Even the smallest of organizations now offer help desk support to their employees and customers. In its most basic sense, the help desk exists to respond to incidents that are related to IT functions and services. Whether you, as an employee, need to update your passwords, or a customer needs help setting up an account, the help desk team is designed to answer the call. Unfortunately, there are plenty of myths floating around about how these services are delivered and how they operate. Here are five of the most common myths you’re likely to hear about help desks.
The Help Desk Team Doesn’t Want to Hear from You
They actually get paid to respond to your queries. Their job security depends on the fact that they receive and handle a large number of incidents, from re-setting passwords, getting a frozen PC up and running, repairing an Adobe reader that screams for constant updates, and more. The web help desk exists for end-users.
Troubleshooting on Your Own Never Works
Some of the age-old troubleshooting tactics still get good results. They include looking up the specific error code that appears, switching browsers, and turning the device off and then on. Depending on the size of the company you work for, and how tech-oriented it is, it’s possible that as many as one quarter of all help desk tickets can be resolved by one of the three classic troubleshooting techniques.
You Don’t Always Need to File a Ticket
You should always file a ticket when you make a request from the help desk team. It helps them track their work, justify their existence, and store valuable information for future end-users who face the same problem you’re dealing with. Tickets are to IT what receipts are to the accounting department. See what happens if you contact the accounting department and request a $2 reimbursement for common office supplies you purchased. Paperwork, hard copy or digital, is a fact of life. File a ticket no matter how small or insignificant the request seems to be.
General Incident Descriptions Will Suffice
Most incident forms have a line or two at the top for you to describe the situation. Be as detailed as possible. Rather than, “my computer is not working,” explain exactly what’s going on, like, “when I turn my office PC on, it starts up, but then shuts itself off after about two minutes.” Specific is always better, and you’ll get a quicker resolution when the response team knows the relevant information up front.
All Help Desk Workers are IT Gurus
Truth be told, many help desk workers are new hires who have a basic knowledge of IT issues. That’s not a bad thing. Some companies like to train new IT employees by putting them on the help desk for a few months. It helps them get an idea of what’s going on, gives them a chance to interact with lots of different people across departments, and serves as a solid orientation period. They need not be IT experts, but they will know how to find someone who can deal with your incident or question, if they can’t do so themselves.