Login | Register For Free | Help
Search for: (Advanced)

Mailing List Archive: NANOG: users

which one a Technical Support or Help Desk

 

 

NANOG users RSS feed   Index | Next | Previous | View Threaded


tariq198487 at gmail

Mar 2, 2012, 11:46 PM

Post #1 of 20 (691 views)
Permalink
which one a Technical Support or Help Desk

I am working for a new Small ISP and we are trying to establish a
center for receiving technical calls and inquires from customers and
the technicians in this center may do some basics troubleshooting.

What is the suitable title for this center and what we should call
this people who do this job? Technical Support, Helpdesk, or Call
Center. does each term has a specific meaning?
And is there any standard structure of this center? And what is the
relation of this people with other network/software Engineers?

Thanks in advance.


--
Tarig Adam


faisal at snappydsl

Mar 3, 2012, 6:01 AM

Post #2 of 20 (675 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

You can always call it HelpDesk/Technical Support

They both mean the same thing, but create a different feeling in the
minds of the customers.
Helpdesk is typically perceived to be gentler (more informal / more
flexible) providing support on a wider range of technical issues.
Technical Support is perceived to be more focused, a bit more formal,
and possibly providing support on narrow set of technical issues.

We operate in two geographies....
In Athens, Georgia (College Town about 50 mile NE of Atlanta) the
support department is knows as the Helpdesk.
(We acquired that operation, and previous owners had chosen that term,
so we stayed with it).
and in South Florida, we call it Tech Support.

As you can see from my email signature, we often use those two terms
interchangeably.

Good Luck with your choice.

Regards.

Faisal Imtiaz
Snappy Internet& Telecom
7266 SW 48 Street
Miami, Fl 33155
Tel: 305 663 5518 x 232
Helpdesk: 305 663 5518 option 2 Email: Support [at] Snappydsl


On 3/3/2012 2:46 AM, Tarig Adam wrote:
> I am working for a new Small ISP and we are trying to establish a
> center for receiving technical calls and inquires from customers and
> the technicians in this center may do some basics troubleshooting.
>
> What is the suitable title for this center and what we should call
> this people who do this job? Technical Support, Helpdesk, or Call
> Center. does each term has a specific meaning?
> And is there any standard structure of this center? And what is the
> relation of this people with other network/software Engineers?
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
>


bill at herrin

Mar 3, 2012, 6:56 AM

Post #3 of 20 (676 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

On Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 2:46 AM, Tarig Adam <tariq198487 [at] gmail> wrote:
> I am working for a new Small ISP and we are trying to establish a
> center for receiving technical calls and inquires from customers and
> the technicians in this center may do some basics troubleshooting.
>
> What is the suitable title for this center and what we should call
> this people who do this job? Technical Support, Helpdesk, or Call
> Center. does each term has a specific meaning?

Hi Tarig,

For what it's work, I think of the terms this way:

Help Desk: The place I call when I need my employer's IT department to
fix my broken computer.

Call Center: The place that wants to administer a telephone survey
while I'm trying to eat dinner.

Technical Support: The place I call when a technology product or
service malfunctions.


> And is there any standard structure of this center?

Varies with size. At one end of the spectrum you have 3 phones with
call distribution from the tech support number. At the other you have
a dedicated office building containing staff with product specialties.


>And what is the
> relation of this people with other network/software Engineers?

The engineers are second or third tier support. When Tech Support
can't solve the problem, Tech Support calls an engineer for help. Once
the engineer does his magic, Tech Support verifies it and then
responds to the customer.

Regards,
Bill Herrin


--
William D. Herrin ................ herrin [at] dirtside bill [at] herrin
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004


joesox at gmail

Mar 3, 2012, 7:04 AM

Post #4 of 20 (682 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

Go with 'Technical Support' unless you want to take all sorts of calls
with end users wanting help on operational training issues.
THIS DOES HAPPEN!
--
Thanks, Joe



On Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 6:56 AM, William Herrin <bill [at] herrin> wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 2:46 AM, Tarig Adam <tariq198487 [at] gmail> wrote:
>> I am working for a new Small ISP and we are trying to establish a
>> center for receiving technical calls and inquires from customers and
>> the technicians in this center may do some basics troubleshooting.
>>
>> What is the suitable title for this center and what we should call
>> this people who do this job? Technical Support, Helpdesk, or Call
>> Center. does each term has a specific meaning?
>
> Hi Tarig,
>
> For what it's work, I think of the terms this way:
>
> Help Desk: The place I call when I need my employer's IT department to
> fix my broken computer.
>
> Call Center: The place that wants to administer a telephone survey
> while I'm trying to eat dinner.
>
> Technical Support: The place I call when a technology product or
> service malfunctions.
>
>
>> And is there any standard structure of this center?
>
> Varies with size. At one end of the spectrum you have 3 phones with
> call distribution from the tech support number. At the other you have
> a dedicated office building containing staff with product specialties.
>
>
>>And what is the
>> relation of this people with other network/software Engineers?
>
> The engineers are second or third tier support. When Tech Support
> can't solve the problem, Tech Support calls an engineer for help. Once
> the engineer does his magic, Tech Support verifies it and then
> responds to the customer.
>
> Regards,
> Bill Herrin
>
>
> --
> William D. Herrin ................ herrin [at] dirtside bill [at] herrin
> 3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
> Falls Church, VA 22042-3004
>


Valdis.Kletnieks at vt

Mar 3, 2012, 7:34 AM

Post #5 of 20 (678 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

On Sat, 03 Mar 2012 07:04:52 PST, JoeSox said:
> Go with 'Technical Support' unless you want to take all sorts of calls
> with end users wanting help on operational training issues.
> THIS DOES HAPPEN!

Which is OK, if that's your business model. I know a few small ISPs that
are making a comfortable living selling repackaged DSL plus handholding.


jeff-kell at utc

Mar 3, 2012, 7:51 AM

Post #6 of 20 (677 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 3/3/2012 10:34 AM, Valdis.Kletnieks [at] vt wrote:
> On Sat, 03 Mar 2012 07:04:52 PST, JoeSox said:
>> Go with 'Technical Support' unless you want to take all sorts of calls
>> with end users wanting help on operational training issues.
>> THIS DOES HAPPEN!
>
> Which is OK, if that's your business model. I know a few small ISPs that
> are making a comfortable living selling repackaged DSL plus handholding.

Especially if a human answers promptly without a horrible accent...

Jeff
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v2.0.17 (MingW32)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/

iEYEARECAAYFAk9SPhMACgkQiwXJq373XhZTgwCg7ImBfYfyanvYaAA6PcIVQCRw
Ti0AoKSNAmH7RXrT1J0x1Ss1CVhLa76R
=HBJ+
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


faisal at snappydsl

Mar 3, 2012, 7:57 AM

Post #7 of 20 (675 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

> Especially if a human answers promptly without a horrible accent...
>
> Jeff
Like a heavy Southern Drawl ?

:)

Hope you realize that this list a Global list, and not everyone is
talking about "US Only".

Cheers,

Faisal Imtiaz
Snappy Internet& Telecom


dave.nanog at alfordmedia

Mar 3, 2012, 8:26 AM

Post #8 of 20 (671 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

On 3/3/12 9:57 AM, "Faisal Imtiaz" <faisal [at] snappydsl> wrote:

>>Especially if a human answers promptly without a horrible accent...
>>
>>Jeff
>Like a heavy Southern Drawl ?

Saah, Ah resemble that remahk!

:^)

I think no matter where you're located, having a tech support rep who
speaks your language with an accent not too dissimilar to your own can be
a huge help. I've had tech support calls go bad because of unintelligible
accents when I was calling centers in India and in Ireland, but also in
the US when I found the last of the Clampett clan answering phones for an
ISP. (I've lived in Texas almost 16 years-- if you're so redneck that *I*
can't understand you, you need a job where all your communication is in
writing. Or pictures.)
--
Dave Pooser
Manager of Information Services
Alford Media http://www.alfordmedia.com


jeff-kell at utc

Mar 3, 2012, 8:36 AM

Post #9 of 20 (665 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

On 3/3/2012 10:57 AM, Faisal Imtiaz wrote:
>
>> Especially if a human answers promptly without a horrible accent...
>>
>> Jeff
> Like a heavy Southern Drawl ?

Oh yeah, y'all :)

The major point was a "human" answering, at least my home ISP (Charter)
has this unbearable voice response... in annoyingly perfect English,
although there is a Spanish option when it first starts :)

If you have humans answering, you can call them anything you like,
you're ahead of the curve. If not, "it" is going to be called all sorts
of things, and Technical Support or Helpdesk is not among the options
that come to mind...

Jeff


faisal at snappydsl

Mar 3, 2012, 8:48 AM

Post #10 of 20 (672 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

Touche....!

Being in South Florida, (heavy Latin & Spanish accents) and having
customers in Alabama, Tennessee (Heavy Southern accents) etc, we have
had to "Tune" our ears as well as our Accents, including carefully
choosing our words...

