According to a Computerworld annual forecast survey, help desk and technical support skills are very much in demand. So much so that it was forecast as one of the 9 hottest IT skills in 2009. The need is greatest for excellent customer interaction skills paired with a depth of expertise.
One of the most needed types of help desk/support worker is one who is extremely flexible, able to do phone support as well as fixing problems on the desk top.
As I have mentioned before (Invest in Customer Service It Will Never Decrease in Value , Four Ways to Ensure a Calm Customer Experience) the need for customer interaction skills cannot be overstated. These are the people at the front line, the face and voice of your company. How do you want to be perceived?
Considering many people will bolt for the door after one, just one bad customer support experience, isn’t it worth it to hire the best you can?
Do I hear you saying,”But my support desk is a cost center. I can’t justify the higher wages to get those kinds of people.”
What if those same people who help your customers with any problems they have with your product were also taking the opportunity of offering further services? After all, the customer is on the phone already. When practicable, the agent can sell some more stuff!
That makes your support desk a profit center. I doubt there is any trouble justifying having extra money coming in.
Now you can afford to hire those people who can help grow your business. The ones who could calm an angry crowd of bees, trouble-shoot the problem, and then get them to buy honey from you. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but that is the type of person you need.
What are some of the so-called soft skills you look for in a support desk agent?
In the next post I will write more about these skills, but I really would like to hear from the front lines: what do you need to do to be an elite support desk agent?