Title: Effective Communication Skills for Technical Support Staff
Designed by: Waterman's Training, The Abbey Brewery, Market Cross, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9AS
Phone: 01666 825123 Fax: 01666 825233
Star is a leading provider of technology services to mid-sized business and public sector organisations in the UK. Since Star was founded, productive and mutually rewarding relationships with its clients have been central to the business. It provides client service of the highest quality and aims to build long-term partnerships. Our client operations department, the first point of contact for incoming customer calls, has grown in parallel with the business and now has a staff of more than 50.
When I joined the company, the challenge was to constantly measure the call quality from the client operations team, and to ensure the team was fully trained in all aspects of the customer care element of their role. At that time, Star was a five-year-old company making the transition from a small entrepreneurial business into a larger organisation and, like any growing organisation, it needed to establish effective systems and processes that supported this ongoing growth.
Within the client and technical operations team there are two main groups. The first are direct, customer-facing staff who have worked in departments such as client services and the help desk areas. These are Star's key customer contact points through which services are implemented and supported.
The second group are technical engineers, the next line of contact for customers, providing problem-solving and technical trouble-shooting. This group has a very technical bias and previously had very little training in telephone or communication skills. What would not have worked for these staff was a generic 'telephone communications' course. Star needed something that specifically met the needs of the technical support team, and approached the training in a way that would work for them.
When Star first met the Waterman's team, we were encouraged by the fact that they had developed similar courses for a number of major corporations and clearly had an understanding of the dynamics of technical learning.
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