How to Combine Technical Knowledge and Human Relations Skills to Deliver Exceptional End-User Support
Watch the video at the right to learn about the other skill set required for success in IT
Today’s IT professional must master two skill families in order to be successful. The first is technical skills and knowledge. That’s obvious. Without a solid technical understanding, you simply can’t do the job. The second is how to improve customer service. That means developing an ability to understand, get along with, and influence people. Even though our jobs are indeed technical in nature, the human component is always present and it’s often the most challenging part of our jobs. We may have the technical knowledge to help an end-user, but if they’re angry, frustrated, or otherwise upset, it’s our people skills that allow us first to manage the situation successfully. Then we use our technical skills to solve the technical problem. This is where tech support training for customer service improvement can really make a difference.
Not only do our people skills help us in our one-on-one interactions with our end-users, they also help us deal with organizational politics: how we interact with other people, both individually and in groups. By mastering people skills, we can learn to successfully navigate the political landscape in the office to gain credibility with our co-workers, our end-users, and our bosses and, most importantly, gain their support behind our backs.
Tech training is not just about technology training anymore. Whether it's IT customer service training for your entire IT staff or just IT help desk training, in this one-day seminar we’ll help your staff work to improve customer service skills to deliver outstanding customer service for your end-users. Just fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch with all the details.
Bring IT Customer Service Training Onsite to Your Location
- The benefits of delivering outstanding customer service
- The four traits of the customer service masters
- The importance of maintaining a positive, optimistic attitude when dealing with end-users and co-workers
- How to use "emotional intelligence" to provide better customer service and manage your stress
- Ways to deal with angry customers (rude or abusive end-users) for positive results
- The keys to effective communication with end users
- Know how to overcome barriers to communication when using the telephone or chat
- Know how to say "no" without alienating the end user
- Identify keys to dealing positively with the stress of the help desk position
The target audience consists of IT support professionals who provide end-user helpdesk support, IT managers, network administrators, help desk technician or anyone involved in supporting end users. All IT staff can benefit from tech support classes such as this.
Module One: The Foundations of Service
Watch the video at right to learn the four traits of the customer service masters, presented by author Don R. Crawley, the speaker for soundtraining.net's help desk classes and IT customer service classes.
Within most organizations, there are some people who simply "get it". They seem like they were born to provide outstanding customer service. In this module, you'll examine the intrinsic characteristics of people who were "born to serve".
Module Two: The Challenge of Different Generations
Today's workplace has greater diversity among its employees than at any other time in our history. Just recently, it seemed as though we managed a fairly homogeneous group of people, meaning they were all about the same age and sex with similar racial/ethnic backgrounds and they all came from equally similar socio/cultural environments. It required only a few tools and just a moderate understanding of these issues to manage a workforce. But today the situation is radically changed: The workgroup you manage is very likely composed of men and women of all age groups with differing racial/ethnic backgrounds as well as widely ranging socio/economic backgrounds. Much has been written about these differences in all areas except age. Generational differences are often the least understood of these topics. In this session you will examine the way people of different age groups look at the world, the workplace, and technology.
- What are the four generational groups at work?
- How have world and national events shaped their view of the workplace?
- Where do the loyalties of each group lie?
- To which group do the IT managers belong?
- Who are the Help Desk professionals?
- What are the potential pitfalls dealing with each group?
Module Three: Practical Emotional Intelligence
Watch the video to right to learn about emotional intelligence in the workplace, presented by author Don R. Crawley, the speaker for this seminar.
Emotional intelligence includes the ability to identify and use emotions (both yours' and those of other people) to produce successful outcomes in your dealings with other people. In this module, you'll learn:
- How to identify emotions
- How emotions affect thinking
- How to label and analyze emotions
- Positive ways to react to various emotions
- How to use emotional intelligence for positive personal growth
Module Four: What to Do When the User Isn't Right
We've all heard the saying, "The customer is always right." The problem is that they're not always right and sometimes they're just downright rude or even abusive. It?s a little known fact that 70% of customer loss is due to perceived indifference. In this session, you'll learn five valuable techniques for disarming unreasonable or abusive end-users (angry customers).
- It's not about you, it's about their problem
- What to do with the "know it all"
- Finding the problem, providing the solution
- Partnering with the caller
- Diffusing the irate caller
- What to do with the belligerent caller
Module Five: The Art of Listening Well
The objective of listening is to achieve understanding. When we listen to understand, we are better able to truly help our end-user. In this module, you'll learn how to move from "pretend" listening to truly "empathic" listening--listening to understand.
