IT Help Desk Skills Masterclass

“Add value, solve the problem.”


Overview – live training plus comprehensive on-line e-learning course

This practical and informative course has a simple objective: to raise the IT and technical customer service and support standards by instructing, equipping and inspiring participants to delight customers at every opportunity. It achieves this by focusing on improving personal skills, changing attitudes where required and enhancing existing approaches and procedures. Participants will acquire essential tools, skills and methods, discuss specific organisational issues and identify areas for improvement. An extremely important additional benefit is improving the consistency with the Technical Support as whole and acting as a catalyst for new ideas and improvements.

Who will benefit

This course is ideal for IT and technical support staff, managers and team leaders, particularly those who support or work with internal customers. It covers all aspects of first, second and third level support skills in a technical environment.

Training objectives

This course will help you:

  • Establish the standards and systems that can make every customer feel special
  • Understand what customers (whether internal or external) want and expect from you and your colleagues
  • Learn a range of customer-focused communication techniques, tools and skills that will help you solve questions and problems faster
  • Understand and manage customer expectations accurately so that you deliver more than you promise and exceed expectations – in what you do and HOW you do it
  • Satisfy complainers, and calm upset customers and regain confidence and goodwill
  • Turn problems into opportunities – for either greater loyalty or increased customer satisfaction
  • Improve customer satisfaction through more accurate use of questioning and problem-solving skills
  • Learn from customer problems and complaints and help prevent them in the future.
  • Make every customer feel SPECIAL – using a proven model
  • Manage your time and learn practical ways to prioritise customer calls and problems effectively

A unique feature of the course is that it addresses both the standards and the skills people use over and above their technical knowledge. The course features the SPECIAL model:

  • Speed and Time
  • Personal and personalised
  • Expectations – manage and exceed
  • Competence and courtesy Information
  • Attitude – can do
  • Long-term relationship and follow-through

Each of these points is related explicitly to the jobs the course participants do and their interaction with internal customers face-to-face, on the telephone or by email.


The technical support skills training course is available as a short live training workshop plus comprehensive on-line e-learning course. Customised free for your needs and business.

The training is very practical and objective. Very clear and specific skills, models and techniques are covered. The focus is on improving things that are already working, not going over old ground. Participants will discuss and plan new approaches to real-life examples taken from their own situations.  Each element of the course includes:

  • High-quality training presentation
  • Group exercises and team activities
  • High degree of participation and interaction

The course includes regular discussion, planning and other practical exercises to develop and practise the skills and methods presented. Presentation and exercises can be tailored to specific situations from participants’ work. The style is positive and motivational.

Special features

  • The course can be tailored to include any specialist topics such as advanced telephone skills, dealing with complaints, internal planning, etc, according to organisational need or the skill level of the participants.
  • Areas of focus – common improvement areas for IT and Technical support
  • Improved sense of purpose towards their role and responsibilities.
  • Introduction of more standard telephone call openings and closing, including use of qualification questions and end of call summaries.
  • Full and accurate opening, completing and closing of support tickets and administration.
  • Great consistency in approach, attitude and answers given; minimising the effect of users exploiting favouritism or preferring some team members over
  • Support the implementation of customer survey forms, follow-up calls and emails.
  • Far greater and more skilled use of techniques to manage expectations.
  • Improved ability to read customer’s emotions and real urgency and respond
  • Reduction of management or ‘unhappy’ escalations to managers and team
    leaders to a few rare exceptions
  • Improved ability to ‘say no nicely’; sticking to standard procedures, processes and timescales without upsetting or inconveniencing users and avoiding escalation.
  • Be better able to resist and deal with aggressive, ‘bullying’, manipulating or charming customers and to avoid or reduce queue-jumping by these types of customers.
  • Increase the use of the telephone and less reliance on email as a form of communication.
  • More ‘ownership’ of problems and seeing things through to completion
  • Greater focus on making the customer feel valued, special and important not just solving the technical issue or problem.
  • Creating an even higher standard for VIP or genuinely more demanding customers.
  • More ideas and suggestions for improvement from the team – during and after the training.
  • Improved rapport and consulting skills with face to face customer situations.
  • Documentation of ‘best practice’ approaches – with input by team.
  • Give a perception of competence and confidence even when unsure of the
    technology or exact answer; not losing the customer’s goodwill or patience.
  • Great use of ‘two-staging’ calls to better manage the peaks and troughs
    during a day or week.
  • Generally to develop a more empathic and personable approach to providing
    solutions to problems and answers to customer’s questions.
  • Plus any other points you want to include in the training.


