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Working in a call centre useful experience for working on an IT helpdesk?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by jo74, May 4, 2011.

  1. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

    Practical experience in IT can be obtained by volunteering, but how would I gain practical experience of resolving queries by phone?

    Could working in a call centre be the solution?

    To be honest, it's as much about motivating myself for a call centre job as it is practical experience for a helpdesk job.

    In this economic climate, beggars can't be choosers and there seem to be plenty of call centre work about.
    Certifications: A+, N+, Sec+
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    ofcourse it would.

    Any experience of dealing with customers wether over the telephone or face to face will be useful.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    IT is not just technical skills, it also needs soft skills (skills that are transferable from one professional or industry to another) :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
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  4. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    A tech-support call centre job will look a lot better on your CV than any other non-IT job if you're looking for IT helpdesk work.
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
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  5. samlea72

    samlea72 Bit Poster

    Certainly can't hurt, I would say go for it.
  6. alexdc12

    alexdc12 Kilobyte Poster

    id say its a good skill to have!
    Certifications: GNVQ Advanced IT, CompTIA A+, CompTIA N+, 70-680
    WIP: 70-685, ITIL v3 Foundation
  7. disarm

    disarm Byte Poster

    A big part of IT support is having people skills, doing 6-12 months in a call centre will show employers you can talk to people.

    I've met quite a few IT people with no people skills whatsoever.
  8. millsie

    millsie Byte Poster

    I totally agree with the above, I have worked in call centres for 6 years and it helped me get my first IT role which I have done for 14 months, leaving now but I would say its also helped me get my new job as a Network support analyst, it is taking calls still but not from the end user which will be nice!

    Any exp dealing with peeps on the phone will be beneficial to you, as stated above a lot of IT work will involve dealing with customers, explaining how things work or how to fix them themselves etc.

    Being able to explain clearly to someone without being too techy will be beneficial and you can learn that doing any call centre work.

    I would say a good year or 2 in a call centre environment will get you used to this type of work, build your interpersonal skills and communication skills which will benefit you in all areas of your IT career, go for it!
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  9. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Yup, definitely.

    My first full time IT job was on a helpdesk and the team of guys\gals I worked with had people with IT skills (either a year’s experience or a qualification) or from a call centre background (no IT experience). Within a few weeks we had helped each other out (documented basic desktop tasks etc.) so everyone was up to speed with call handling and troubleshooting problems.
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  10. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

    Unfortunately (for me), I've been turned down for a few call centre roles.:(

    But I can gain some call centre type experience in voluntary work (answering phones from members of the public).

    I have however a lot of experience in an admin role where I was required to answer a lot of calls from members of the public - it wasn't the only thing I did, it wasn't purely a customer service role.

    So could that be an advantage?
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
    Certifications: A+, N+, Sec+
  11. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    Both of those are advantageous as they show experience dealing with customers - of which all of our end users are customers, it just depends if you are dealing with the people that work on the floor or the CIO of a company.

    Get some studying done, maybe whatever the equivalent of the MCDST is nowadays, and that will allow you to shine. It sounds like there are roles out there to go for, and unless you balls up the interview, these extra skills, certs and experience, you'll be in good stead
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
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  12. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    In an IT Helpdesk role soft skills are almost as important as technical ability. You quite often have to get the caller on your side (which means being attentive whilst they vent their spleen at you). You cant help them if they are short and unhelpful to you, so poor customer service skills will do nothing but wind them up even more meaning they won't answer your questions properly or think about something before they say it.

    That being said you also need to know when to draw the line if someone is being abusive etc give warnings and then hang up if they are not helping themselves. I did that a few times earlier in my career and management never minded because they knew that my customer service skills were not at fault.

    So yes any experience with dealing with customers over the phone would be a great advantage and in the helpdesk roles as has been mentioned before your not necessarily expected to have much if any technical experience as that woiuld be provided by their database or local knowledge of other techs.

    At interviews you will have to think up answers to questions such as how would you deal with an awkward customer or explain a difficult situation you have encountered and how did you resolve it. Its good to have thought about it before so you can just rattle off your script to the interviewer which will make it not only sound like your prepared but also that it is something that you actually do in the working environment.
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  13. loca1hero

    loca1hero Byte Poster


    I don't know about advantage..but from what you have mentioned there…well that is exactly what I use to do few years back
    when I did admin roles for some time worked for the local council, dealing with some angry bunch of ppl and the typical “never happy type of customers”… but I dealt with some good ones too it was mainly on the phone but some times face to face as well…
    thank god I’m over with that .. anyway and coming to the point because I had previous call centre experience I got my first IT helpdesk role in a call centre did it for 10 months and now I’m working as IT helpdesk analyst.
    Certifications: Network+ (004), MCP, see signature
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  14. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

    The problem is finding a call centre job in the first place, let alone an IT job. There are lots of vacancies but lots of applicants and lots of hurdles.
    Certifications: A+, N+, Sec+

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