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ICAS3031A Provide advice to clients Suggested answers to Learner Guide activities

Activity 1.1
Visit and review the following two websites and use the information to answer the questions. Help Desk Software Australia (currently at <www.helpdesksoftware.com.au>). At this website, click on the Products tab and then click on Screenshots. This will show pictures of how the screen looks and its functions. This will help you to answer the following questions. Ilient (currently at <ilient.com>). At this website click on the Product tab then download or open the !"# file Product description. $ook at the screen shots and the !"# file then answer the following questions% 1. &hat are the main functions'tasks these programs offer( ). *f you were working with these software programs how could you identify new problems when you returned from your lunch break( +. ,ow could you find out if there were previous problems or requests from the client( -ach website offers pictures which may be a help for students who are not familiar with this sort of software. Answers will vary depending on the software investigated.

Activity 1.2 no answer required Activity 1.3

&hen you have the ,elp./A0 test drive running e1periment with it. 2reate a new request (click the labelled button on the left of the screen). /he request is from Adriana 0ivera who wants technical support with email. 3. #ind out if there are already issues for Adriana. *f there are does it help us with this request( ,ow( ). &hy is it important to look for previous logs or requests before going any further in attempting to solve the problem( 4ive three reasons. 3. and ). Looking at previous requests will give a pro!le !y" ore co plete picture of the

a. alerting the support staff to previous technical pro!le s b. providing additional infor ation a!out pro!le s or requests the client has ade previously c. providing ade. ore infor ation a!out why this particular request has !een

Activity 1.#
"iscussing issues with friends and colleagues is a common way to find information. /he following scenario helps you develop this skill. 5ou have been using &indows )666 for some time and are thinking of moving to &indows 7! !ro. #ind an independent online chat or user group and analyse their comments. /ry to get both facts and feelings (opinion) about the product. Answers will depend on the facts and opinions students find in their search.

Activities 1.$ and 1.%

Answers will depend on students8 research.

Activity 1.&
.olving a clients8 problem is sometimes a matter of some basic training. *n this role9 play activity you will practice one9to9one training. A client has requested support because they would like to insert tables into their :icrosoft ;utlook email message but every time they try to insert the table it is converted to te1t. 5ou have investigated and found no problem with the software or hardware. 5ou conclude that you need to provide training to the client on how to use this function. /ake turns as trainer. /his role'play is intended to give practice in a situation where a support person has to e(plain conclusions to the client and get feed!ack fro the client.

Activity 1.)
/his activity gives you practice in describing a technical problem or situation to a client. 5ou have <ust downloaded ,elp./A0 (Activity 3.3) and have been asked if your organisation8s'educational institute8s current set up will allow the program to run effectively. 5ou need to prepare a report for your boss (not a technical person) describing the requirements. /he report should be less than half a page. Answers will depend on each student8s situation and research.

Activity 1.*
4etting and using feedback is very important. /his activity will make you think about feedback. /alk about the following questions with a class member or make some notes of your answers to help you understand what feedback means to you. 3. &hat do you understand by the term =feedback8( #eedback is the reaction or opinion of a customer supervisor or colleague to an organisation or employee about services work performance etc. ). 2an you think of a time when someone gave you feedback that was useful to you( *f you can describe the situation and try to think about why that feedback was useful. *f you cannot think of a time when you received useful feedback think about what might make feedback useful to you.


+onstructive feed!ack, such as a colleague telling you if you have done a -o! well, or if you have istake. ade a istake and how to correct the


Positive feed!ack, including when you have achieved a goal and a custo er.supervisor is happy with the outco e. /his will allow you to know what works.


+ritical feed!ack, such as a custo er, colleague or supervisor infor ing you of pro!le s with your work. /his allows you to changes so that you do not ake the sa e ake istakes again, or to correct

a process. /his sort of feed!ack should always !e constructive and a!out the -o! it should not !e personal or derogatory.

Assess ent 1
+ase study 1
a. $ist the resources (for e1ample information about how to create and e1ecute a V$;;?@! function) you will use to determine the cause of Virginia8s problem. "ocument your progress as you do this. &hen discussing =resources8 the student is e1pected to indicate that he or she would check logs for similar problems from Virginia as failure to do this indicates problems with the competency. /he student might also mention -1cel online help :icrosoft .upport online user groups or other web resources. /he students should be able to come up with a solution. As part of the competency is to investigate it is reasonable to e1pect a student who has the competency to be able to e1amine -1cel8s online documentation and find the cause of the problem described. ;f course in the =Virginia8 role you have discretion to give tips. !. 0hen you have docu ented the pro!a!le cause of the pro!le , e(plain to 1irginia what you think ight !e going wrong. 2ake sure you provide an e(a ple for your answer. c. Listen to 1irginia3s response. 4eter ine if you need to ake any changes to your docu entation. /he documentation should e1plain the cause of the problem (perhaps using so e ter s for the online docu entation5. A!ility to docu ent support issues is part of the co petency. 6t is also part of the co petency to provide advice and support. A few 7hu an3 issues have !een put here and this gives learners a chance to show that they can !e convincing and win the trust of the client in reco very co ending a solution. /his e(tends the co petency a little !it, !ut it is on in 7real life3 situations.

