Job Title: Director Service Desk
Type of Company: My company makes telecommunications software and hardware for other businesses.
Education: BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois MBA, Washington University (St. Louis, MO)
Previous Experience: I have over 20 years of experience in telecommunications including jobs as a field foreman, sales manager, channel account manager and business development manager.
Job Tasks: This job involves managing a large organization that provides support for customers who buy my company's products. There are two layers of management between me and the technicians who answer the phones and help customers with repair problems. But my job requires a knowledge of call center practices and enough technical skill to provide coaching for the team. Key activities include setting the strategy and objectives for each employee, the primary objective being customer satisfaction.
The technicians in my organization are problem solvers. They take calls from customers and walk them through some troubleshooting steps to determine the cause of the problem. Once they're gotten to the root of the problem, they either log in remotely and fix it or send a field technician to the site.
My first line managers complement the work the technicians do by handling administrative tasks such as payroll and billing. They also help the technicians with their technical and soft skills, writing and covering development plans for each technician. If a technician's work is sub par, they will institute an improvement plan which may include discipline. These managers also assist customers with issues that have proved intractable up to that point.
The senior managers on my team hold their managers accountable for the performance of the tasks described above. They are responsible for setting objectives and maintaining a culture of continuous improvement. They can also act as a backstop for customer complaints, but their primary responsibility is to develop and improve the first line managers.
My role is to develop the entire team as well as setting organizational goals and finding ways to strike a balance between improving customer service and minimizing costs.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is helping people to become better leaders in the business. One of my primarily roles is to groom my managers for their next positions.
One of the tougher parts of the job is pushing for better results while reducing the number of people who are answering the phones, an economic necessity in these very lean times.
Job Tips: To develop your skills for middle and upper management I would recommend finding a field you love and getting a technical degree in that field. Then I would follow it up with business training such as an MBA a few years after you have been in the workforce. Having a few years experience will increase the relevance of an MBA. Then I would take roles across many disciplines such as finance, marketing, and operations to ready you for larger roles.
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