problem will give you some time to ensure that you have the right tools and resources at your fingertips when you arrive on-site.


After you are prepared, it is always an extremely nice gesture to confirm the appointment with the customer beforehand. A simple reminder phone call is an excellent opportunity to show the customer how much you really care. Also, make sure that you arrive on time. Because businesses rely on their computers, valuable time and money can be lost due to your tardiness. Punctuality is the first step to making a fabulous first impression.


But making a fabulous first impression also requires the proper attire. Studies have proven that the way you dress directly correlates to the way you work. Your attire literally can affect your voice over the phone, your posture and the way you are perceived. Whether you are required to wear a uniform, dress in formal business attire or are free to wear whatever you please, you should analyze how your dress represents your company as well as your skills. If you are dressed too casual or have ketchup residue left on your chin from lunchtime, it could undermine your perceived ability for success.


So once you are dressed for success and arrive on time, what’s next? Perhaps the most important part of desk-side assistance: communication. You must—yes, must—possess strong communication skills. During your first visit, it is appropriate to use courtesy titles, introduce yourself around and shake hands with people. Of course, once you are familiar with an organization, your social interactions can be less formal. Nevertheless, remember that you are there to solve a problem or an issue. Do not dilly-dally with the customer: Get to work and resolve the problems quickly and efficiently. Before you leave, be sure to ask the users to test their systems and make sure that they are satisfied with your work because unhappy customers can cause substantial loss, both reputable and financial, for your company. Not to mention, the cost for the customer whose systems are not functioning optimally.


Also depending on the customer’s environment or your company’s protocol, while on a house call it is an excellent opportunity to check the diagnostics of their network, make sure that everyone’s antivirus software is up-to-date, install new programs and fix any other problems or issues if need be. Going the extra mile—especially when not expected to—will definitely make your customers happy.


One final way to please a customer is to follow up after resolving their problem or issue. You can follow up with a phone call, e-mail or a card to ensure that the problem was completely resolved and that they were satisfied. This might seem like overkill, but a happy and satisfied customer will definitely seek your services repeatedly. So following these simple rules of etiquette could really improve the overall success of your help desk and support team or business.


–Cari McLean,

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