I just wrapped up my third week on the new job as a Help Desk/Customer Service technician and it has been a huge learning experience.  I am really enjoying the work and the wide variety of people I get to interact with each day.

Working from home is one of the great benefits of this job and that makes the commute, which is from my bedroom to the home office, so much better than what I had in my last job with Best Buy. I enjoyed that work as well but I had to spend 2 hours and 60 miles each day on the road – 5 days a week – and that is something I do not miss at all!

As I have worked on the help desk answering various requests for assistance there are some things I have seen that can be dealt with differently which can make that an overall better experience for customers. These situations are not unique to any specific help desk setup or a certain service/software so these are really universal situations in my opinion.

If you need to ask for assistance in the future consider these observations as you prepare to contact your software or services help desk:

  1. The person answering your request for help is just that – a person – another human being. No matter how you treat them in your initial contact they are going to reply to you in a professional manner because that is the expectation for their job. It is understandable that your contacting the help desk because there is an issue and that you may be upset about how that is impacting your use of the software or service but tempering your response, tone and language is the right and polite thing to do. Believe me, the tech on the other end will appreciate that immensely.
  2. Provide as much detail about the issue you are experiencing in that initial contact.  Just writing that you are having a problem, error, etc. will always result in the tech needing to reply back just to ask specifics about the issue. If this service or software is installed on multiple devices be sure to specify which system is experiencing the problem because that makes troubleshooting quicker for the techs and prevents an extra cycle in the loop back and forth.  Also provide as much customer information for yourself as possible because it helps the techs look your account up in the system on their end.
  3. Keep your replies in the same thread. Most help desk software will string together all of the communications between a customer and the techs to keep it one place. That is helpful because the same help desk tech may not be on duty when your reply comes in so the new tech can easily review the ticket history if it is the same thread. If a new ticket is created every time you reply that makes for a very challenging process of getting the history all together. There also times that a ticket needs to be elevated to a more senior technician for in-depth troubleshooting so having that history in a single thread makes all the difference.
  4. Wait for a reply to your initial help request before sending a follow-up request for help.  Help Desk ticket volume varies greatly depending on the time of the day and in my brief experience that tends to be in the morning before folks head to work and then again in the afternoon when they come home.  The techs on duty tend to handle most tickets first come, first served but response time can vary based on the level of research needed for various tickets.  Most help desks promise an initial response within 24 hours however, most get back within a very short period of time.  There is no doubt that the problem you are experiencing is important to you and needs to be solved but adding more tickets with the same request before you get your first reply just adds to the volume and slows everything down.
  5. Be willing to help with the troubleshooting because working with your help desk technician will mean the issue gets solved much faster. The quicker you reply to requests for information and/or to perform troubleshooting steps then the faster the issue can be tracked down and solved.

Using software and services is never trouble free and some users dread the idea of having to go online and ask for help however, the technicians are there to help you solve the issue so by helping them help you it should keep you connected and moving forward.