Course outline (example)

Learning discussions, planning, case studies, ‘best practice reviews’ and role-plays are run throughout the training. A revised and time course outline will be agreed prior to training.


  • Personal objectives – and introducing the ‘Learning Diary’ The ‘problems into opportunities’ approach
  • Knowing what your customers really want and expect from your company and
    you personally – the three S’s of success
  • Applying these principles to different types and categories of customer

Making every customer feel SPECIAL

  • The main types of IT and technical service offered – where do you rate?
  • The difference that makes a difference – examples of good and bad service
  • The seven qualities that make customers feel SPECIAL
  • Speed and time
    Personal / personalise
    Expectations – manage and exceed
    Competence / courtesy
    Long-term relationship and follow-through
  • Applying the SPECIAL qualities to your job
  • Qualities of IT and technical customer service superstars
  • Practical exercises

Professional communication skills

  • Gaining rapport and connecting with customers – and how to adapt for different regions
  • How to quickly ‘tune in’ to different types of customers, so that you can serve
    them more easily and effectively
  • Understanding body language and non-verbal communication
  •  Specific gestures and phrases that put customers at ease
  • Using the right form of communication – telephone, email and face to face
  • Best practice summary

Customer drawing-out skills and needs analysis

  • Different types of question and how to ask more effective questions
  • Active listening and drawing-out skills
  • Leading with examples and high-impact questions
  • Creating clarity and confidence through summarising and restating

Application 1: Telephone skills

Application 2: Email writing skills

Application 3: Face to face skills

Dealing with customer dissatisfaction

  • The reasons customers complain – and what to do first when they do
  • Why complaints are really GREAT FUN! – a proven method of dealing with
    these situations
  • Ways to calm angry customers (and handle verbal attacks)
  • How to react when you’ve let a customer down because you have missed an
    expectation or promise

Managing ‘difficult’ customer situations

  • Conflict management: a five step approach to gaining customer confidence, taking control of the situation, and moving to constructive solutions
  • Escalation – when and how to escalate difficult situations
  • When it is fine to defend, explain or justify – and when it is not
  • What to do when you don’t have an answer the customer wants to hear

Customer problem solving skills

  • Using creative thinking and proven problem-solving methods to resolve issues
  • How to use proper preparation to ward off excessive or unreasonable
  • Managing customer expectation and exceed it by using ‘prompt sheets’, other
    aids and internal processes
  • Five ‘listening loops’ – what they are and how they can prevent disgruntled
  • How to ensure effective follow-up to problems and complaints
  • How best to review and measure customer satisfaction and take your service to the next level – personalised customer service

Managing internal response

  • Improving your influencing skills when gaining information and support from internal support providers
  • How to master the skills of ‘horizontal delegation’
  • Follow-through and ensuring your requests stay high priority

How to stay cool under pressure

  • How to get off the ‘good customer/bad customers’ roller coaster
  • Tips to revitalise your spirits, even on a bad day
  • How to turn your encounters with difficult customers into an ‘inner game’ that is challenging, firm and productive

Managing customer priorities effectively

  • Techniques and attitudes to cope more effectively with high workloads, conflicting priorities and client expectations
  • To plan effectively in a reactive and short-term focused environment
  • How to use key assertive techniques to manage expectations – in other words, how to say no, nicely!
  • Maximise personal productivity through improved prioritising, scheduling and delegating
  • How best to agree realistic deadlines and priorities with others

Pulling it all together

  • Qualities of IT and technical customer service superstars
  • Summary of key learning points
  • Action plans
  • Learning Diary


The facilitator of this course is international trainer/consultant and published author
Graham Roberts-Phelps.

This course is available on an in-house basis, either for live training, small group coaching or consulting.  Free quotation and personalised outline on request.  All training can be personalised to your business free of charge. Bespoke course design and development and white-label training a speciality, including e-learning.

Please get in touch by completing this form or calling ​​07515 851 691.

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