Assign ent 1
/he assignments are additional activities that are intended to help learners to see how the aterial covered in the te(t relates to a real world situation. /hey ended are intended as an e(tension of the activities in the te(t. 6t is reco

that the work e(pected of students !e carefully defined !y the teacher. /his first assign ent follows, in general, the first ele ent of the co petency and shows how these ele ents operate in a syste first ade !y a client. the student has heard of and possi!ly uses. 6t covers what happens when a request for assistance is

Activity 2.1
Answer the following question individually. 6f possi!le, co pare your answers with those given !y other people. 3. At what point should you !egin to get agree ent with a client on their hardware, software or network require ents8 /he agreement should start at your first analysis of the problem. At each step after that you should confirm agreement with the client. *f the original problem is not agreed to by the client any solutions or implementation are not likely to be agreed and are not likely to meet the client8s need. ). &hat are the procedures for approving changes to hardware software or the network in your organisation'educational institute( +. ,ow do these procedures differ depending on the cost and time associated with client requirements( Answers will vary depending on the students8 organisational.educational institute.

Activity 2.2
-1plaining why one option is better than another is an important part of documenting a solution. /his activity asks you to select an option and recommend it. *n small group (if possible) consider the following scenario. A group of users from a chain of opticians wants to circulate special offers to customers. /he offer will differ depending on where the customer lives. /wo possible solutions have been suggested. 3. @se the e1isting database to provide a basic list of customers with an address in a certain postcode. /his would be the cheapest solution because no changes are required. ,owever it would take time for staff to match each offer with the customer8s postcode. ). @pgrade the database by adding new fields. /his could allow marketing to be more targeted by collecting more information about the customers and give more options for marketing for the future. /his would cost three times as much as .olution 3. &hat recommendation will you make( -1plain why you are making the recommendation. 5our response should be in writing. ;n a cost9!enefit !asis an ad-ust ent to the e(isting data!ase would usually !e reco ended if it would fully eet the need. /he e(ercise is intended to generate so e discussion and awareness that there are cost i plications when providing advice to clients.

Activity 2.3
"efining costs and benefits is an important part of documenting a solution and advising clients. /his activity is designed to get you thinking about the costs and benefits of purchasing new software. 5our firm is considering using specialised pro<ect management software for systems pro<ects. 2onduct research on the internet to identify the costs and benefits of using a popular pro<ect management software program. "ocument these in point form. Answers will depend on each student8s situation.

Activity 2.#
:aking sure that you formally document all requirements is an important part of making a recommendation and maintaining effective communication with the client. /his activity asks you to think about what additional requirements are likely to occur. -ither in a group of three or on your own brainstorm the following scenario. 5ou have recommended a software upgrade as the solution to the problem you have been investigating. &hat additional hardware'software'training requirements might be needed for the software upgrade( 2onsiderations might include the following% 0hat training will !e needed for users and aintenance people8

&ill any hardware need to be upgraded( (*f so how e1tensive must this !e85 0ill the upgraded software run properly on the current versions of the operating syste or syste s that the organisation runs8

/his list is not co prehensive.

Activity 2.$
5ou work on a help desk which has found it needs an improved system for entering and tracking logged requests and problems. /he recommendation currently has documentation about the following issues% what software should be chosen including licensing cost hardware and supporting software requirements for the system. /he client now has an additional requirement. /he system needs to track the cost of staff time spent on any particular problem or request and include an online report showing total costs attached to that particular problem or request. 0eview the websites you e1amined in Activity 3.3 and Activity 3.) and see if this additional requirement can be met from the software considered. !repare a summarised report in point form. Answers will vary according to students8 findings in Activity 3.3 and Activity 3.).

Activity 2.%
4etting client approval for implementation is not always simple. /he role9play below describes a situation where obtaining approval is complicated. ;ne person should play the role of an */ support personA the other will play the role of the client, Anton. /he support person is helping Anton, who wants so e additional infor ation fro the organisation3s data!ase. Anton agrees that a new online report will eet his needs, !ut still wishes he could have the new screen he originally wanted. /he support person needs to get Anton3s approval for i ple entation, !ut e(pects co plaints a!out not getting approval for the screen. /he screen has !een esti ated as !eing four ti es the cost of the report to develop and two ti es the cost to aintain. /he organisation3s rules allow Anton to sign for the low'cost report, !ut the screen is a uch higher cost and would need to !e

approved !y his senior anager. 9ou do not think the cost of a new screen can !e -ustified. Persuade Anton to agree to sign an approval for for the report. /he role'play is intended to stress ele ent 2.#, and at the sa e ti e that client approval is needed for additional needs !ut also that careful e(planations and negotiation can !e part of an apparently routine process.

