ICT help desk agent

An ICT help desk agent

Description

ICT help desk agents provide technical assistance to computer users, answer questions or solve computer problems for clients via telephone or electronically. They provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software.

ICT help desk agents typically do the following:

  • Serve as the first point of contact for customers seeking technical assistance over the phone or email
  • Perform remote troubleshooting through diagnostic techniques and pertinent questions
  • Determine the best solution based on the issue and details provided by customers
  • Walk the customer through the problem-solving process
  • Direct unresolved issues to the next level of support personnel
  • Provide accurate information on ICT products or services
  • Record events and problems and their resolution in logs
  • Follow-up and update customer status and information
  • Pass on any feedback or suggestions by customers to the appropriate internal team
  • Identify and suggest possible improvements on procedures

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to ICT help desk agent:

IT help desk advisor
ICT helpdesk agent
IT help desk agent
ICT help desk advisor
ICT helpdesk agents
ICT help desk agents
ICT service desk agent

Working conditions

Some ICT help desk agents are able to telework. Others must be onsite or may need to travel to clients’ locations.

Most ICT help desk agents work full time. Because ICT help desk agents may need to be available 24 hours a day, some agents work nights or weekends.

Minimum qualifications

Education requirements for ICT help desk agents vary. Computer user support specialist jobs require some computer knowledge but not necessarily a college degree. Applicants who have taken courses in areas such as networking, server administration, and information security may qualify for these jobs. For computer network support specialists, employers may accept applicants who have an associate’s degree, although some prefer that applicants have a bachelor’s degree.

Large software companies that provide support to business users who buy their products or services may require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. Positions that are more technical are likely to require a degree in a field such as computer and information technology or engineering. For others, the applicant’s field of degree is less important.

To keep up with changes in technology, ICT help desk agents may need to continue their education throughout their careers.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

ICT help desk agent is a Skill level 3 occupation.

ICT help desk agent career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to ICT help desk agent.

ICT help desk manager
department store manager
call centre supervisor
sales account manager
performance rental technician

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of ICT help desk agent. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of ICT help desk agent with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

after-sales service technician
technical sales representative in agricultural machinery and equipment
technical sales representative in chemical products
technical sales representative in electronic and telecommunications equipment
technical sales representative in hardware, plumbing and heating equipment

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of ICT help desk agent.

  • Characteristics of products: The tangible characteristics of a product such as its materials, properties and functions, as well as its different applications, features, use and support requirements.
  • ICT system user requirements: The process intended to match user and organisation’s needs with system components and services, by taking into consideration the available technologies and the techniques required to elicit and specify requirements, interrogating users to establish symptoms of problem and analysing symptoms.
  • Product comprehension: The offered products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Characteristics of services: The characteristics of a service that might include having acquired information about its application, function, features, use and support requirements.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of ICT help desk agent.

  • Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Keep up to date on product knowledge: Gather the latest information on developments related to the existing or supported products, methods or techniques.
  • Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
  • Manage schedule of tasks: Maintain an overview of all the incoming tasks in order to prioritise the tasks, plan their execution, and integrate new tasks as they present themselves.
  • Keep task records: Organise and classify records of prepared reports and correspondence related to the performed work and progress records of tasks.
  • Assist customers: Provide support and advice to customers in making purchasing decisions by finding out their needs, selecting suitable service and products for them and politely answering questions about products and services.
  • Use ICT ticketing system: Utilise a specialised system to track registration, processing and resolution of issues in an organisation by assigning each of these issues a ticket, registering inputs from involved persons, tracking changes and displaying the status of the ticket, until it is completed.
  • Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
  • Use customer relationship management software: Use specialised software to manage company’s interactions with current and future customers. Organise, automate and synchronise sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support, to increase targeted sales.
  • Solve ICT system problems: Identify potential component malfunctions. Monitor, document and communicate about incidents. Deploy appropriate resources with minimal outage and deploy appropriate diagnostic tools.
  • Provide ICT support: Resolve ICT-related incidents and service requests from customers, clients or colleagues including password resets and updating databases such as Microsoft Exchange email.
  • Support ICT system users: Communicate with end users, instruct them on how to progress with tasks, use ICT support tools and methods to solve problems and identify possible side effects and provide solutions.
  • Provide customer follow-up services: Register, follow-up, solve and respond to customer requests, complaints and after-sales services.
  • Prioritise requests: Prioritise incidents and requests reported by customers or clients. Respond professionaly and on time

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of ICT help desk agent. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • ICT help platforms: The platforms for delivering help systems for operating systems.
  • Information confidentiality: The mechanisms and regulations which allow for selective access control and guarantee that only authorised parties (people, processes, systems and devices) have access to data, the way to comply with confidential information and the risks of non-compliance.
  • ICT infrastructure: The system, network, hardware and software applications and components, as well as devices and processes that are used in order to develop, test, deliver, monitor, control or support ICT services.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of ICT help desk agent. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Handle helpdesk problems: Investigate what causes problems, test and improve solutions in order to reduce number of calls to the helpdesk.
  • Perform data analysis: Collect data and statistics to test and evaluate in order to generate assertions and pattern predictions, with the aim of discovering useful information in a decision-making process.
  • Answer incoming calls: Respond to customers’ inquiries and provide customers with appropriate information.
  • Educate on data confidentiality: Share information with and instruct users in the risks involved with data, especially risks to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of data. Educate them on how to ensure data protection.
  • Perform escalation procedure: Assess situations in which a solution cannot be provided right away, and ensure that it is brought to the next levels of support.

ISCO group and title

3512 – Information and communications technology user support technicians


References
  1. ICT help desk agent – ESCO
  2. Computer Support Specialists : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. IT Help Desk Technician job description template | Workable
  4. Featured image: Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels
Last updated on January 9, 2023

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