It is not uncommon for us to have a new support Rep. get on a call and
start making strange facial expressions.. saying.. " I know the caller
is speaking English, but I cannot make out a word of what they are
saying !"... Which of-course goes both ways, a Southern English speaker
has equally hard time understanding heavy Latin and Eastern European
accents.

The sad part but true reality is, that most folks when they hear a
different accent, automatically equate accent with professional
competency .. and that is the toughest thing to overcome for phone
support work.

City folks, will often equate Southern accent with someone who is less
proficient and slow, while the Southern folks will equate the Northern
Accent with someone trying to be slick and pulling a fast one on them..

And then of course we have our favorite New Yorkers, (Manhattan / Queens
etc) who simply equate politeness as a sing of weakness and try to
railroad you if you are too polite.

It's all good, it's all fun, it's all part of life, and surprising to
most, this is COMMON HUMAN behavior across ALL Parts of the World. Not
just unique to USA and Indian Call Centers..

:)

Regards

Faisal Imtiaz
Snappy Internet& Telecom
7266 SW 48 Street
Miami, Fl 33155
Tel: 305 663 5518 x 232
Helpdesk: 305 663 5518 option 2 Email: Support [at] Snappydsl


On 3/3/2012 11:26 AM, Dave Pooser wrote:
> On 3/3/12 9:57 AM, "Faisal Imtiaz"<faisal [at] snappydsl> wrote:
>
>>> Especially if a human answers promptly without a horrible accent...
>>>
>>> Jeff
>> Like a heavy Southern Drawl ?
> Saah, Ah resemble that remahk!
>
> :^)
>
> I think no matter where you're located, having a tech support rep who
> speaks your language with an accent not too dissimilar to your own can be
> a huge help. I've had tech support calls go bad because of unintelligible
> accents when I was calling centers in India and in Ireland, but also in
> the US when I found the last of the Clampett clan answering phones for an
> ISP. (I've lived in Texas almost 16 years-- if you're so redneck that *I*
> can't understand you, you need a job where all your communication is in
> writing. Or pictures.)


faisal at snappydsl

Mar 3, 2012, 9:07 AM

Post #11 of 20 (672 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

Funny u mentioned Charter, had to call in a support ticket to them this
morning. ( Cable down, due to yesterday's nasty storms).

Having no accent is always preferred, but not possible.
And as to Automated service... we see two kinds of folks...
Ones who have a preference for self service, and another who wants human
contact.

I was actually impressed with the Charter Customer Service Phone front
end. It recognized me by my Caller ID phone number, It was clean, crisp,
and voice recognition was pretty good and it immediately told me that
there was an outage in my area, and they are working on fixing it, plus
it offered to call me back once the problem is resolved. After it gave
me the info, I asked to speak to a Support Rep, and it transferred me to
them.

So far this is one the best Customer Service Phone system front end I
have come across in a long time.

Yes, humans are preferred, but if I can have the system give me updates
quickly, vs. having to hold for 20 or 30 min for a human to give me the
same info... I prefer the machine....

:)

Faisal Imtiaz
Snappy Internet& Telecom


On 3/3/2012 11:36 AM, Jeff Kell wrote:
> If you have humans answering, you can call them anything you like,
> you're ahead of the curve. If not, "it" is going to be called all sorts
> of things, and Technical Support or Helpdesk is not among the options
> that come to mind...


gbonser at seven

Mar 3, 2012, 9:13 AM

Post #12 of 20 (667 views)
Permalink
RE: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Faisal Imtiaz
> Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2012 7:58 AM
> To: nanog [at] nanog
> Subject: Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk
>
>
> > Especially if a human answers promptly without a horrible accent...
> >
> > Jeff
> Like a heavy Southern Drawl ?
>
> :)
>
> Hope you realize that this list a Global list, and not everyone is
> talking about "US Only".

Well, it is a North American list. A "heavy Southern drawl" is perfectly fine in the Southeastern US, and might even be welcome by customers there. It's no worse than a thick New England accent. But there are plenty of places, particularly in the mountain West of the US, where such help is relatively inexpensive and the accent is neutral. A call center in Montana/Utah/Wyoming/Idaho or even the Dakotas/Nebraska/Kansas for a national player isn't a bad idea. Help is relatively inexpensive, the people can be understood nationally, and in Central or Mountain timezone give you decent national coverage without a bunch of overtime. The help center doesn't have to be physically located with your actual network operations infrastructure. In fact, there are good reasons why you don't want that. If your operations have experienced a catastrophic failure (power outage, lightning strike, cable cut), your customers could still reach a real live person. But having customer reps that speak in the same "accent" as the customers they are serving can be a nice touch, too. If most of your customers are in the Southeastern or Northeastern US, maybe you WANT reps that sound like your customers.


jeff-kell at utc

Mar 3, 2012, 9:14 AM

Post #13 of 20 (668 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

On 3/3/2012 11:48 AM, Faisal Imtiaz wrote:
> Touche....!
>
> Being in South Florida, (heavy Latin & Spanish accents) and having
> customers in Alabama, Tennessee (Heavy Southern accents) etc, we have
> had to "Tune" our ears as well as our Accents, including carefully
> choosing our words...

