How Helpdesk Agents Help Clients

M.F. Steehouder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
187 Downloads (Pure)


Helpdesks are an important channel for supporting users of technical products and software. This study analyses some phenomena in telephone helpdesk calls, using conversational analysis as a methodological and theoretical framework. Helpdesk calls are characterized by the common goal of the helpdesk agent and the client to understand and solve the client's problem with a particular technical device or with computer software. Both parties cooperate in a complex manner to define and diagnose the problem, and to solve it. The paper identifies the typical structure of a helpdesk call and describes a number of strategies that the participants use to make the call successful.
Original languageUndefined
Title of host publication2007 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (IPCC 2007). CD Rom
Place of PublicationSeattle, WA
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007
EventIEEE International Professional Communication Conference, IPCC 2007 - Seattle, United States
Duration: 1 Oct 20073 Oct 2007


ConferenceIEEE International Professional Communication Conference, IPCC 2007
Abbreviated titleIPCC
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • telephone helpdesk calls
  • IR-61642
  • METIS-242536
  • Computer Software
  • Conversational Analysis
  • helpdesk agents
  • helpdesks
  • clients problem
  • technical products
  • technical support services

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