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Chapter 11 - The IT Professional

11.0 The IT Professional

11.0.1 Introduction >11.0.1.1 Introduction

The image on this page shows a number of help desk staff wearing headsets and sitting at computers.

11.1 Communication Skills and the IT Professional

11.1.1 Communication Skills, Troubleshooting, and Professional Behavior >11.1.1.1 Relationship Between Communication Skills and Troubleshooting

The figure on this page shows the following list of Technical Resources:

  • Personal Experience
  • Scripts
  • Websites
  • Search Engines
  • Online FAQS
  • Co-workers
  • Support Vendors
  • Diagnostic repair tools
  • Manufacture manuals
  • Email

11.1.1 Communication Skills, Troubleshooting, and Professional Behavior >11.1.1.2 Relationship Between Communication Skills and Professional Behavior

The image on this page shows a young male help desk operator wearing a headset and speaking to a person seeking support.

11.1.1 Communication Skills, Troubleshooting, and Professional Behavior >11.1.1.3: Worksheet - Technician Resources

See IT Essentials 5.0 Labs and Worksheets Accessible Files

11.1.2 Working with a Customer >11.1.2.1 Using Communication Skills to Determine Customer Problems

The image on this page shows a young female help desk operator wearing a headset and speaking to a person seeking support.

11.1.2 Working with a Customer >11.1.2.2 Displaying Professional Behavior with Customers

Figure 1 on this page s shows the following table listing the dos and donts of how to put a customer on hold:

Do Do Not
  • Let the customer finish talking.
  • Explain that you will have to put the customer on hold and why.
  • Once given consent, tell the customer you will be just a minute.
  • Interrupt.
  • Abruptly put the customer on hold.
  • Put on hold without an explanation and the customer’s consent.

Figure on this page s shows the following table listing the dos and donts of how to transfer a call:

Do Do Not
  • Let the customer finish talking.
  • Explain that you will have to transfer the call, tell the customer to whom, and why.
  • Tell the customer the number you are transferring the customer to. (e.g. #142).
  • Ask if it’s all right to transfer the call now.
  • Once given consent, begin the transfer.
  • Tell the new technician who you are, the ticket number, and the name of the customer.
  • Interrupt.
  • Abruptly transfer the call.
  • Transfer without an explanation and the customer consent.
  • Transfer without informing the new technician.

11.1.2 Working with a Customer >11.1.2.3 Activity - Putting a Customer on Hold

The figure on this page is an interactive activity that allows the learner to choose if an action is correct in the process of putting a customer on hold by dragging either a "Do" or "Do Not" label to each listed action.

The listed actions are:

  • Explain why you have put the customer on hold.
  • Put the customer on hold without telling the customer what you are about to do.
  • Ask permission from the customer to put him or her on hold.
  • Talk while the customer is talking.
  • Begin answering a question before the customer has stopped talking.
  • Give the customer some idea of how long you think it will be until you can come back.
  • Explain that you will have to put the customer on hold.
  • Put the customer on hold without asking permission from the customer.
  • Allow the customer to finish talking.

The figure also has the following three buttons:

  • ? (Shows instructions for the interactive activity)
  • Check
  • Reset

11.1.2 Working with a Customer >11.1.2.4 Activity - Transferring a Call

The figure on this page is an interactive activity that allows the learner to choose if an action is correct in the process of transferring a call by dragging either a "Do" or "Do Not" label to each listed action.

The listed actions are:

  • Ask permission from the customer to transfer the call.
  • Explain that you will have transfer the call and why.
  • Begin answering a question before the customer has stopped talking.
  • Give the new technician to whom you are transferring the call the customer’s name and the trouble ticket number.
  • Transfer the customer’s call without asking permission from the customer.
  • Transfer the customer call without telling the customer what you are about to do.
  • Talk while the customer is talking.
  • Tell the customer the phone number or extension of the person to whom you are transferring the call.
  • Tell the customer the name of the person to whom you are transferring the call.
  • Transfer the call without permission from the technician who will receive the call.
  • Allow the customer to finish talking.