Yes, it goes both ways :) It would be very interesting to get some
statistics/reports out of Apple's Siri project as to the "hardest cases".

My cousin recently got an iPhone with Siri. She has a much worse drawl
than mine :) She told it to "Call Jeff", and Siri says "I see no J F in
your contacts". (Imagine a very heavily drawled "Jeff" more like
"Jaaay-Yufff", decidedly two syllables there...)

She's had mixed results with Siri :) It may be beneficial speech
therapy for her, but hard to change decades of Southern :)

Jeff


joesox at gmail

Mar 3, 2012, 11:05 AM

Post #14 of 20 (663 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

On Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 7:34 AM, <Valdis.Kletnieks [at] vt> wrote:
> Which is OK, if that's your business model. I know a few small ISPs that
> are making a comfortable living selling repackaged DSL plus handholding.
>

In the case I was thinking of, a small Techsupport group answering
questions about 'How does my customer get an account."
These questions really needs to be answered by their supervisor. "But
aren't you the 'HelpDesk' I call when I need help!?"

That makes sense for the DSL business.
--
Thanks, Joe


lykinsbd at gmail

Mar 3, 2012, 12:00 PM

Post #15 of 20 (668 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

At a Small-to-Medium ISP I worked for, they went through structuring changes like this all the time. But the following seems to be the best setup:

First was "Customer Support" which dealt with billing and basic instruction (setup mail clients, reset passwords, etc).

Second tier was "Customer Data Support" or CDS, which covered troubleshooting connectivity and doing advanced instruction.

Third tier support was the Network Operations Center. CDS escalated to them if there was a particularly difficult or CO Equipment related issue.

The NOC could then escalate to the actual Engineering department or to the CO Repair staff as needed.

--

The nice thing about this setup was that it grew with the company. Each of those departments started out as one or two people, but grew their own sub-tiers/sub-teams as systems grew and became more complicated.

Also, the name didn't really matter too much to the customer. They chose the option for "Problems with your connection or if you need technical support" from the phone tree, and we just answered with the company's name. We never said "Customer Data Support, this is Brett", just "CompanyX, this is Brett"

There are a couple of good System Administration guide books out there that give basic Help Desk structuring and reporting paths. They are usually geared more towards the enterprise, but some good information can be gleaned from them as well.

Hope this helps,

-Brett Lykins



On Mar 3, 2012, at 2:46 AM, Tarig Adam wrote:

> I am working for a new Small ISP and we are trying to establish a
> center for receiving technical calls and inquires from customers and
> the technicians in this center may do some basics troubleshooting.
>
> What is the suitable title for this center and what we should call
> this people who do this job? Technical Support, Helpdesk, or Call
> Center. does each term has a specific meaning?
> And is there any standard structure of this center? And what is the
> relation of this people with other network/software Engineers?
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
>
> --
> Tarig Adam
>


ops.lists at gmail

Mar 3, 2012, 6:24 PM

Post #16 of 20 (662 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

A newsgroup I used to read a decade back used to call it "helldesk"

But seriously, live humans with whatever location or accent, answering
an actual phone, are the costliest sort of ticket an ISP has to
handle.

The focus needs to be on providing the customer enough self help
tools, wikis, user forums, email support, IVR .. before they even need
to phone your helpdesk and have a human open or work a ticket for
them.

It is that or watch your margins get shredded due to spiraling support costs.

--srs


On 3/3/12, Jeff Kell <jeff-kell [at] utc> wrote:
> On 3/3/2012 10:57 AM, Faisal Imtiaz wrote:
>>
>>> Especially if a human answers promptly without a horrible accent...
>>>
>>> Jeff
>> Like a heavy Southern Drawl ?
>
> Oh yeah, y'all :)
>
> The major point was a "human" answering, at least my home ISP (Charter)
> has this unbearable voice response... in annoyingly perfect English,
> although there is a Spanish option when it first starts :)
>
> If you have humans answering, you can call them anything you like,
> you're ahead of the curve. If not, "it" is going to be called all sorts
> of things, and Technical Support or Helpdesk is not among the options
> that come to mind...
>
> Jeff
>
>


