The fact that a company has an efficient technical support center shows that this firm or organization makes everything possible to satisfy the needs of its customers and provide high-quality services. Each department at any company performs a certain volume of functions. In order to evaluate a current state of an enterprise and its future perspectives, it can be very useful to apply for the services of the third party. This is especially productive for technical support centers. This paper will focus on HDI Company, which gives all possible assistance and certifications to technical support specialists, and will tell about the benefits offered to HDI members.
HDI positions itself as an association for technical support professionals. The company states that it gives profound feeling of community to its clients. HDI is a team of leaders who give knowledge and resources to support specialists to make them successful at what they do. HDI association came into existence in 1989. It was the first professional organization aimed at cooperating with technical support centers. Since then, HDI has been a valuable reserve for professional development that promotes organizational success provided by excellent customer services. The company reaches its goals, applying certain methods. It facilitates cooperation and networking as well as organizes conferences and events. HDI accredits and trains thousands of professionals each year. According to the official website of the organization, the company’s mission is to “elevate the customer experience through the development of the technical support industry” (“About HDI”, n. d., para. 3). Hence, its mission correlates with the activities the company performs and the results it wants to achieve.
Knowing the business priority of HDI, it is important to comprehend for whom this organization functions. As its main goal is to provide the opportunities for building a successful career, companies of all sizes and technical support specialists can apply to HDI and get what they need. HDI is capable of assisting average managers and directors. Business leaders apply for its assistance as they are aware of the fact that a professional support center improves the organizational climate. If a manager has some problem, then the company gives him advice of how to balance the aims of his firm with the needs of his department. This process leads to developing leadership skills. HDI is a credible source of industry information and standards (“About HDI”, n. d.).
HDI Company understands what it means for any organization to have an effective support center. The enterprise is ready to assist all potential clients in ensuring that support centers of their organizations can be helpful and productive. HDI offers its own standard for support centers. It defines a number of activities that a support center should perform. This standard is a foundation for the HDI evaluation services and certification. The results of rendering the mentioned services demonstrate the current state of a support center for it to see the ways of further development. There are three possible lines of HDI assessment practices.
The first one is Best Practices Assessment. It is a true picture of support center’s professionalism in those activities that the support industry considers to be obligatory. The second one is Assisted Assessment. Its aim is to evaluate full growth of a support center under the guidance of an impartial expert. The last evaluation service is Self-assessment as a tool that professional members can download for free and evaluate the current state of their support center according to the HDI support center standard. The assessment services provided by HDI are valuable for any support center. A company can get a number of benefits with them. For example, a center can have its current status defined and measure the influence of the future changes. Moreover, HDI will prove that applying for help to a company’s center in marketing will contribute to reaching positive results. A support center will get a report of resources that are about to an end and of processes to be developed. HDI will show to which initiatives a support team should give preferences (“Services”, n. d.). Any type of the listed assessments covers the most significant aspects of the center’s activities and can help to optimize them.
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If a company’s center has a HDI certification, it means that it is possesses the highest rank of recognition. The efforts of its support team made the center one of the best among other support organizations. The aim now is to maintain this status. The certification, issued by HDI, is worthy of special attention due to a number of privileges that an organization obtains. It allows companies to unite their support management and other departments for performing one common mission. The certified firms state that the mentioned official status has helped them increase companies’ productivity and customers’ satisfaction. It has also improved labor efficiency and given them an opportunity to define priorities in their business objectives. Retention of employees is one of the most important tasks of any company. If a support center has certification, then its working environment is favorable and it contributes to career development due to high-quality trainings. The competitive advantage of a center significantly grows in case of being certified. If it places the logo of the HDI Certified Support Center on business cards or marketing materials, then all other companies will know that this center belongs to a group of the highest-class support centers. It is possible to choose to obtain HDI certificate in 8 different courses: (a) HDI Customer Service Representative; (b) HDI Support Center Analyst; (c) HDI Desktop Support Technician; (d) HDI Technical Support Professional; (e) HDI Support Center Team Lead; (f) HDI Support Center Manager (g) HDI Desktop Support Manager; (h) HDI Support Center Director (“HDI Course Catalogue”, n. d.).
Selecting any of the above-mentioned courses, a worker has a chance to learn some useful practical information and to master skills to apply this knowledge to the working process correctly. Some of the lectures related to communicative methods and leadership abilities are the same for all courses. The scopes of knowledge given to support center analysts, team leads, and managers differ. Each of them has some unique specific trends conditioned by different professional needs (“Certification”, n. d.).
HDI Support Center Analyst course helps corresponding support center analysts give high-class support and be the primary contact for customers. This training concentrates on help desk techniques for effective client service. It develops problem-solving and communication skills as well as incident management. This course will teach a support analyst to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. He will learn how important it is to be a leader in any discussion with a customer and use best practices in the service. As the result of this training, a professional analyst will use active listening skills to manage the most difficult customers (“HDI Support Center Analyst”, n. d.).
