As a Help Desk service member, I handle all incoming technical support whether it’s via phone or email. You’ll have a great experience with any high quality IT provider, but I thought I would share some tips to make your experience even better.
1. Introduce Yourself With Your Name And Your Company
The first thing that any Help Desk member will need before they can even start figuring out how to help you is to know who you are and who you work for. It’s also a quick and easy way to initiate a conversation. Identifying yourself at the first part of the conversation saves time and helps ground the nature of the problem with what we might know about your company’s setup or even your specific workstation.
2. When To Email A Ticket
MyITpros has an automated ticketing system and I’m sure that many other MSPs do the same considering how wildly convenient it is both for us and clients. For people who prefer to correspond via email, the software is especially valuable. Out of respect for our clients, we practice a “First In, First Out” system with our tickets, where we prioritize client problems based on is the age of the issue. Unless somebody’s servers are on fire, reaching one of us over the phone is no promise of immediate support.
If everybody is currently working on tickets, which is typically the case, then the phone call really just serves to allow us to gather as much information as we can and enter the issue in the queue. In other words, simply emailing a service request will generally be faster. If you want to get your issue addressed more quickly, think of emailing a request as a fast way to reserve “your spot” in line for our processing.
Email is great for times when you do not require immediate assistance, like when you’re just trying to get a ticket created for future work. Be sure to include when a good time for you would be, or specify any future deadline if there is one.
In an ideal world, the phones would only be used for emergencies and generally urgent issues that would be escalated ahead of the queue.
3. How To Minimize Crises
Prevention is always better than treatment both in the medical and technical worlds. If you really want to avoid having to lose productivity on the line with us IT folks, often times an issue can be more easily fixed when it hasn’t been allowed to go “full nuclear.”
I see about one workstation a month where the user calls in when the issue is far past the point of no return. If they had called in weeks earlier, they could have avoided a concentrated disaster.
I also very commonly hear that technical problems arise at “the worst possible time” and usually this is just because they come up at an unexpected time. Preemptive measures and calling in earlier allows you to control when things happen.
4. Expect Your Computer To Be Unavailable When Problems Arise. And If Possible, Have A Backup.
When problems arise we may need to take over your machine for a bit. Depending on the urgency we can schedule maintenance around your lunch break or perhaps when you are in a meeting. If it’s possible to work from another device you may want to get your hands on a spare or BYOD if policy permits. Then you won’t be stuck twiddling your thumbs.
5. “All I want is Joe!” Be flexible.
Every once in a while a user begins to call in and request the same service member every time. We love Joe too, he’s awesome. There’s nothing wrong with having favorites, and we usually adore the admiration, but some clients become so attached to the same name that they actually refuse to work with anyone else. When Joe is unavailable and a client expects only him to perform the work, service becomes degraded, which is problematic for both the user and the “favorite” in that case.
6. Help Us Help You: Give Me Your Password
Recently a user called in and requested assistance with his email configuration. As part of the troubleshooting process, I needed to enter in his credentials. When I asked the client for his username and password, he asked me, “Isn’t that exactly what we aren’t supposed to do?”
Yes – in every case except when dealing with your IT folks. Everybody in our office is HIPAA certified, meaning that we are authorized to handle sensitive medical data without fear of very legally expensive leaks of information. Plus, we’re usually happy to assist you in resetting your password once we’re done with it if security is a genuine concern for you.
Follow these tips and your next support experience is guaranteed to go better. It’s a pleasure serving you.
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