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Effective Help Desk Specialist Skills

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About

Features

  • Thoroughly explains modern help desk support roles and all essential skill sets
  • Fully covers technical, security, and troubleshooting skills -- as well as crucial communications, writing, training, business, and personal skills
  • Highly effective teaching, via proven pedagogical features: clear objectives and summaries, multiple choice review questions, exercises, projects, case studies, and more

Description

  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 8" x 10"
  • Pages: 456
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-5240-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-5240-6

All of today’s help desk support skills, in one easy-to-understand book

  

The perfect beginner’s guide: No help desk or support experience necessary

Covers both “soft” personal skills and “hard” technical skills

Explains the changing role of help desk professionals in the modern support center

Today, everyone depends on technology–and practically everyone needs help to use it well. Organizations deliver that assistance through help desks. This guide brings together all the knowledge you need to succeed in any help desk or technical support role, prepare for promotion, and succeed with the support-related parts of other IT jobs. Leading technology instructor Darril Gibson tours the modern help desk, explains what modern support professionals really do, and fully covers both of the skill sets you’ll need: technical and personal. In clear and simple language, he discusses everything from troubleshooting specific problems to working with difficult users. You’ll even learn how to manage a help desk, so it works better and delivers more value.

Coverage includes:

• How the modern help desk has evolved

• Understanding your users’ needs, goals, and attitudes

• Walking through the typical help desk call

• Communicating well: listening actively and asking better questions

• Improving interactions and handling difficult situations

• Developing positive attitudes, and “owning” the problem

• Managing your time and stress

• Supporting computers, networks, smartphones, and tablets

• Finding the technical product knowledge you need

• Protecting the security of your users, information, and devices

• Defining, diagnosing, and solving problems, step by step

• Writing it up: from incident reports to documentation

• Working in teams to meet the goals of the business

• Using ITIL to improve the services you provide

• Calculating help desk costs, benefits, value, and performance

• Taking control of your support career

Powerful features make it easier to learn about help desk careers!

• Clear introductions describe the big ideas and show how they fit with what you’ve already learned

• Specific chapter objectives tell you exactly what you need to learn

• Key Terms lists help you identify important terms and a complete Glossary helps you understand them

• Author’s Notes and On The Side features help you go deeper into the topic if you want to

• Chapter Review tools and activities help you make sure you’ve learned the material

Exclusive Mind Mapping activities!

• Organize important ideas visually–in your mind, in your words

• Learn more, remember more

• Understand how different ideas fit together

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Introduction to Help Desk Support Roles

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 1 and Index)

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................................1

    Organization of the Text ......................................................................................................................................1

    Key Pedagogical Features .................................................................................................................................2

    A Brief Word on Mind Mapping .......................................................................................................................3

    Conclusion .................................................................................................................................................................5

CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Help Desk Support Roles ..............................................................................6

    Chapter Outline .......................................................................................................................................................7

    Objectives ...................................................................................................................................................................7

    Key Terms ...................................................................................................................................................................7

    Understanding the Support Center ...............................................................................................................8

        A Little History .................................................................................................................................................8

        The Evolution of the Support Center ......................................................................................................9

        Understanding an Incident and Incident Management .................................................................10

        The Role of the Support Center .............................................................................................................10

        IT Tiers within an Organization ...............................................................................................................12

    The Role of the Help Desk Professional ...................................................................................................14

        First Line of Support for Users ...............................................................................................................14

        Assessing Problems and Identifying Solutions ................................................................................14

        Recognizing Required Skillsets ..............................................................................................................15

    Understanding Users ..........................................................................................................................................19

        User Categories ............................................................................................................................................19

        Services Provided to Users ......................................................................................................................21

    Typical Incident Process ...................................................................................................................................23

        Steps in a Typical Incident Process ......................................................................................................23

        Tracking Incidents ........................................................................................................................................31

        Taking Ownership of Incidents ................................................................................................................33

    Chapter Review Activities ................................................................................................................................35

        Answer These Questions ..........................................................................................................................35

    Answers and Explanations ..............................................................................................................................38

        Define the Key Terms ..................................................................................................................................40

        List the Words Inside Acronyms .............................................................................................................40

        Create Mind Maps .......................................................................................................................................41

    Define Other Terms ......................................................................................................................................41

            Case Studies ..................................................................................................................................................41

CHAPTER 2 Communication Skills .....................................................................................................................42

    Chapter Outline .....................................................................................................................................................43

    Objectives .................................................................................................................................................................43

    Key Terms .................................................................................................................................................................43

    Elements of Communication ..........................................................................................................................44

        Verbal versus Non-Verbal Skills ..............................................................................................................45

        Effective Questioning Skills ......................................................................................................................50

