At Netstar, we recognise keeping our customers happy is key to helping them succeed through technology. Our team goes above and beyond to make sure clients are happy and get the service they need. With this in mind, we are giving you the opportunity to meet some of them!
In this article, we introduce you to Chris Nielsen, one of our Service Desk Engineers. We asked him a few questions about his day-to-day role and what motivates him.
What is your role?
My job role is First Line Engineer, but I also do training of the new starters and I’m the sub-team lead.
Describe your job, what do you typically do on a daily basis?
My job is split between two areas. The first half is spent on the help desk, working through support tickets, while the second part of my day is focused on team leadership responsibilities.
Throughout the day, I help the team with service requests and escalation issues. In addition, another part of my role is planning for the Netstar new starters; so overall, I have quite a few responsibilities.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always liked football, but then when I got to about 11, I started helping my uncle fix computers. I enjoyed it a lot and it got me started on my path to where I am today.
When did you join Netstar?
I joined Netstar two and a half years ago. I was in my previous role, working outside of London, for nearly five and a half years at which time my son was born. I knew I needed to get myself to London. I wanted to build on my IT experience and grow within a dynamic company. Netstar was a great fit. So, it’s been a really good journey.
How did you get into your role?
I initially applied for the second line engineer role through an agency. I didn’t get that one, but about four months later the same role came up, for a first-line engineer. When I came here and took on this role, it was about building a solid foundation for progression. I knew that in the next two years I’d be aiming to be a team leader. I wanted the development and that’s why I’m here.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Definitely people skills. You need your team to trust you, and you need to be able to communicate with technical and non-technical team members effectively. If there was to be an issue at Netstar, it’s likely that the first person they’d call is me.
Through my previous roles, I gained a lot of hands-on, peer-to-peer communication skills. Communication at Netstar is highly valued and important, especially since we do the personality questionnaire. This gives us a good idea of how we should word certain things, in different situations, approaching different personality types.
What are the challenges you face in your role?
One of the biggest challenges is handling client expectations when things go wrong. Sometimes (rarely), things go wrong that are outside of our control. Even then, it’s our job to listen to our clients, make sure they have all the information and feel supported.
We receive customer service training, which has been a really good thing for me, especially in those situations. One key thing is always following up with your client. It’s about taking proactive next steps on each issue and I believe it’s always a good opportunity to get involved in those moments.
What kind of goals do you have?
When I first came here, I was planning on having my own company within five years. I realised that in such a big industry, you really need a strong start-up with clients behind you and a lot of time to invest in it. At the moment I’m still learning. I’m not ready to be a full-time manager and I know that, which is why I’m glad to be on the path that I am.
Once I’ve completed my last exam, I can hopefully progress to tier two-level. I want to be able to answer the more difficult questions that might come my way. I want to learn different things and I want to progress, as well as pushing the rest of the team forward.
What does what you do mean for the client?
When a new client joins, I deal with the new user forms. It’s an important thing and if it’s done right, clients have a much better experience down the line. For me, this is the first chance to speak to the client, to find out what issues they’ve had previously and to establish if what they expect is a standard across the board or something more tailored.
The culture is the biggest thing for me – to come into the office in central London and to be surrounded by people who are here not just for the 9 to 5, but they’re here to grow as individuals. Teamwork is very important here. We all collaborate to be the best engineers. I really like the ambition we have as a team and we are all motivated to be the best we can be.
Could you share a funny story of something that happened while working as a Support Engineer?
A funny story would probably be me falling off the chair while speaking to a client. I was standing up, wearing a headset and I was about to go back to my desk. I went to sit down, and my chair went forwards. Luckily, I was able to put the client on hold quickly and sort myself out while everyone was laughing!
What does the future hold?
Cloud technology is a big thing now. Everyone’s migrating to the Microsoft Office 365 platforms. It’s becoming unusual for a client to still have old platforms or bespoke systems, even Windows 7 for instance. Cloud computing is the way forward. Windows 10 continually evolves and we encourage companies to embrace the latest technology to ensure they maximise their potential.
What’s your advice for new Netstar employees?
Come with all your knowledge and don’t push anything aside. There might be something you know that another staff member doesn’t. So, look to help everyone, think of all the Netstar values and how you can best put them into practice.
If you were to write a book about Netstar, what would the central theme be?
The Pursuit of Happyness.