Activity 2.&
/he person you have worked with to identify user requirements is not always the same person who can approve the final implementation. &hat factors about the organisation or the requirements might mean that it cannot be approved immediately by the user( .tudents8 answers will vary depending on the situation of the user.

Activity 2.)
/his activity asks you to consider training options for various staff. Answer this individually or have a class discussion. Answer on your own or have a class discussion 6n the following cases, what sort of technical support and training ight !e required8 3. A new syste is to !e installed and eight people in the depart ent need to use it. 6t is a oderately co ple( syste !robably a training session or sessions for the whole department ). A new report has !een developed for 2oha how to run it. /his is a very si ple procedure. ed. :e needs to know

!robably a short one9on9one training session would meet the require ents

Activity 2.* ;o answer required Activity 2.1<

&hat factors can make it difficult to agree with the client on the level of technical support required( .hortage of resources especially lack of client time and conflicting priorities may make agreement difficult. Also the client may want a particular solution which may or may not be feasible.

Activity 2.11
*t is important to communicate well when arranging a time for support. /his e1ercise helps you think through the communication process. A staff member needs training in changes that are soon to be introduced to your organisation8s in9house system. /he change is not great and you e1pect it to take half an hour and would like to do it at the staff member8s desk. 3. :ow will you ake the first contact8 *nitial contact may be a quick phone call or email to the client to request to schedule a brief training session.

). :ow will you follow up that contact8 3. 0hat infor ation should you provide the client so that they are fully aware of the details of the training session =such as what they will learn, ti e it will take, ti e and date58 B. :ow will you co unicate this infor ation to the client so they can prepare for the training session8 #ollow9up contact might be an email confirming the details given over the phone such as date and time of scheduled training session appro1imate length and location of training as well as the topics to be covered.

Activity 2.12
/his activity is about preparing to deliver a support session to a client. Coe needs to import a te1t file into a worksheet but has had difficulty mastering the procedure. !repare a session outline of what will be covered in the training session. !repare a draft email to Coe requesting that a short training session be scheduled with Coe to learn how to use this function. *nclude information about the anticipated length of the training session. :ake sure you also include information about what will be covered in the training session. Hi Joe, urther to our discussions, I would like to propose that we !eet for a !a"i!u! one# hour training session. The !ain goal of the session will be to learn how to use $"cel to i!port te"t files. The session will co%er& I!porting a te"t file I!porting a 'S( file I would also like to confir! the following date and ti!e as per our original discussions& )onday, *th November 2007 3.30 m to !.30 m Location" #our o$$ice Loo% $or&ard to seein' #ou then. (e'ards ) )ones

Activity 2.13
/his activity will give you practice in delivering a support session to a client. ;ne person should role9play Cane. Another person should role9play the support person. >ane is PA to the finance anager and needs to put charts and graphs fro a spreadsheet into a presentation package for her anager to use. She has had pro!le s doing this in the past, which she reported as a fault in the software set'up. After investigation the pro!le has !een identified as a training issue. ?ole'play the one'on'one instruction session that you would have with >ane. ;ne9to9one instruction is an important element of the competency. /he role9play is intended to emphasise the point that client relationships have to be managed as well as the training.

Activity 2.1#
A link can be a very good way to provide permanent and speedy access to help for clients. "o some online research to find out what website link you might give to some clients who have begun to use :icrosoft !ro<ect )66D. /hey have done a short training course and need a source of information beyond the online help. Answers will vary according to the sorts of websites available when students do their research. 6t ight !e useful to discuss the difference in the quality of infor ation availa!le on different we!sites.

Activity 2.1$
/hink about the kind of help documentation you have found most useful in learning to use new software. *f you were asked what sort of help documentation you would like what would you say( Answers will vary from student to student.

Activity 2.1%
!repare a =how9to8 guide for Coe (Activity ).3)) that provides step9by9step instructions for importing a te1t file into :icrosoft -1cel.

/he following e1ample is based on inserting a 2.V file into -1cel. 3. 2reate a new workbook or insert a new worksheet. ). 4o to 4ata click on @et A(ternal 4ata and then click 6 port /e(t Bile. +. *n the +hoose a Bile dialog bo1 locate and double9click the te1t file you want to import and then click on @et 4ata. B. Accept the selected 4eli ited data option and click on ;e(t. E. .elect the delimiters that reflect how the data in the te1t file is separated (such as /ab or 2omma). F. !review the data and if it displays in columns click on ;e(t. D. Accept the @eneral colu n data format and click on ;e(t. G. 2lick on Binish to import the te1t file into the -1cel worksheet. H. .ave the workbook.

