Whether you’re providing computer support to fellow employees, consumers or other companies your user all want something from you and your help desk operation. Obviously they want their hardware and software to work properly but that’s not all. Knowing what callers want and how to give it to them makes the job easier and more enjoyable. It also makes for a great Help Desk analyst.
Respect is probably the number one thing everyone wants from everyone else. We
all want it from our friends, family, bosses and the kid behind the counter. Given the universal desire for respect, it’s amazing how often we forget to give it. Treat your callers with respect and expect it in return. Respect means recognizing that a lack of technical prowess does not equate to stupidity or laziness. It also requires you to remember when computer systems were not part of your knowledge base. Let your caller know you respect their contribution, whether that is sales, purchase or just that they are trying.
2. The solution
We usually hear from our users when there is some sort of problem. We are counted upon to provide the solution. While you can’t always give an immediate solution you can let user know that you understand the problem and are working toward a solution. Do this by restating their problem, using somewhat different wording. Then tell them what you are doing to find the solution. It takes only a few seconds and not only eases your users’ the minds but verifies, for you, that you really do understand the situation.
3. Less Jargon
Other computer professionals like it when you talk geek. No one else does. Unless they are in the business your spouse, your children, your friends and family hate it. Your users hate it more than anyone. They already feel inadequate for having to reach out to you for help. Not being able to follow the conversation just makes them feel worse.
When you don’t know the answer, say you don’t know the answer but you will find it. The honesty is always appreciated and you look like an even bigger hero for all of your efforts when you do find the answer.
5. To get back to work
All anyone wants from the Help Desk is to get their work done. Your users come to you because there is something they need to do, usually for their job. They can’t do whatever it is and for some reason they believe you can correct that situation. That seems obvious but it’s important to keep in mind when talking with your users. They just want to get their work done.
6. To let off steam
No one wants to be yelled at and it’s not part of the support analyst’s job to accept that kind of treatment. Still, sometimes people just need to let off steam. When you hear the frustration start to build in your users’ voices, preempt the situation by acknowledging how frustrating it must be for them and that you know they probably need to vent. Hearing that will most likely be all the vent they need and yelling will not be necessary.
7. To be told they are not the problem
One reason user frustration gets to an explosive level is they fear the problem is their fault and is shining a light on their inadequacies. Computers are confusing and difficult. Even the most astute users and analysts sometimes delete a file they didn’t mean to or fat finger a password, one too many times. Let your users know that the system is supposed to compensate for human error and sometimes it fails. If that wasn’t true, the company wouldn’t have hired you.
Obviously these seven items don’t cover everything callers want or need. What do your callers want from you and how do you provide it? Let us know by posting a comment below.
If you like this column, check out “7 Things a Help Desk Analyst Needs from the Help Desk Manager.”