HDI Support Center Team Lead trainings follow the main goals of leadership abilities development and team work implementation. Team leads link other managers with their own department. They are also the first stage of considering customers’ applications. This course teaches participants to deliver qualitative support to the customers, implement process improvements and control everyday activities of a team. Sure, support professionals will learn the basics of team lead management, as well as the importance of service agreements. The course gives the essential knowledge about managing conflicts, hiring, scheduling and estimating the employees. Those, who choose this type of certification, will be able to learn about an innovative eight-step method of effective trainings for workers and best team building techniques (“HDI Support Center Team Lead”, n. d.).
HDI Support Center Manager is the third most popular certification type that an employee can get at the considered company. A group of support center managers is responsible for developing tactical and operational plans for their organizations in the process satisfying business needs. The main role of this training is to investigate how a support center performs all its functions, namely provides services, manages workforce, implements infrastructure, etc. Both experienced and young specialists are able to use this course to make their support center function in close cooperation with the organization itself, developing common business. The participants will learn how to become effective support center managers, create service agreements and act according to them correctly, the basics of calculating an investment return and performing cost-benefit analysis. The course will help them discover the significance of operational and strategic planning and the advantages of self-service technologies for developing high-quality security policies. As for the management trends, the specialists, taking part in the course, will open innovative techniques of hiring and coaching new employees and showing them team work benefits (“HDI Support Center Manager”, n. d.). Therefore, technical support workers, starting from ordinary technicians and ending with department directors, may choose appropriate training course and receive official international certification of their qualification.
Support centers and other organizations come to HDI with the purpose to increase their business productivity. The company gives them a chance to get a deep knowledge of management and leadership techniques, business and strategic planning, service agreements and performance evaluation. When a firm chooses a technical support center to apply for assistance, it is guided by certain criteria. As for HDI, one of such criteria for choosing a technical support center can be the company’s ability to elevate their clients’ experience. The company highlights the significance of realizing which customer’s emotional reactions to an issue can exist and how to differentiate them from customer’s expression of a technical problem. By developing communicative skills and improving customer service, HDI clients learn to perform a wide range of business activities correctly. Thus, a support specialist will be able to transfer calls, use open-and close-ended questions, and develop soft skills to persuade his customers. HDI members are not just average specialists. They are a united team of support and technical service professionals with a common objective of achieving the highest career goals. If an individual becomes an HDI member, he gets an access to a great number of recourses for his career growth. He receives discounts for professional conferences, live events, trainings, etc. As a company member, he is provided by HDI with various trending analysis publications regarding his industry. A new network of best practices and world experience in the industry of interest opens in front of HDI programs participants (“About HDI”, n. d.). Therefore, HDI membership is what a technical support specialist can achieve, in case he wants to have unlimited opportunities for career promotion.
HDI Company is well known all over the world for its highly qualified approach to grading the services provided by different technical support centers. The experience of such evaluation has made it possible for HDI to develop its own certification standards mentioned above. However, as an organization of a big-scale, the firm has some competitors. One of the most serious of them is Service Strategies Company. It offers a variety of services for technical support centers to improve the quality of their services as well. Service Strategies enterprise has its own Service Capability & Performance (SCP) Standards. If a technical support center applies to Service Strategies for certification, then these standards are used in this process. The company states that due to these elaborated principles, it establishes a union of firms aimed at delivering the first class service and support. The standards distinctly address four working aspects of any technical support center – service, support, field service, and professional services. Service Strategies update their standards annually to stay current with technological innovations. The company works hard in order to gain solid reputation among other certifying institutions for technical support centers (“Service Capability”, n. d.).
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Of course, each company has the right to choose the organization for getting international certification. HDI and Service Strategies are the companies, following the same goal – to provide high-quality services to customers and improve business quality of their companies in general. As it was said above, HDI has its unique certification standards. It is not reasonable to compare both organizations point by point, as they are organized and grouped in different ways. With Service Strategies, each of the four named sectors of technical support has its own standards. When it comes to HDI, then the company gives a list of all positions subject to certification and each of them has a certain volume of knowledge that a certified participant will get during the course. Indeed, this employee should follow the requirements of the standards, particular for his work. Otherwise, he will not be able to be certified. The division of HDI Company seems to be clearer for a technical support specialist. He may enter the official web site of the company, choose the variant of certification needed, and read all the information about the benefits of receiving the document. There is no doubt that being a certified specialist means proving one’s highest professional level. Moreover, having a certified HDI technical support center is a firm proof that a company possesses some great experience of working with customers, who will not hesitate to address it, seeking for solutions.
In conclusion, it is possible to state that becoming a member of HDI is an important step for any technical support specialist. Companies should encourage their employees to use the privileges given by this membership. Support managers and leaders will learn about all latest and most effective trends in problem solving, the essentials of organizational management, and the ways to develop communicative skills to deal with the most problematic clients. If a technical support center of a company is HDI certified, it ensures the company’s success as a prestigious organization, aimed at the highest-quality service for the customers.