Pat Vickers, Expert in Help Desk Management

Respecting Your Users

I spent years in phone support. I was a frontline tech, a manager and, at times, a trainer. I always liked the job but I was one of the few. Most techs hate it and would rather do anything than take calls. I think there are a couple of reasons.

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The first thing people hate about working phone support is they are on the phone. That sounds silly but working a phone room feels like a low lever job. You have to wear a headset which always looks funny. Management counts the number of calls you take and coaches you on how to take more and worst of all they monitor you. Even when the pay is good those three things together make employees feel like they are just one step above wearing a hairnet. Heck Some hairnets look better than the headsets.

The big thing techs always complain about though is the callers themselves. Techs go on and on about how stupid the users are and how much they hate them. I never could figure out those techs. I mean the only reason we had jobs was we knew more about computer systems than the callers. Did they really want the callers to be able to figure these problems out on their own?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

For the most part I always liked my users and liking the people I supported sure made the job a lot better. Once I was in management and training I did my best to change tech attitudes about users. This was my philosophy. What job would you rather have, one where you take care of a bunch of whiney idiots who can’t take care of themselves or a job where you solve technical problems for intelligent professionals. I always worked with smart professionals and I was always happy in my work. The difference is really in the tech’s attitude and respect, not the users’ education.

For more tips on how to manage check out The IT Project Manager’s Toolkit (below). It’s an invaluable asset for working with people.

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