The figure also has the following three buttons:

  • ? (Shows instructions for the interactive activity)
  • Check
  • Reset

11.1.2 Working with a Customer >11.1.2.5 Keeping the Customer Focused on the Problem

The figure on this page is an interactive activity that allows the learner to understand how to keep different types of customer focused on the problem. When each of the following customer types is chosen the relevant dos and don'ts are displayed.

Talkative Customer.

  • DO:
    • Allow the customer to talk for one minute.
    • Gather as much information about the problem as possible.
    • Politely step in to refocus the customer. This is the exception to the rule of never interrupting a customer.
    • Ask as many closed-ended questions as you need to once you have regained control of the call.
  • Do Not:
    • Encourage non-problems related conversation by asking social questions such as “How are you today?”

Rude Customer.

  • DO:
    • Listen very carefully, as you do not want to ask the customer to repeat any information.
    • Follow a step-by-step approach to determining and solving the problem.
    • If the customer has a favorite technician, try to contact that technician to see if they can take the call. As an example, tell the customer, "I can either help you right now or see if (the preferred technician) is available. They will be available in two hours. Will that be acceptable?" If the customer wants to wait for the other technician, record this in the ticket.
    • Apologize for the wait time and the inconvenience, even if there has been no wait time.
    • Reiterate that you want to solve their problem as quickly as possible.
  • Do Not:
    • Ask the customer to do any obvious steps if there is any way you can determine the problem without them.
    • Be rude to the customer, even if they are rude to you.

Abgry Customer

  • DO:
    • Let the customer tell their problem without interrupting, even if they are angry. This allows the customer to release some of their anger before you proceed.
    • sympathize with the customer problem.
    • Apologize for wait time and inconvenience.
  • Do Not:
    • If at all possible, try not to put this customer on hold or transfer the call.
    • Spend call time talking about what caused the problem (rather, redirect the conversation to solving the problem).

Knowledgeable Customer

  • DO:
    • if you are a level one technician, you might try to set up a conference call with a level two technician.
    • Give the customer the overall approach to what you are trying to verify.
  • Do Not:
    • Follow a step-by-step process with this customer.
    • Ask to check the obvious, such as the power cord or the power switch. As an example, you could suggest a reboot instead.

Inexperienced Customer

  • DO:
    • Use a simple step-by-step process of instructions.
    • Speak in plain terms.
  • Do Not:
    • Use industry Jargon.
    • Be condescending to your customer or belittle them.

11.1.2 Working with a Customer >11.1.2.6 Using Proper Netiquette

The figure on this page shows the following list of points regarding basic netiquette:

  • Be pleasant and polite.
  • Begin each email, even within a thread, with an appropriate greeting.
  • Never send chain letters via email.
  • Do not send or reply to flames.
  • Use mixed case. UPPER CASE IS CONSIDED SHOUTING.
  • check grammar and spelling before you post.
  • Be ethical.
  • Never Mail or post anything you would not say to someone’s face.

11.1.3.1(Image1): Shows a picture of a call board which gives the manger an overview of how many calls are on wait and the number of the agents dealing with customers and the time spent talking to the customer.

11.1.3 Employee Best Practices >11.1.3.1 Time and Stress Management Techniques

Figure 1 on this page shows an image of a typical call board listing the following:

  • Queues
  • Calls being processed
  • Agents currently logged in

Figure 2 ion this page shows the following list of ways to relax:

  • Practice relaxed breathing: inhale –hold-exhale-repeat.
  • Listen to soothing sounds.
  • Massage your temples.
  • Take a break – go for a quick walk, or climb a flight of stairs.
  • Eat something small – a snack with protein is best.
  • Plan your weekend.
  • Avoid stimulants like coffee, fizzy drinks, and chocolate. All contain caffeine and can add to stress.

11.1.3 Employee Best Practices >11.1.3.2 Observing Service Level Agreements

The image on this page shows an example of part of a Template of a Service Legal Agreement with the following headings but with the corresponding text blurred:

  • Service Monitoring
  • Contingency
  • Maintenance Windows
    • Response Time Guarantee

11.1.3 Employee Best Practices >11.1.3.3 Follwing Business Policies

The image on this page shows a call centre with a large number of staff wearing headsets and speaking to customers. The image also shows the call center software running on a computer.

