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Spring 2014 > Customer User Support > Flashcards

Flashcards in Customer User Support Deck (39)
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End-user computing

The use of computers for both business and personal use.


Major reasons for the growth of decentralized computing:

• The backlog of requests for new computer applications
• An increase in the number of knowledge workers
• The availability of inexpensive personal computers
• The availability of inexpensive productivity software
• The development of user-friendly GUIs


Application development backlog

The excess demand for computer applications that could not be met by the computer professionals available to develop them.


Knowledge workers

An employee whose primary job is to collect, prepare, process, and distribute information.



A complete computer (a PC) built on a smaller scale than large-scale or workgroup systems, with a microprocessor as the CPU.


Distributed computing

An environment in which the needs of the organization and its workers determine the location of its computer resources.

Connecting the end-user computers with the large-scale and workgroup computer; networks.


Common categories of end users (ways to categorize them):

• Environment (personal or professional)
• Skill level
• Frequency of use
• Software use (basic, intermediate, power user)
• Features used
• Relationship to the support provider (internal or external)


Resources end users need:

• Basic hardware
• Add-on peripherals
• Hardware maintenance and upgrades
• Software and software upgrades
• Supplies (consumables)
• Data and information (ISP, purchased info)
• Technical support (also training)
• Facilities, administration, overhead


Software categories

• Email and IM
• Web browser
• Word processor
• Spreadsheets
• Database management
• Graphics
• Planning and scheduling
• Desktop publishing
• Website development
• Educational and entertainment software
• Enterprise applications

Plus industry-specific software


Common problems of end-user computing:

• Waste of resources
• User mistakes
• Computer crime
• Theft of resources
• Invasion of privacy
• Abusive users
• Computer viruses
• Health problems


Computer User Support

Provides information and services to workers or clients to help them use computers more productively in their jobs or at home.


Technical support

Usually a level of user support that focuses on advanced troubleshooting and problem solving. Can be interchangeable with user support.


Peer support

One or more workers, whose job titles usually have little to do directly with computers, but who are generally recognized as THE person to turn to when a computer user has a question. Informal, looking to colleagues or peers.


Part-time user support

Often combined with other duties when a full-time support position is too costly. Often formalizes an informal role that was already there.


User support team

A formal workgroup that is organized to provide user support services. Can be people who are part-time, also working other positions.


Help desk

Provides a single point of contact for users in need of technical support, whether they be internal or external. Can be part of a larger user support group.


User support center/information center

Provides a wider range of services than a help desk to an organization's internal users.


Support standards

Lists of the computer products that an organization allows or encourages its workers to use and that it will support.


Needs analysis

An investigation to determine the features and configuration of hardware and software (from among those supported or available) that will best match a user's specific needs.


Computer facilities management

Network security, media backups, virus detection and prevention, ergonomic analyses, supplies management, preventative management and repairs on hardware and peripherals, and other related tasks. Support staff helps users with these.


Position description

A written description of the qualifications for and the responsibilities of a job in an organization. Reflects how an organization structures its user support function.



The Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities needed to perform the job.

• Knowledge - the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the job
• Skills - things you can do that you can improve over time
• Abilities - things you either can or cannot do


Two crucial goals of every support request:

Client satisfaction and excellent customer service.


Customer-service ethic

An organization-wide commitment - shared by everyone from top management to operational staff - that client relationships and client satisfaction are the most important aspect of a business.


Characteristics of a support organization that is devoted to a customer-service ethic:

• Provide clients with the information, service, or solutions they need, if there is a reasonable way to do so

• Explain to a client what they CAN do for him or her, if the problem cannot be resolved immediately

• Treat clients and potential clients with respect and courtesy

• Communicate to clients how long they are likely to be on hold, how long it will be before they receive a return phone call or email, and how long it make take to provide information or solve a problem

• Return phone calls or emails when promised, even if just to report that no progress has yet been made


The essential communication skills:

1) Listen
2) Build understanding
3) Respond


The six types of listening:

• Discriminative - learn about the user
• Comprehensive - understand the user's message
• Critical - analyze and evaluate the user's message
• Therapeutic - identify opportunities to provide positive support to the user
• Appreciative - find enjoyment
• Relational - develop rapport with the user



An understanding of and identification with another person's situation, thoughts, and feelings. To understand and relate effectively.

One measure of empathy is whether you can express a user's problem in your own words. Another is whether a user agrees with your expression of their problem. Have you reached a consensus understanding?


Four important aspects of your response:

• Greeting
• Use of scripts
• Tone and style
• Nonverbal communication



The icebreaker and the source of the user's first impression. Sets the tone for the remainder of the incident.