        Active Listening Skills .................................................................................................................................52

        Methods to Improve Customer Interactions ......................................................................................54

    Recognizing Communication Barriers .......................................................................................................59

        Filters ................................................................................................................................................................60

        Previous Contact ..........................................................................................................................................62

        Cultural Sensitivity .......................................................................................................................................63

    Comparing Different Communication Methods ....................................................................................64

        In-Person .........................................................................................................................................................64

        Telephone ........................................................................................................................................................64

        Text-Only Communications ......................................................................................................................65

    Handling Difficult Situations............................................................................................................................66

        Expect the Best ............................................................................................................................................67

        Common Situations .....................................................................................................................................68

        Handling Conflict ..........................................................................................................................................70

        Defusing Incidents .......................................................................................................................................71

        When to Escalate .........................................................................................................................................71

    Chapter Review Activities ................................................................................................................................73

        Answer These Questions ..........................................................................................................................73

    Answers and Explanations ..............................................................................................................................76

        Define the Key Terms ..................................................................................................................................78

        List the Words Inside Acronyms .............................................................................................................78

        Create Mind Maps .......................................................................................................................................78

        Case Studies ..................................................................................................................................................79

CHAPTER 3 Personal Skills ...................................................................................................................................80

    Chapter Outline .....................................................................................................................................................81

    Objectives .................................................................................................................................................................81

    Key Terms .................................................................................................................................................................81

    Recognizing the Value of Attitude ................................................................................................................82

        Positive Attitude ............................................................................................................................................82

        Attitude versus Aptitude ............................................................................................................................84

        Service Attitude .............................................................................................................................................86

        Problem Ownership .....................................................................................................................................87

    Managing Stress ...................................................................................................................................................88

        Distress vs. Eustress ...................................................................................................................................89

        Stress and Adrenaline ................................................................................................................................90

        General Adaptation Syndrome ................................................................................................................91

        Effects of Distress ........................................................................................................................................92

        Recognizing Burnout ..................................................................................................................................93

        Identifying Stressors ...................................................................................................................................97

        Managing Stress ...........................................................................................................................................98

    Managing Your Time ...........................................................................................................................................99

        Document, Document, Document ......................................................................................................100

        Manage Priorities ......................................................................................................................................100

        Give Yourself More Time ........................................................................................................................102

    Managing Your Career ....................................................................................................................................102

        Career Paths ...............................................................................................................................................103

        Certifications ...............................................................................................................................................104

    Chapter Review Activities .............................................................................................................................107

        Answer These Questions .......................................................................................................................107

    Answers and Explanations ...........................................................................................................................110

        Define the Key Terms ...............................................................................................................................112

        Create Mind Maps ....................................................................................................................................112

        Case Studies ...............................................................................................................................................112

CHAPTER 4 Technical Skills ...............................................................................................................................114

    Chapter Outline ..................................................................................................................................................115

    Objectives ..............................................................................................................................................................115

    Key Terms ..............................................................................................................................................................115

    Working with Personal Computers ...........................................................................................................116

        Reviewing PC Hardware .........................................................................................................................116

        Understanding Firmware ........................................................................................................................127

        Understanding PC Operating Systems ............................................................................................129

        Supporting Software Applications ......................................................................................................131

    Working with Networks ..................................................................................................................................131

        Introducing Protocols ..............................................................................................................................132

        Understanding Common Network Components ..........................................................................133

    Working with Mobile Devices ......................................................................................................................141

        Comparing Operating Systems ...........................................................................................................142

        Comparing App Stores ...........................................................................................................................143

        Configuring Email ......................................................................................................................................143

        Implementing Security on Mobile Devices ......................................................................................144

        Comparing Landscape Modes to Portrait Modes ........................................................................145

    Understanding the Product ..........................................................................................................................146

        Getting Certified ........................................................................................................................................146

        Continuous Learning ................................................................................................................................149

    Chapter Review Activities .............................................................................................................................150

        Answer These Questions .......................................................................................................................150

    Answers and Explanations ...........................................................................................................................153

        Define the Key Terms ...............................................................................................................................155

        List the Words Inside Acronyms ..........................................................................................................155

        Create Mind Maps ....................................................................................................................................156

        Define Other Terms ...................................................................................................................................156

        Case Studies ...............................................................................................................................................156

CHAPTER 5 Security Skills .................................................................................................................................158

    Chapter Outline ..................................................................................................................................................159

    Objectives ..............................................................................................................................................................159

    Key Terms ..............................................................................................................................................................159

    Protecting IT Resources ................................................................................................................................160

        Introducing the Security Triad ..............................................................................................................161

        Protecting Confidentiality .......................................................................................................................161

        Protecting Integrity ...................................................................................................................................163