11.2 Ethical and Legal Issues in the IT Industry

11.2.1 Ethical and Legal Considerations >11.2.1.1 Ethical Considerations in IT

The image on this page shows a man showing a woman how to use a smartphone.

11.2.1 Ethical and Legal Considerations >11.2.1.2 LegalConsiderations in IT

The image on this page shows a picture of three call center staff sitting at their workstations, wearing headsets, and assisting customers.

11.2.2 Legal Procedures Overview >11.2.2.1 Computer Forensics

The image on this page shows a magnifying glass sitting on a keyboard.

11.2.2 Legal Procedures Overview >11.2.2.2 Cyber Law and First Response

The image on this page shows a laptop displaying the text, "Cyber Law". In front of the laptop is a judge's hammer and gavel.

11.2.2 Legal Procedures Overview >11.2.2.3 Documentation and Chain of Custody

The image on this page shows a forensic evidence bag, which is a sealable, flat, plastic bag with a label on the front that is filled-in with the details of the bag contents.

11.3 Call Center Technicians

11.3.1 Call Centers, Level One and Level Two Technicians >11.3.1.1 Call Centers

Figure 1 on this page is an image showing a call centre technician sitting at a workstation in a cubicle.

Figure 2 on this page is an interactive activity that allows the learner to understand some of the features of help desk software. When each of the following help desk software features is chosen the relevant description is displayed.

  • Log and track incidents
    • The software may manage call queues, set call priorities, assign calls, and escalate calls.
  • Record contact information
    • The software may store, edit, and recall customer names, email addresses, phone numbers, location, websites, fax numbers, and other information in a database.
  • Research product information
    • The software may provide technicians with information regarding the products supported, including features, limitations, new versions, configuration constraints, known bugs, product availability, links to online help files, and other information.
  • Run diagnostic utilities
    • The software may have several diagnostic utilities, including remote diagnostic software, in which the technician can take over a customer's computer while sitting at a desk in the call center.
  • Research a knowledge base
    • The software may contain a knowledge database that is pre-programmed with common problems and their solutions. This database may grow as technicians add their own records of problems and solutions.
  • Collect customer feedback
    • The software may collect customer feedback regarding satisfaction with the call center's products and services.

Figure 3 on this page shows the following table listing call prioritization:

Name Definition Priority
Down The company cannot operate any of its computer equipment. 1 (Most Urgent)
Hardware One (or more) of the company’s computers is not functioning correctly. 2 (Urgent)
Software One (or more) of the company computers is experiencing software or operating system errors. 2 (Urgent)
Network One (or more) of the company’s computers cannot access the network. 2 (Urgent)
Enhancement There has been a request from the company for additional computer functionality. 3 (Important)

11.3.1 Call Centers, Level One and Level Two Technicians >11.3.1.2 Level One Technician Responsibilities

The figure on this page lists the following Information Checklist:

  • Contact information
  • What is the manufacture and model of computer?
  • What OS is the computer using?
  • Is the computer plugged in to the wall or running on battery power?
  • Is the computer on a network? If so, is it a wired or wireless connection?
  • Was any specific applications being used when the problem occurred?
  • Have any new drivers or updates been installed recently? If so, what are they?
  • Description of the problem
  • Priority of problem

11.3.1 Call Centers, Level One and Level Two Technicians >11.3.1.3 Level Two Technician Responsibilities

The image on this page shows an escalated work order for Cisco systems which has information such as:

  • Company name and contact details
  • Category
  • Device type
  • Item
  • Closure code
  • Escalated?
  • Status
  • Pending
  • Pending until date
  • Summary of problem
  • Case IDs
  • Priority
  • Connection type
  • Environment
  • User platform
  • Problem description
  • Problem solution

11.4 The IT Professional

11.4.1 Summary 11.4.1.1 Summary

The image on this page shows a number of help desk staff wearing headsets and sitting at computers.

End of Chapter 11: The IT Professional.

Next - Chapter 12: Advanced Troubleshooting.

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Page last modified on March 26, 2015, at 01:59 AM