What makes an excellent desktop support technician?

In Technology (General), Training by Jesse Rink

Just about any company needs someone to provide desktop support from time to time. Finding the best people for the job, however, isn’t always simple. Many businesses pick their IT technicians without much thought, and that can lead to huge problems, delays, and disappointments.

When choosing the lifeline for your software and hardware, you have to be thorough when it comes to evaluating potential candidates. Here are some traits your technicians should have:

Knowledge

Not all technical difficulties are immense problems. The real threat is during crunch time when every minute counts. In those moments, you need someone who knows what they’re doing to fix your desktop related computer issues.

Take into account different operating systems, network configurations, and the tens of applications you use. Many things can fail. An excellent desktop support technician needs to know every detail of your hardware and software. Without proper knowledge and experience, it can take hours to even get to the root of the problem.

Conduct rigorous tests and interviews before choosing someone. Ask questions that require them to problem-solve and logically step-through troubleshooting processes so you can gauge how effectively they might handle technical issues as they arise.  One example question might be, “A user is complaining about poor performance while using XYZ application, what are some things you would start looking at, and what are some questions you might ask of the users, to begin diagnosing the problem?”

desktop support

Prior experience in desktop support

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t consider people at the beginning of their career.  Having an entry level IT technician straight out of technical school can definitely work well for certain scenarios, especially if they are not the only desktop support technician at your company and they have more experienced technicians to learn from and work alongside.  That being said, having prior job experience in this role is a huge plus and will easily speed up trouble resolution for helpdesk tickets and overall response times.

Also, don’t assume that if someone works in the IT industry, they know everything there is to know. Being a web developer, for example, doesn’t mean you’re any good at providing desktop support.

Look for people that have had a similar role and job for some time, preferably working with companies in the same industries and using similar technology such as yours. An experienced technician should be able to proactively solve issues before they become real problems, instead of reacting to them.

Thinking outside the box

This trait is a bit trickier to spot but invaluable for businesses. There’s no perfect software or hardware. Everything can be improved and every piece of software or hardware has its own glitches, bugs, and problems.  Who knows better what needs improvement than your desktop support technicians?   They are the ones supporting the hardware and software and are always the first people involved in troubleshooting those related issues.

Look for someone who won’t just fix problems as they appear. They should actively search for ways of preventing them altogether. 

An ingenious idea can go a long way regarding both support and efficiency.

Sociable

Some technical difficulties appear because of the software or hardware – that’s a given. Other problems, however, are caused by human error. These problems can usually be avoided just by communicating or having training available for end users by your desktop support technician!

Your system will change over time, and the less tech-savvy employees will need help learning about the changes. 

No one is better prepared to help than your IT support team. They should not only fix equipment but make work easier for those using it.

When looking at hiring a desktop support person, make sure they can effectively communicate, create documentation, and create “how-to” procedures to better train your end users.

Make sure your candidate also has an answer to the question of, “What would you do if you get stuck and are unable to resolve the problem?” because it’s  inevitable that will happen sooner or later. No matter how experienced or how knowledgeable the IT support person is, no one knows everything.  Knowing where to go for help when they do get stuck is really important.

Dependable

You need to know that you can always count on excellent support. It’s relatively easy to notice when people aren’t in it for the long haul. Get someone who is dedicated to the success of your company.

Whether it’s the first time in months or the third time today, your technician should act with the same level of enthusiasm. That mainly comes down to how much they love their job, so we recommend you get someone that still retains a passion for IT support.

If you need help augmenting your current IT support staff, you don’t have to look far to find excellent support services. At Source One Technology, we have a team of highly skilled network engineers with a lot of experience under our belts who provide reliable services to the Southeastern areas of Wisconsin.

We won’t rest until you are satisfied with our work. Get in touch with us and let’s see what we can do for you.

 

About the Author
Jesse Rink

Jesse Rink

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Jesse is the owner of Source One Technology and has been providing IT services to schools, nonprofits and SMBs in Waukesha, Milwaukee and SE Wisconsin for over 18 years.