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10 Bad Habits IT Help Desk Professionals Must Break

There is always a demand for more help desk people, but since it is often an entry-level position, the quality of hires is hit-and-miss. This is concerning considering that the help desk is the face of IT for the average user. In an article for TechRepublic, Alison DeNisco shares tips for those who desire to excel in the role and get noticed for higher positions. Specifically, she explains what not to do:

  1. Cherry-picking tickets
  2. Impersonal, overly formal speech
  3. Too few staff per shift
  4. Inability for low-level staff to make decisions
  5. Wearing your emotions on your sleeve
  6. Responding with just a yes or no
  7. Misunderstanding the business issue behind the support request
  8. Lacking confidence in your solution
  9. Not prioritizing the customer
  10. Ignoring practice reviews

Help, Not Just Anybody

If you as a help desk person always snatch up the easy tickets to address, then you are not going to grow, and you are also probably going to disrupt systems put in place to prioritize tickets. Instead, just take the jobs as they come to you, following the prioritization assigned to them. And when you are talking to customers, be mindful of the way you speak. Do not just stick to a script; be human and maintain a thoughtful tone. Let the customers know it is okay that something has gone wrong and that it is not a hassle to be talking with them.

Next, insufficient staff and lack of power instilled in staff are two related issues—they both mean customers have to wait longer to reach a satisfactory resolution. Rework shifts and processes so that no one is waiting any longer than really needed.

One way to ostensibly speed up response times is with generic yes/no email responses to customer questions. This might look good if you are aiming to game your metrics, but long-term, you are better off just giving a comprehensive answer in the first place. Going the extra mile now will save you from having to go another three miles later.

Something else to watch out for is whether you and the customer fully understand the technical issue at hand. Here is an example:

User calls in a panic, their cloud based payroll system is acting funny and won’t allow the user to update certain information, and payroll is due in a few hours. The technician checks to ensure the browser is up to date, disables other extensions, clears the cache, and performs a reboot, but nothing seems to work. Eventually the technician calls the payroll vendor, and finds out that there is a problem with the software itself. In this case, the problem from the user’s perspective was getting payroll updated, while the problem from the technician’s perspective was getting the application to work.

If you are not convinced your solution is going to fix a customer’s problem, then get a second opinion from someone with more knowledge. Try not to leave things to chance. In any case, periodically review the solutions you have been implementing for customers. Are there any trends that could be symptomatic of deeper problems? Alternatively, are there opportunities to exploit to reduce issues in general?

You can view the original article here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-bad-habits-it-helpdesk-professionals-must-break/

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