Assess ent 2
+ase study 2

Iote that the case study is intended to cover all elements of the competency from ).3 to ).H /he paper will be rather similar to the one produced in the first part of the case study. /he purpose is to confirm the requirements with Virginia the client. *t is reasonable to consider the grammar and spelling and general standard of e1pression of the document as it is intended to go to a client. /o meet the requirements of element ).) of the competency the reasoning behind the solution should be presented /o meet the competency requirements the document should e1plain why the student thinks that Virginia should have an additional training session in :icrosoft -1cel. A few =human8 issues need to be considered and this gives learners a chance to show that they can be convincing and win the trust of the client in recommending a solution. *t is the teacher8s discretion if they wish to create some complications such as being a =difficult8 client. /he session should end with the client having a clear understanding of how to use 1LCCDEP. 6f learners do not choose to leave a page link, they order to ust leave so e other infor ation that the client can refer to in eet the require ents of that ele ent of the co petency

Assign ent 2
/he second assignment in a similar way to the first asks learners to consider a real9 world application of the second element of the competency. *t covers what happens as staff work on the client problem or request and implement a solution.

Activity 3.1
/his is a research task. Bind a for that a co ercial organisation uses to gather feed!ack a!out its 6/ support. 6f it is not possi!le to get an e(a ple fro a co ercial organisation, o!tain one used !y your educational institute. /hese forms are mostly on intranet or emailed to clients at the time. Students need to see a real'life e(a ple !efore atte pting to create a for of their own

Activity 3.2
2omplete this activity on your own or as part of a group. @sing the form you researched in Activity +.3 as well as the information presented so far in this chapter create a 369question feedback form to provide to clients once an */ support issue is solved or a request is completed. 2reating a form is an important proficiency in this element.

Activity 3.3
0ole9play this activity with a fellow student or work colleague if possi!le. ?eferring to the for you located in Activity 3.1, or the one you created in Activity 3.2, e(plain how the for should !e filled in. Alternatively, create step' !y'step instructions e(plaining how to co plete and su! it the feed!ack for , as well as the !enefits of co pleting the feed!ack for . -1plaining a for is an i portant proficiency in this ele ent.

Activity 3.#
!rovide three reasons why it is important to give clients the opportunity to provide feedback once they have received customer support. /he main reason is to provide information that will help to improve performance. #eedback also enables the developer to identify whether the solution met the client8s needs% are they satisfied with the outcomes( #eedback enables the developer to identify how the service.product can !e i proved in the future.

Activity 3.$
!rovide three reasons why it is important to give clients the opportunity to provide feedback once they have received customer support.

/able +.3 suggests that pressure on the client and the need to find an appropriate time as disadvantages. /he table suggests that the form is likely to be filled in and the client sees the attention as personal as advantages.

Activity 3.%
/his is a reflection e1ercise. /hink of a time (preferably at work) when you listened to someone8s feedback and changed your way of doing things as a result. /he ob<ective is to encourage the student to understand how feedback can be used to improve an individual8s way of doing things as an aid to understanding how feedback can improve group performance.

Activity 3.&
/his is a research pro<ect. 0esearch an information and communications technology company on the internet to find out how they have used feedback to change their practices and improve service to clients. Answers will vary depending on the company the student chooses.

Assess ent 3
+ase study 3
Iote that the case study is intended to cover all elements of the competency from +.3 to +.B. a. 2reate a feedback form as a web page that will later be put on the company intranet. 4uidance on the form can be obtained from the illustration in the te1t. *t is important that the form give Virginia the opportunity to asses both the technical skills and the =soft8 skills that were applied. An appropriate feedback form would allow for this. /he form should also be easy to understand and to complete. b. "raft an email to Virginia requesting that she complete the form. /he email should include% i. instructions for completing and submitting the form ii. the benefits of completing the feedback form iii. the feedback form as an attachment or a link to the online form. iv. a timeframe for submitting the form. /o meet the competency requirements the form must be made available to the client. *t may be that delivery may be accomplished in some other way but delivery needs to be arranged and organised and confirmed by the learner to meet this element of the competency. c. &hen you receive a response prepare the report for your boss.

/he comments you have made along the way as well as the formal feedback form should all contribute to the learner8s understanding of improvements that could be made. /he report should show at least some indication that the learner has considered both their own performance and possible problems with procedure.

Assign ent 3
.tudents8 answers will depend on the types of feedback forms they locate.