What Your Company Should Expect from an Effective IT Help Desk

Your company has limited time and resources and the last thing your employees want to be doing is spending hours on frustrating calls for IT Support from your IT Help Desk. In this blog post we will explore what factors bring about an effective IT Help Desk and what level of service you should expect from yours. We will also discuss how you can both reduce your Help Desk tickets and get the most out of your service requests.

Common Complaints about the Help Desk

The main complaints companies have about their IT Help Desk or Service Desk include:

Ticket transparency

Your company submits a ticket request and then has no idea what the status is on resolving the problem.

Slow Response

It takes too long to resolve issues and no guidance is provided. Your company has a right to reasonable service turnaround expectations.

Attitude and Lingo of Technicians

Companies don’t want to deal with Help Desk technicians who are arrogant or who expect you to have a higher level of IT knowledge. It is especially frustrating when a technician speaks to your employees using IT lingo that is foreign to them.

What Factors Make an Effective IT Help Desk

Capable Help Desk Personnel

An effective IT Help Desk depends most heavily on the talent and conscientiousness of the technicians who man it. Proven IT Support companies like Network Depot take a considerable amount of time and expense to recruit and retain high-level Help Desk technicians who can assist clients in solving a wide range of IT issues. This philosophy involves having technicians who are not designated along strict service tier levels, but who are rather deep and flexible with their IT expertise.

It is also crucial to recognize the importance of having talented personnel with the ability to communicate effectively with all different types of clients along with their deep IT knowledge. Customer service skills including patience and friendliness are essential for Help Desk technicians. In addition, skilled Help Desk personnel will have the ability to communicate more effectively with clients without using technical jargon or IT lingo that can be intimidating and confusing for customers. Effective Help Desk personnel will always avoid condescending remarks and an arrogant attitude in order to resolve issues as quickly and thoroughly as possible. With these positive attributes there is less need for the escalation of service tickets to additional personnel, which results in more time-efficient and effective customer service.

Ticket Transparency

Nothing frustrates a client more than requesting assistance on an IT issue and then not knowing the estimated time it will take to resolve the problem and what the current status of the ticket is. An effective IT Help Desk will have a proven ticket fulfillment process with an emphasis on transparency. This process will provide ticket transparency for its own team as well as for clients so that everyone knows the essentials including: a description of the IT issue, the urgency of the task, the estimated time for task completion, the resources assigned to the ticket, and the contact information of the service requester. An effective Help Desk will be able to provide ticket transparency over the phone or through an application with an internet portal such as Connectwise, which the customer can utilize for 24 hour access to view their ticket status.

Better Communication between the Client and the Help Desk

One of the best ways to ensure an effective Help Desk is to encourage communication between your company and the Help Desk. The key for better communication is focusing on what is currently working and what needs improvement. Companies should work with their Help Desk providers to schedule regular check-ins where they can discuss overall Help Desk performance and update their service goals. The Help Desk should also provide companies with useful metrics demonstrating the types and amount of tickets along with their outcomes.

What your company can do to reduce Help Desk calls and get the most out of your time interacting with the Help Desk

All Help Desk technicians have their share of horror stories involving calls to the Help Desk. It’s hard to assist clients who don’t realize there has been a city-wide power failure or that their computer is not plugged in to the wall outlet. Complaining to your Help Desk technician when he can’t help you start up your internet connection is not fair when your company has forgotten to pay its internet service provider bill. Don’t be one of these clients forever enshrined in the Help Desk Hall of Shame! A little preparation and knowledge will go a long way in helping your company both reduce calls to your Help Desk and make the most of your time when you have a legitimate service request.

Prepare a checklist for common problems

Frequent Help Desk calls concern common problems such as login problems, devices running slowly or problems with printing documents. Your company should take the time with the help of your IT Support provider to prepare a pre-contact checklist for these main problems. In this way, the employee that is having an issue can first reference your checklist to make sure that there is not a simple solution to their problem before contacting the Help Desk. For example, if someone is having an issue printing, they could refer to their checklist to make sure the device is connected to the printer, the printer has paper loaded, or the toner doesn’t need changing, etc. For login issues, a checklist could remind the user to make sure they are logging in as the correct user, that the Caps Lock is not on, or to make sure that their login information hasn’t automatically expired. For some companies, password control is best managed by their IT Support provider or is not a major issue. For other companies, it may be beneficial to install a self-service password reset tool for employees that revolves around answering a set of private questions.

Avoid risky internet behavior that allows spyware and malware into your system

Many IT problems such as a computer running slowly or internet connection issues are a result of spyware or malware infecting your company’s system. It is important to train your employees on common sense internet browsing behavior such as: not clicking on links and attachments in websites or emails and avoiding unsavory websites. Working with your IT Support provider to ensure you have robust anti-spyware and anti-malware solutions installed and updated can dramatically reduce the frequency of IT issues requiring a call to the IT Help Desk.

Employees should know common troubleshooting steps and have access to training sessions for common applications and any in-house proprietary software

Your company should take the time to create a list of some common troubleshooting steps with your most frequently used applications. In addition, with the help of your IT Support provider, preparing and carrying out some basic training sessions for employees on your most important applications will help your team feel more confident and reduce calls to the Help Desk.

Take the time to know your system’s basic info

Don’t waste your time or the technician’s time discussing things or figuring out system information unrelated to the problem you are currently experiencing. Your employees should take the time to know:

  • Login and password information and user name. Help Desk technicians stress that many service calls could be avoided if the employee first checked to make sure they were logging on as themselves vs. Admin or another user.
  • What operating system and/or version of Windows they are using
  • The make and model of their various devices and the basic parts of their computer
  • What main programs and applications are installed on their devices
  • Any error messages they are receiving. Employees should read them and record them to assist the technician in diagnosing the IT issue.

Having this basic background information handy will cut down on the time spent on the call and make for a more streamlined and effective Help Desk experience. Take some time for preparation and your company and your IT Help Desk technicians will reap the benefits.

For assistance with your Help Desk challenges and any other IT-related issues, please contact us here at Network Depot.

Business IT Solutions

Network Depot has been providing professional IT Support for businesses in and around Reston, VA since 1991. We strive to give our clients Enterprise-level services and solutions at prices that work for small businesses.

Time and experience has helped us develop best practices and workflow procedures around a proactive philosophy designed to keep your focus on your business, not your technology.

Proven IT Experts

Our team of experts can become your outsourced IT department; responding to issues quickly, often before you even know about them. Your IT infrastructure is our priority!