Effective Help Desk Specialist Skills
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Effective Help Desk Specialist Skills

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Description

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
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Product details

  • Hardback | 456 pages
  • 208.28 x 256.54 x 20.32mm | 952.54g
  • Pearson It Certification
  • Upper Saddle River, United States
  • English
  • 0789752409
  • 9780789752406
  • 2,330,141

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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About Darril Gibson

Darril Gibson is the CEO of YCDA, LLC (short for You Can Do Anything). He regularly writes and consults on a wide variety of technical and security topics and holds several certifications including MCSE, MCDBA, MCSD, MCITP, ITIL v3, Security+, and CISSP. He has authored or coauthored more than 30 books including the best-selling Security+: Get Certified, Get Ahead series. Darril regularly blogs at http://blogs.getcertifiedgetahead.com/.
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