A desktop support specialist is a trained computer expert who provides technical support to users of computer software and hardware running the Windows®, Macintosh®, or Linux® operating system. Most often, a support specialist works within a company's information technology department, as a member of the help desk staff at a computer support company, or as an independent contractor. He can be more effective in the workplace and enhance the customer service experience for all the users he supports if he acts as a guru, a communicator, and a teacher.
To the average computer user in the corporate environment, a desktop support specialist is the know-all-see-all guru who wields the answer for every question like a magic wand. A specialist with this level of expertise often has a degree in computer science or technical certification. Many times, he has the ability to troubleshoot and repair problems via e-mail, phone, or in person. These individuals can solve both hardware and software problems, diagnose and resolve network connectivity problems, and help with product updates. This important support role demands knowledge that is current and applicable to the user's environment.
An effective desktop support specialist must be a good communicator in addition to a great problem solver. In the work environment, there are deadlines, details, and demands at every turn. The specialist has been put in place to be the first line of defense when problems arise that demand proper and professional levels of communication. He should make eye contact while speaking, be an attentive listener while the user is explaining the issue, and speak in a clear voice when answering a users question. No matter what the service or product may be, good communication is a valuable skill and important benefit to all being served by this person.
Often, there is a need for a steady and patient teacher to navigate through a confusing and difficult software application. Usually, a desktop support specialist will be an expert in several software applications. Sometimes, when new applications are introduced, the user will need to be educated on its functionality and features. Becoming a teacher can be the most demanding but also the most rewarding part of this role. Along with being a guru and a great communicator, this characteristic helps to make an effective and valued team member.