Assisting Others by Working in Help Desk Jobs

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It's called a help desk for a reason—it's there for you to be of assistance to people by answering the phones and helping the party at the other end. A ''help desk'' has earned a new definition that usually refers to someone in place to help others with a computer problem, be it a connection problem to helping someone with an intricate software installation. Usually the help wanted ad will refer to these as IT help desk jobs.

There are, however, other help desk jobs that require you to answer the phone and help people with different problems that are not computer oriented. In this case your job is to connect the caller with either your boss or someone else in the company to answer their question. In smaller companies, you may be the one who can answer the majority of the calls, or in some cases, your job is to protect your boss from having to answer nuisance calls.

Regardless of which type of job you have, there are some phone etiquette guides that you should follow.

Try to answer a ringing phone by at least the third ring or a caller may feel as if no one is going to answer his call and may hang up. If you are having a conversation with someone when the phone rings, do yourself a favor and discontinue it prior to answering the phone because sometimes the “end” of a conversation may be misconstrued.

One of the worst things you can do when answering a phone is to be chewing on something, whether it is the last bite of your sandwich or even gum! You want your voice to sound clear and friendly at all times. Remember that speaking to you may be the first and only personal contact that the caller has with your company, thus you will want to make a good first impression that will remain with the caller long thereafter.

Don’t just be button pushers. If you cannot help someone who calls in then ask questions to see who or where the best transfer is located. Do this so that the caller is not bounced from one department to another without finding the answer to his problem. If you are transferring the caller, explain that you are doing so and to which person or department you are transferring the call to; otherwise the caller may think that you’ve hung up on him.

Taking messages will be a great part of your job if you have taken a help desk job, or even an IT help desk job, so you should have paper and a something to write with handy at all times. Ask the caller’s name and ask for the proper spelling, as well as the party’s phone number including the area code. When you’ve taken the message, repeat it to the caller so that there are no misunderstandings.

Learn to speak at a moderate pace. If you rush through anything while on the phone, the caller may become irritated with you or worse yet may misunderstand what you are saying, which will undoubtedly create additional problems. This is doubly important if your speaking voice has an accent. Slow down so that you are heard properly.

The use of proper phone etiquette leaves callers with a positive impression of you and your company in general. Also, you’ll find that callers treat you with respect and will be willing to go out of their way to give you a hand when you need it if you use the proper etiquette.
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