Naples Free-Net
Helpteam Procedures Manual
This reference guide is designed to assist NFN Helpteam members
understand the operational processes of the organization.

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 Welcome to the Naples Free-Net Help Team

November 10, 2003

Thank you for volunteering to be a member of the NFN Help Team. As the customer service provider for the NFN, the Help Desk Team works with new and established users of the NFN to assist them as they establish and use their Internet connection.  Several key roles are involved. These are:

q       Registering new users

q       Providing new users with connection software

q       Helping new users establish their initial connection with NFN

o        Answering questions about problems with connections

o        At the Help Desk during normal business hours

q       On the Help Line in response to call in messages

q       Other informal support of users’ efforts to browse the internet

 Customer Service is Your First and most important Job

As the face of Naples Free Net that the public sees, the Help Team has the responsibility to provide the best customer service we can. When we provide top quality help and are responsive and supportive of our users, it reflects well on our entire community.

 Be Knowledgeable about NFN Policies and Procedures

As part of your training to be a Help Team member you will be assigned a coach who will guide your orientation to the Help Team Office and procedures. Your coach will be using a check list in order to ensure all major items in the orientation are covered. In addition to the office activities, you are asked to read this manual and the procedures it describes and to study the NFN By-Laws and Policies. Although there will be changes to these over time, the contents of this manual constitute the core of our operating procedures and will help you be a knowledgeable resource to NFN users. When you have other questions, ask your coach. If you find things you feel you need to know that are not covered in this manual or that your coach does not know, tell the Help Team Chair.

 Guard the Security of NFN

In addition to customer service, an important function of the Help Team is to guard the security of the NFN. We do this several ways.

q       First, we require photo IDs of all registrants. We make copies of these with their applications and file them for future reference. When someone requests a change to an established account we always the photo ID they provide with the one on the registration form for that account. This ensures the person making the change is the person who owns the account.

q       Second, we work with the secretary and technical team to protect NFN’s server from spammers and hackers. We do this by maintaining a list of “bad users” -- people who have violated our user agreement -- and keeping them off our system. NFN has had hackers crack our firewall and hack our system. In 1996 we were off line for almost a month as a result of a hacker’s interference.

q       Third, we bring in about 90% of the NFN’s annual funding through registration donations. We collect these monies, keep records on what they were collected for, and maintain the security of the funds until the Help Team Financial Management Team deposits them to the NFN Account.

q       Fourth, we maintain the physical security of the NFN Equipment which is housed in the Help Team Office. While an occasional visitor is allowed in the Office itself, visitors should never be left unattended in the office. Most user contacts should be handled through the help desk customer service window.

 While almost all Help Team Tasks are relatively easy ones, none are trivial. How well we perform our jobs reflects directly on the Naples Free Net and establishes our reputation within the Naples community. Manning the Help Desk can be challenging at times when we are experiencing a large number of new registrations or when a user with a difficult or different problem comes seeking help. It can be emotionally challenging as well, since many users who experience problems with their connection get frustrated and sometimes angry about their problems. Help Team Volunteers need to be professional enough that we do not respond to anger with anger, but seek to defuse the situation, respond to the user’s problem, and help them leave satisfied. Simply because our service is free and we are volunteers does not mean we do not need to be supportive or nice to people, or that we should let their problems go unaddressed.

Thank you for joining the NFN Help Team. We hope that you find your participation as rewarding and enjoyable as we have found it. We welcome your comments and suggestions anytime.

Ed, Jaekle, President, Naples Free-Net


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