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Introduction to Help Desk Support Roles

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This chapter from Effective Help Desk Specialist Skills introduces the support center, help desk professionals, users, and incidents (or problems) in four major sections: Understanding the Support Center, The Role of the Help Desk Professional, Understanding Users, and Typical Incident Process.
This chapter is from the book

Help desk specialists require a wide range of skills to be successful. Their primary job is to help users, and the obvious skills they need are technical so that they can troubleshoot and resolve problems. However, they also need to have other skills and knowledge to be effective on the job.

This chapter introduces the support center, help desk professionals, users, and incidents (or problems) in four major sections:

  • The first section, “Understanding the Support Center,” provides some history related to computers and information technology (IT) and how the support center has evolved over the years. It also identifies services provided to the users.
  • Next, “The Role of the Help Desk Professional” section identifies the role of IT workers working as help desk professionals. These professionals are the first line of support for users, and they routinely assess problems and identify solutions. While the job is technical in nature, technicians on the help desk also require skills beyond technical and troubleshooting skills. This section introduces many of the skillsets needed by the help desk professional.
  • The “Understanding Users” section describes many common user categories and some of their common characteristics. By understanding the user, help desk professionals are better able to recognize their needs.
  • Last, the “Typical Incident Process” section lists the steps for a typical incident. It also explains the importance of tracking incidents and some of the metrics that can be used to determine the effectiveness of a help desk center.

This chapter lays the foundation for the rest of this book by introducing many of the core skills and common tasks of help desk specialists. Other chapters in the book delve into many of these topics at a deeper level.

Chapter Outline

  • Understanding the Support Center
  • The Role of the Help Desk Professional
  • Understanding Users
  • Typical Incident Process
  • Chapter Review Activities
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