Help desk tips

Feb 1, 2024

Help Desk TipsWe’ve all been there. It’s a busy day in the office, the to-do list is a mile long, and suddenly, a computer snafu stops the workday. It’s frustrating. It feels monumental. It’s time to call for help. Then you sigh and think: How long will THIS take? Will the help desk rep REALLY a help? How LONG will my computer be down?

Instead of a sigh, breath deep and use these tips to help the help desk representative get you back up and running quickly and without feeling frustrated.

Good help desk representatives know that efficiency is important to not only fixing issues but also the customer service experience. Finances Online compiled help desk data from several recent studies.

  • 33% of respondents say good customer service means resolving the problem in a single interaction.
  • 31% want assistance from a knowledgeable representative.
  • 21% don’t want to have to repeat information.

Remember, you are the help desk rep’s eyes, ears, and hands. Your first call is their first-time hearing what’s happening, and they know it’s their job to be sure your computer is back up and working to get you back to work.

Here are tips so you can be help-desk ready when you call for support.

  1. Be calm.

Everything has a fix. Many years ago, we worked for a company with a client who was famous for yelling. Unfortunately, the day one of our owner’s was flying out for a conference, the client called with an issue. We already had been briefed and knew the glitch was being fixed. Still, the client proceeded to yell until the flight crew said, hang up the phone. Upon landing, the client got a return call. He yelled more. Our team stayed calm.

The problem was fixed while in flight, and his yelling didn’t help figure out an answer. As a matter of fact, most of the people in the company never wanted to speak with the client because of this consistent behavior. The moral of the story, before calling a help desk remember, being nice goes a long way in the long run. Take a deep breath and be calm.

  1. Resist the urge to self-diagnose.

Everyone does it. Something in a computer goes haywire, and we think, I’ll Google it and find a fix. Unless you’re a computer expert, don’t do it. Calling a help desk rep and saying what you think it is similar to going to a doctor telling them you looked on WebMD. Typically, we find the worst-case scenario, and we all know how far that gets us in a doctor’s office, not very.

  1. Make notes before calling.

Instead of self-diagnosing, write down exactly what’s happening, take screenshots of error messages, be factual and don’t over explain. Note when the problem started (don’t overthink it). You’ll be asked if you did a restart. Don’t be frustrated by this. The help desk rep needs to know (and yes, we all know a good restart is sometimes an easy fix). If you choose to use email to communicate, use the list of facts and screenshots in the message to the help desk rep to give them a place to start diagnosing.

  1. Choose the right communications tool.

The Finances Online survey shows eight out of 10 people prefer voice calls. That’s great. If you need an immediate fix, calling is a better method then email. The help desk rep may ask to receive details via email. But don’t use it as the main method of communication if the help you need is hot.

  1. Check your time.

If you’ve got a meeting in 30 minutes, it is probably not the best time to call a help desk with a big issue. Think of times you’ve called for customer support and ended up on the phone for an hour. Be sure you have plenty of time for reboots and conversation. If the fix is resolved in a few minutes, it’s a relief.

  1. Be in the right place.

Think about this not just from a metal perspective but also a physical space perspective. Don’t call from a loud coffee shop asking for support. It’s hard to help someone or receive help if you cannot hear what’s being said. Find a quiet place to make the call. Have good access to WIFI.

  1. Know when to escalate the issue.

It’s true that sometimes the help desk rep cannot get to the root issue. Know when it’s time to nicely nudge a rep by saying, “We seem to have done a lot. Is there someone else on your team who might be able to figure out what’s happening?” Often we find an automatic update overnight creates a repetitive issue in computer users’ systems. Once we figure out one person’s fix and share it with each other, the rest of the callers with the same problem have a quick resolution.

Use these tips to be an active participant to increase your overall experience and satisfaction with a representative. Working with the person helping you by staying calm, giving facts and being in the right space to find a resolution is helpful. Keep in mind, every computer problem has a fix.