3 Tips for an Improved Help Desk Experience
Posted on May 22, 2008 by Jared
It is a vicious cycle. We buy a product, the product does not work, we call for support. Does that just about sum it up? Companies spend a large percentage of their income on supporting consumers who may have bought a “lemon.” Unfortunately, companies also have to help out those individuals who are… well, let’s just say less informed.
While I cannot help you get a refund for your busted mp3 player, I can help you help yourself. I’ve worked in tech support for a small organization for some time now; even longer for my friends and family. Just when I think I’ve heard it all, the phone rings. So begins my request to unravel a new computer riddle.
There are 3 tips you can use to improve your help desk experience (and in turn, help you get on with your day):
- Learn the lingo. This is something you should do before you have a need to call for help. It can turn a ten minute conversation into a one minute fix. You probably use and depend on a functioning computer every day. Why wouldn’t you at least want to learn what things are called? Think about it. You depend on a car (or a bus, a subway, a train) to get to work, right? I am sure you know that a car has tires. I am also sure that you know that a car has windshield wipers. These are simple things that people who drive cars know. You might not know how they work, but you know what they are called. That is all I, and other IT folk, are asking of you.
- Explain in the clearest way possible what has happened. The solution most often lies in the details. The guy on the other end of the phone or email message can’t read your mind (it’s true!). Before you call or send an email asking for help, make sure you can at least explain what you were doing before the problem started. Believe it or not, saying something is “slow” does not help us figure out anything. Details, details, details! Also note how tip #1 comes into play here. If you know what things are called, you can probably sum up your troubles in one quick sentence.
- Be patient and try not to become upset. The brilliant people manning the help desk are there because things go wrong. We are here to help you with your problems. When you call for computer help, please be patient; especially if you are not exercising tips #1 and #2. Also, please don’t yell or cry. While it may help you to feel better, it does not help us to troubleshoot your problem. “Nothing is perfect” is a fact of life and the world of computing is no exception. Please, don’t take it out on us.
So there you have it. I guarantee that if you put these three tips into practice, your help desk team will be able to get you back up and running more quickly than ever.