--
Suresh Ramasubramanian (ops.lists [at] gmail)


randy at psg

Mar 3, 2012, 7:12 PM

Post #17 of 20 (659 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

> The focus needs to be on providing the customer enough self help
> tools, wikis, user forums, email support, IVR .. before they even need
> to phone your helpdesk and have a human open or work a ticket for
> them.

i might toss in "a solid reliable working service"

randy


drohan at gmail

Mar 3, 2012, 10:41 PM

Post #18 of 20 (658 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

On Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 10:46 AM, Tarig Adam <tariq198487 [at] gmail> wrote:

> I am working for a new Small ISP and we are trying to establish a
> center for receiving technical calls and inquires from customers and
> the technicians in this center may do some basics troubleshooting.
>
> What is the suitable title for this center and what we should call
> this people who do this job? Technical Support, Helpdesk, or Call
> Center. does each term has a specific meaning?
> And is there any standard structure of this center? And what is the
> relation of this people with other network/software Engineers?

Is your organization adopting any governance frameworks?

In ITIL-speak, the function you are describing is called the Service
Desk (but could actually be called anything you'd like-- i.e, The
Genius Brothel, etc)

From the ITIL description of the Service Desk function:

"The Service Desk acts as the central point of contact between service
providers and users on a day to day basis. It is also a focal point
for reporting incidents and for service requests. It can also provide
an interface, for other service management activities (such as change,
problem, configuration, release and continuity management)."

I'd add to this description that it's a single point of contact (first
in, last out) for any and all types of requests, including change
management and internal requests. They also recognize that some
organizations would also have local premises service desks where
people could actually walk up to or be helped in a matter of minutes--
and that this function would be considered a "help desk", but only as
*part* of a larger service desk.

For more details on how ITIL structures this function, check the
wikipedia page- they have some basic info that can get you started.

-Dan


Valdis.Kletnieks at vt

Mar 4, 2012, 10:26 AM

Post #19 of 20 (660 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

On Sun, 04 Mar 2012 09:41:58 +0300, Daniel Rohan said:

> Is your organization adopting any governance frameworks?

I certainly hope not - any organization that needs that many buzzwords in a
seven word sentence has probably jumped the shark so far that it needs more
than a governance framework to cure the dysfunction.

http://www.itgovernanceusa.com/itil.aspx

"ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a best practice
methodology for managing IT as a service. Developed by the UK's Office of
Government Commerce (OGC), ITIL is the most widely used approach for IT Service
Management in the world and is used by companies including Disney, NASA, HSBC
and HP. Organizations cannot be certified against ITIL, however it is widely
used as a method of preparation for achieving ISO20000 certification.

Individuals can be certified against ITIL, and you can read about ITIL qualifications below.

ITIL provides a clear framework for the identification, planning, delivery and
support of IT services to an organisation. ITIL's core principle is that
IT services must be aligned with the requirements of the business and underpin
all processes within the business. IT services should be a business driver,
facilitating change, growth and meeting business goals. There are five core
titles in the ITIL publication suite which cover:"

Ouch.

"IT services must be aligned with the requirements"??!? I've always wondered
how companies stay in business if they're so dysfunctional that they need a framework
to recognize stuff like that. Does deploying this stuff in functional organizations
actually work? Does it do any good?

(OK.. I'll admit there's a one-sentence throw-away about SLA's at the very
bottom of that page - though we don't use them for "governance", just making
sure that everybody's on the same page about stuff like who calls who when
stuff breaks. Usually ends up including lots of clauses like "If you want us to
fix the router you wanted installed in your building, you have to make sure our
techs can get into the building..")


ops.lists at gmail

Mar 4, 2012, 11:44 PM

Post #20 of 20 (654 views)
Permalink
Re: which one a Technical Support or Help Desk [In reply to]

At least to the extent of providing clear, auditable metrics on change
management and SLA, making sure all support and ops cases are actually
covered (again, so it can be subject to an audit) etc ...

You probably fulfil every single requirement of ITIL already, except
for the piles of paperwork required to pass an ISO2700x audit :)

On Sun, Mar 4, 2012 at 11:56 PM, <Valdis.Kletnieks [at] vt> wrote:
>
> "IT services must be aligned with the requirements"??!?  I've always wondered
> how companies stay in business if they're so dysfunctional that they need a framework
> to recognize stuff like that.  Does deploying this stuff in functional organizations
> actually work?  Does it do any good?



--
Suresh Ramasubramanian (ops.lists [at] gmail)

NANOG users RSS feed   Index | Next | Previous | View Threaded
 
 


Interested in having your list archived? Contact Gossamer Threads
 
  Web Applications & Managed Hosting Powered by Gossamer Threads Inc.