        Protecting Availability ..............................................................................................................................164

    Understanding Malware .................................................................................................................................165

        Replicating Malware .................................................................................................................................169

        Recognizing Malware Symptoms .......................................................................................................171

        Protecting Against Malware ..................................................................................................................172

        Removing Malware ...................................................................................................................................173

    Managing Risk ....................................................................................................................................................173

        Recognizing Threats ................................................................................................................................176

        Identifying Vulnerabilities ........................................................................................................................184

        Implementing Security Controls ..........................................................................................................185

    Chapter Review Activities .............................................................................................................................187

        Answer These Questions .......................................................................................................................187

    Answers and Explanations ...........................................................................................................................190

    Define the Key Terms ...............................................................................................................................192

        List the Words Inside Acronyms ..........................................................................................................192

        Create Mind Maps ....................................................................................................................................193

        Define Other Terms ...................................................................................................................................193

        Case Studies ...............................................................................................................................................193

CHAPTER 6 Troubleshooting Skills ................................................................................................................194

    Chapter Outline ..................................................................................................................................................195

    Objectives ..............................................................................................................................................................195

    Key Terms ..............................................................................................................................................................195

    Recognizing Key Troubleshooting Steps ...............................................................................................196

        Identifying the Problem ...........................................................................................................................197

        Establishing a Theory of Probable Cause .......................................................................................199

        Testing the Theory to Determine the Cause ...................................................................................199

        Establishing a Plan of Action to Resolve the Problem ...............................................................203

        Implementing the Solution or Escalating if Necessary ...............................................................203

        Verifying Full System Functionality .....................................................................................................205

        Documenting Findings, Actions, and Outcomes ..........................................................................206

    Following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) ..........................................................................207

        Using Troubleshooting Guides .............................................................................................................208

        Using Software to Solve Incidents .....................................................................................................210

    Understanding Problem-Solving Skills ...................................................................................................214

        Critical Thinking Skills .............................................................................................................................214

        Types of Thinking ......................................................................................................................................216

        Making Decisions ......................................................................................................................................218

    Chapter Review Activities .............................................................................................................................220

        Answer These Questions .......................................................................................................................220

    Answers and Explanations ...........................................................................................................................223

        Define the Key Terms ...............................................................................................................................225

        List the Words Inside Acronyms ..........................................................................................................225

        Create Mind Maps ....................................................................................................................................225

        Case Studies ...............................................................................................................................................225

CHAPTER 7 Writing Skills ....................................................................................................................................226

    Chapter Outline ..................................................................................................................................................227

    Objectives ..............................................................................................................................................................227

    Key Terms ..............................................................................................................................................................227

    Comparing Writing Styles ..............................................................................................................................228

        Comparing Active Writing to Passive Writing ................................................................................230

        Using Short Sections ...............................................................................................................................231

        Using Stories and Analogies .................................................................................................................232

        Avoiding Absolutes ...................................................................................................................................232

        Using Pronouns .........................................................................................................................................233

    Understanding Technical Writing...............................................................................................................233

        Knowing Your Audience .........................................................................................................................234

        Planning ........................................................................................................................................................234

        Following the Process .............................................................................................................................235

        Spelling Out Prerequisites .....................................................................................................................239

    Writing for Customers .....................................................................................................................................240

        Following the 3-30-30 Rule ...................................................................................................................241

        Contributing to Web Pages ...................................................................................................................241

        Creating FAQs ............................................................................................................................................242

        Writing Tutorials .........................................................................................................................................243

        Contributing to Brochures .....................................................................................................................246

        Contributing to Newsletters ..................................................................................................................248

        Writing White Papers ...............................................................................................................................248

        Writing Technical Manuals .....................................................................................................................249

    Writing for Internal Personnel .....................................................................................................................250

        Comparing Internal Documents to External Documents ...........................................................250

        Using a Knowledge Base .......................................................................................................................251

        Documenting Incidents ...........................................................................................................................251

    Chapter Review Activities .............................................................................................................................253

        Answer These Questions .......................................................................................................................253

    Answers and Explanations ...........................................................................................................................256

        Define the Key Terms ...............................................................................................................................258

        List the Words Inside Acronyms ..........................................................................................................258

        Create Mind Maps ....................................................................................................................................258

        Case Studies ...............................................................................................................................................258

CHAPTER 8 Training Skills ..................................................................................................................................260

    Chapter Outline ..................................................................................................................................................261

    Objectives ..............................................................................................................................................................261

    Key Terms ..............................................................................................................................................................261

    Effective Training Skills ..................................................................................................................................262

        Attitude ..........................................................................................................................................................263

        Skills and Techniques ..............................................................................................................................265