- The five levels of listening
- How to achieve empathic listening
- Ten keys to being a good listener
Module Six: Making Sure They Know You Care
The most effective way to communicate is face-to-face, because then you have the words, tone-of-voice, and body language. It's a common misconception that the help desk staffer usually has only words and tone-of-voice as communication tools. In this session, you'll learn valuable tools for making sure that your helpful attitude comes across, even when you can't be seen. We?ll also cover the biggest end-user turn-offs, including some innocent but emotionally loaded phrases, words and actions. Simple tools that can make a huge difference.
- The three components of communication
- How to avoid conversation breakdown
- Keeping the call positive
- Why you must remain positive and upbeat
- Tips and tricks to convey optimism
Module Seven: Communicating through email, texting, and instant messaging
Customer and end-user support takes place in person, on the phone, through email, texting, and instant messaging. Regardless of the communications medium, the objective is always to have satisfied end-users. In this module, you'll see practical examples of how to make non-traditional communications methods work successfully.
- Communicating through email
- Communicating via texting
- Communicating via instant messaging
Module Eight: How to say no without alienating the end user
Sometimes, what the end-user wants simply can't be done. When that happens, the skillful desktop support staffer delivers the news in a way that is clear, yet non-offensive. Alternatives, when available, may be offered, but the key lies in finding a way to say no without leaving the end-user feeling neglected or ignored.
- The art of no
- Dealing with the unsolvable problem
- Getting end-user buy-in
- What to do when you don't know or can't find the answer
Module Nine: Stress Management
Watch the video at right to learn about using gratitude to relieve stress.
Let's face it: End-user desktop support can be one of the most stressful positions in all of IT. In this session, you'll learn practical, down-to-earth techniques for dealing positively with the inevitable stress of a desktop support position.
- The impact of stress
- The stress management equation
- What is in your control and what is not
- Personal stress activators
- You can influence the stress outcome
Would you like a preview of this seminar?
soundtraining.net's president, Don R. Crawley, was invited to present an abbreivated version of this seminar in a TrainSignal webinar. It runs about an hour and you can watch it here.
Prospective attendees should possess basic knowledge of the Windows operating system combined with a sincere desire to improve skills as a help desk engineer or technician and a willingness to apply the methods learned.
Recommendations from Previous Customers
Don was very approachable and helpful during the training. He knew the material well and seemed to be personally interested and into it.
Navid Mansourian, Facebook, Inc.
The results were fantastic immediately...watching three of my team members who were struggling with the very topics you were touching on. They were passionate about it, they were excited. They went out to the client they'd had a difficult interaction wtih and immediately resolved it.
Jeffrey Whitehead, National Institututes of Health (NIAMS)
Excellent job. It really got me thinking about my customers and found areas where I can improve myself.
Elizabeth Vera, Discover Card
Without a doubt, Don Crawley is one of the most effective and personable IT communicators I have ever met. Don delivered a wide variety of training programs, both technical and non-technical, for my company between 1997 and 2008. The depth of his knowledge and his ability to translate challenging, often complex information into a form that his audiences can both understand and use puts Don in the upper echelon of computer trainers. Don really loves what he does, and that passion is what makes him good at it. If you have the opportunity to work with him, I encourage you to do so.
Bob Potemski, SkillPath Seminars
Don presented an abbreviated talk on customer support to my extended team of computer professionals. Many were skeptical but Don communicates as an engineer and he kept them engaged. If you want walking on hot coals, hire a showman. If you're interested in learning from a down-to-earth guy who knows what he's talking about, consider Don Crawley.
Paul Nicholson, WideOrbit
I had the pleasure of working with Don on a webinar for TrainSignal on the topic of customer service for IT professionals. Don is an excellent public speaker and his knowledge of the subject was superb, after all he did write the book on the topic. What I liked about working with Don on this project was that he made sure to keep it interesting and interactive; webinar attendees were given a handout at the beginning of the session and had the opportunity to follow up with Don after the webinar. In my opinion, Don went above and beyond in his role as a presenter and did an outstanding job. I hope I get the opportunity to work with him again.
Kasia Lorenc, TrainSignal
Don was able to really help focus our IT team on service delivery by providing tools, concepts and stories that enabled our highly qualified group to excel even more - delivering clear and obvious business value.
Michael P. Richardson, American Superconductor
Several members of our IT department including myself attended Don's Help Desk Customer Service training class a few years ago to help us become an even better support team. His instruction was insightful and everyone took something with them from the class. Don's class helped reinforce some of the new things we knew but gave us a better perspective at looking at both sides of a help desk customer support role.
Kevin Bisignano, Mosaic
Schedule and Registration
- Registration: 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
- Morning session: 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
- Lunch (on your own): 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
- Afternoon session: 12:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Bring Technical Support Classes Onsite to Your Location