The World of the Help Desk

Nancy Anderson
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As a follow up to my past three postings dealing with what to expect from the world of a call center position in customer service, let me briefly turn to the world of the help desk. The call center based customer service is usually a whole different world of service, and the help desk usually requires knowledge above and beyond the basics. You are seen as a specialist for your company, and your job is to be able to listen and assess the issue and quickly find a viable solution.

Most people think - OK, well maybe it is just me - that a help desk is like mainly tech support for a product you are having issue with. And that is probably the most common scenario. With the increase of technology, so many more people are using so many new technological items and services, that issues surface, and product/technology ignorance is ever present as others learn to use these products.

So, on top of having some of the basic traits we have discussed for normal customer service, like problem solving, patience, good communication skills, etc. you must also have the technical know-how on a higher level, to accomplish the tasks in this position. So, go back through my previous posts to reconsider some of the more mainline interview questions and skills you'll need for customer service, then add to that the need for understanding and handling the more technical side.

Due to the nature of this field, oftentimes help desks are required to be available during many different shifts, sometimes even all night depending on the company. So, you may be asked to work shifts that are not always within the nine to five time frame. Do you have the flexibility to do so? Be prepared to discuss that in the interview. Are you up to date in your knowledge of current technology and skills? This can be important in order to deal more effectively with people, even if it is not pertaining to your supported product. Keep up with technologies that may affect your product, like compatibility issues if it is something that can be used in conjunction with your product. In the interview, always appear willing and able to learn new skills and technologies.

Do some research and be prepared ahead of time, before going for an interview, exactly what you will be dealing with in the service position, and fine tune your answers to directly respond to the aspects that are most relevant to their services.

Jeff McCormack resides in Virginia Beach, VA. where he works as a web designer by day. In his off time he is a husband, father, and musician. Aside from being a freelance writer for this Customer Service Jobs blog, he also seeks to assist in career choices and information by contributing to other Nexxt blog sites.

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