The technical skills of an IT technician, especially one working on a help desk, are vital. Your IT techs have been hired to support clients and/or coworkers, providing the valuable troubleshooting, problem-solving, and technical know-how to keep people happy. However, that’s not all that is important.
People skills — the ability to relate and communicate — are perhaps just as important as tech knowledge when it comes to answering user questions and solving their issues.
These traits, known as soft skills, are something IT directors should look for when hiring help desk technicians, and they should help foster these skills in staff who are already onboard. These are areas in which tech experts may not have been formally trained, but these skills can be strengthened through a focus on development and strong leadership.
Developing Interpersonal Skills
Good interpersonal skills matter for IT techs. They will help them deal with end users and work professionally and efficiently with colleagues.
Many IT departments have separated tech workers into individual roles, without a lot of interpersonal collaboration. As an IT director, you can change this and foster teamwork by bringing your staff together on collaborative projects.
Consider approaches like DevOps, which put developers and software operations team members together to engineer new work, instead of bouncing a project back and forth between each team.
Not only does collaboration and interpersonal work often promote faster results, but it also gives real-world experience in learning to communicate and resolve conflicts. This will give your techs greater skills in these areas when working with users.
Empathy and Kindness to Users
If your IT techs see users as a population that is generally not as smart as they are, nor worthy of empathy, you’re sure to have problems with the effectiveness of your help desk services.
A help desk technician’s job involves empathizing with the user and appreciating the impact of the problem they are having, no matter how simple the solution may be.
IT techs can develop their empathy by considering problems from human standpoints versus considering only technological aspects. If they can set aside what they already know, and think like a less technologically inclined person, they may successfully put themselves in the shoes of clients and be empathetic about the problem, which will result in friendlier communication.
A friendly demeanor should be fairly easy to adopt, and it can make a big difference. If your service techs read as cheerful and ready to help, it can make the entire help desk process run more efficiently. Users will be less frustrated and more likely to find satisfaction in the end.
Keeping a Focus on the Customer Journey
Every member of an organization has a role to play in shaping and guiding a customer’s journey, from their initial interest in what you offer, through to what you can do to keep them on board as a regular client. When customers are seeking help or problem-solving from your IT department, that entire journey should be part of a tech’s focus.
In practical terms, this means looking beyond the single interaction of trying to close a help desk ticket. For IT support techs who spend their days trying to get tickets cleared out, this may seem like the number one goal, but that approach can lead to brusque, rushed conversations with clients in the name of being able to move onto the next ticket.
Keeping the overall customer journey in mind, on the other hand, helps an IT support tech understand that once the client’s ticket is closed, they will be moving to another stage in their interactions with the company.
Ideally, the help desk experience will have solved, or helped to solve their problem with the product or service, and the client can move on with a positive feeling about your organization, and happy to continue the relationship. However, if the help desk experience is negative, the customer journey could stop abruptly, ruining the chances of a future relationship with that user.
IT directors can work to show staff how it fits into the customer experience.
Choose the Right Program
Having a strong help desk software in place can mitigate some of the frustrations of tech support staff, so they can focus on developing and using soft skills for client satisfaction.
When a help desk program works intuitively, with simplicity and productivity features built in, everyone is happy, from tech directors down to the end user.
We’re happy to talk to you about how our ITSM and help desk solutions can work for your company. Contact us today.