IT Policies

Video: Five secrets to start a new help desk job off right

When you start a new help desk job, you need to get a few things straight before the calls begin rolling in, and not all of them will be covered in your training manual. In this IT Dojo video, Bill Detwiler shares five tips every support tech should follow before they start a new help desk job.

When you start a new help desk job, you need to get a few things straight before the calls begin rolling in, and not all of them will be covered in your training manual. In this IT Dojo video, I'll share five tips every support tech should follow before they start a new help desk job.

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or you can also read Jeff Dray's article "10 things to check before you start working on the help desk," on which this video is based.

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About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

11 comments
Lost Cause?
Lost Cause?

H - Hear the user out - what is the problem? E - Empathize with the user - Sorry that the problem occurred. A - Acknowledge what was said - Make sure you understand what the user is saying. Repeat back what you have been told. R - Response plan - What can be done to repair the problem? What is the time frame?

loelshsand
loelshsand

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tmba
tmba

Great message. Very insightful.

Kingbackwards
Kingbackwards

A newb is short for newbie. A noob is someone who doesn't have a clue but mostly because they don't listen and learn when they were a newb.

jspicker
jspicker

Regarding the dress code tip, I definitely agree that it is potentially a VERY bad first move to show up for your first day at work (IT or anywhere) in jeans and T-shirt without first confirming that this is indeed the norm for that company. However, I completely disagree that it is bad, let alone worse, to show up for your first day in the business attire of suit and, for men, tie. You can always take off the jacket and tie if it turns out you are overdressed, then have a good laugh about being the new guy or whatever and this is part of your training. You will make a MUCH better impression by making it obvious that you took some care with your appearance than if you just assume that jeans are cool. Hopefully you were observant enough during your interview phase to notice what others were wearing and then confirm with your new boss what is appropriate.

mike
mike

Hi, Another tip is to never slag the equipment, company, software or other people ? in other words anything! You may find out that the person on the phone has an interest in what you?re insulting. Learn to use phrases like ?This has occurred before: I?ll do what I can to get it going and then check the setup.? Or ?I?m sorry you?ve had a bad experience with that (or them) ??. The ?Well, well - who sold you this then? (thank you John Cleese, you taught me a lot) syndrome is a very slippery slope indeed! Oh! And apologise for mistakes ? even if they don?t exist or they weren?t yours. Be humble! Mike

snideley59
snideley59

Who is General Failure and why is he trying to read drive C:? These questions get asked. Try not to laugh.

Ron Larson
Ron Larson

Irrate customers Let them vent, get it out of their system if you can and have the time. Just remember it's not you their're mad at! It's the system or the program that's giving them trouble. After the venting tell them you'll do what you can and try to fix the problem. Most people just need to get it out. Always try to be polite. If you get mad back at them it just makes it worse and you can end up being in trouble also. Best to just listen and then try to fix the problem. Just remember it's not you that their're blasting at, You just happen to be in the way of the bullet.

FortBragg_Surfgoddess
FortBragg_Surfgoddess

I would say run as fast as you can! AAAHHHHHHHHHH! No seriously, I would tell a new employee to just be polite and curtious to all callers. Ask who the people are that get expidited treatment for what ever reason. But lastly don't clean something out of being nice because then that will become your job too.