Helpline support

This is the person who picks up the phone when you ring a helpdesk number because your computer isn’t working properly.

Work activities

You could be working for a company that provides technical support or a manufacturer or supplier. If you work for a large company like one of these, the job is likely to involve working to a script.

When a call comes in it must be logged. You would also have to record details of the incident so that it adds to your employer’s knowledge base. For example, if a lot of customers are complaining that a new piece of software crashes at a particular point, it’s important to know this so that the issue can be fixed.

You would need to ask the caller questions in order to diagnose the problem. Here, you have to be sensitive to the caller’s level of technical knowledge and adjust your questions and instructions accordingly. Non-technical people can quickly get confused and technical people can easily feel patronised.

Many callers will be stressed and unhappy when they ring you. They may feel that they have been let down by your organisation. You need to be able to deal with them calmly.

In many cases you will be able to help callers solve the problem themselves. If the problem is more complicated, you may have to pass them on to a colleague with more specialist knowledge. Some problems cannot be solved over the phone and you may have to arrange for equipment to be returned or an engineer to visit the site.

Entry requirements

This is an entry level job and your employer will train you in dealing with calls. However, it can help to have some experience of working in customer service. A basic level of technical understanding will also make you more employable.

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