        Understanding Your Subject Matter ..................................................................................................278

    Steps Involved in Training .............................................................................................................................279

        Understanding How People Learn .....................................................................................................279

        Understanding Why Adults Learn .......................................................................................................280

        Developing a Course ...............................................................................................................................281

        Creating Training Materials ....................................................................................................................286

        Delivering the Training .............................................................................................................................290

    One-on-One Training vs. Group Training ...............................................................................................299

        Training Computer Users .......................................................................................................................299

        Training Help Desk Personnel ..............................................................................................................301

    Chapter Review Activities .............................................................................................................................304

        Answer These Questions .......................................................................................................................304

    Answers and Explanations ...........................................................................................................................307

        Define the Key Terms ...............................................................................................................................308

        List the Words Inside Acronyms ..........................................................................................................309

        Create Mind Maps ....................................................................................................................................309

        Define Other Terms ...................................................................................................................................309

        Case Studies ...............................................................................................................................................309

CHAPTER 9 Business Skills ...............................................................................................................................310

    Chapter Outline ..................................................................................................................................................311

    Objectives ..............................................................................................................................................................311

    Key Terms ..............................................................................................................................................................311

    Reviewing Core Business Skills .................................................................................................................312

        Communicating Effectively in the Business ....................................................................................312

        Writing Skills in the Business ...............................................................................................................313

        Understanding Presentation Skills in the Business .....................................................................314

        Solving Problems in the Business ......................................................................................................316

        Working with Customers ........................................................................................................................318

        Managing Projects in the Business ....................................................................................................318

        Managing Conflict .....................................................................................................................................323

        Maintaining Your Personal Appearance ...........................................................................................325

    Shaping the Business ......................................................................................................................................326

        Creating Vision Statements ...................................................................................................................327

        Creating Mission Statements ...............................................................................................................328

        Identifying Values ......................................................................................................................................329

    Aligning the Business ......................................................................................................................................332

        Governing IT ................................................................................................................................................333

        Comparing a Cost Center to a Profit Center ..................................................................................333

    Understanding ITIL ...........................................................................................................................................334

        Defining an ITIL Service ..........................................................................................................................335

        Tracking Services Through Their Lifecycle ......................................................................................335

        Understanding ITIL Certifications .......................................................................................................336

        Understanding ITIL Is Not All or Nothing .........................................................................................338

        Understanding Service Level Agreements ......................................................................................339

        Using Good Practices .............................................................................................................................340

        Understanding the ITIL Service Desk ................................................................................................341

        Comparing ITIL to ITL .............................................................................................................................341

    Chapter Review Activities .............................................................................................................................343

        Answer These Questions .......................................................................................................................343

    Answers and Explanations ...........................................................................................................................346

        Define the Key Terms ...............................................................................................................................348

        List the Words Inside Acronyms ..........................................................................................................348

        Create Mind Maps ....................................................................................................................................349

        Define Other Terms ...................................................................................................................................349

        Case Studies ...............................................................................................................................................349

CHAPTER 10 Calculating Help Desk Value ................................................................................................350

    Chapter Outline ..................................................................................................................................................351

    Objectives ..............................................................................................................................................................351

    Key Terms ..............................................................................................................................................................351

    Calculating Value with Performance Metrics ......................................................................................352

        Measuring the Performance of Your Help Desk ............................................................................352

        Analyzing Trends .......................................................................................................................................362

        Capturing Statistics with Computer Telephony Integration ......................................................363

        Comparing Intrinsic Motivation to Extrinsic Motivation .............................................................364

    Identifying Help Desk Costs .........................................................................................................................367

        Personnel Costs ........................................................................................................................................368

        Hardware Costs .........................................................................................................................................368

        Software Costs ...........................................................................................................................................368

        Facility Costs ..............................................................................................................................................369

        Overhead Costs .........................................................................................................................................370

        Budgeting .....................................................................................................................................................370

        Calculating Cost per Ticket ...................................................................................................................370

    Creating a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) .................................................................................................372

        Comparing Tangibles and Intangibles ...............................................................................................373

An Example CBA .......................................................................................................................................373

        Calculating Return on Investment (ROI) ...........................................................................................377

    Chapter Review Activities .............................................................................................................................379

        Answer These Questions .......................................................................................................................379

    Answers and Explanations ...........................................................................................................................382

        Define the Key Terms ...............................................................................................................................383

        List the Words Inside Acronyms ..........................................................................................................384

        Create Mind Maps ....................................................................................................................................384

        Define Other Terms ...................................................................................................................................384

        Case Studies ...............................................................................................................................................384

APPENDIX ......................................................................................................................................................................386

GLOSSARY .....................................................................................................................................................................388

9780789752406, TOC, 10/7/2014

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