5 Tech Support Practices for the Help Desk and Virtual Work

Dec 15, 2021

5 Min Read

Today’s technology is fantastic—until it stops working. Tech gadgets offer several advantages and make your life more straightforward daily. When systems fail, though, everything may swiftly fall apart, leaving end-users seeking answers. The assistance desk is here to help. The help desk, a subset of the technical support job function, has become your constant companion.

The daily technological superhero is the help desk staffer. Help desk professionals come to the rescue when things go down or don’t work correctly. A superhero’s work is never done, mainly when dealing with a large-scale distant workforce. When your whole end-user population changes from working onsite to working remotely, there is a lot to accomplish from a support desk viewpoint.

There are new difficulties to cope with, and the help desk must be prepared as the first line of defense. So how can we assist desk superheroes in dealing with the obstacles of remote working? Take a look at these suggestions.

1. Create a clear set of procedures for the help desk

The support desk, as the first line of defense, hears all of the issues. These might vary from challenges with user access and password resets to cybersecurity and virus concerns. The problems that come via the support desk are diverse. It’s critical to have well-established procedures in place to maintain efficiency and address all user complaints.

CompTIA Chief Technology Evangelist James Stanger observes bottlenecks at the help desk all the time in his conversations with IT experts all across the globe.

“At the support desk, one of the key things we’re seeing is a need for improved procedures,” he added. Developing firm procedures and disseminating them as compulsory reading among help desk personnel and end-users is similar to adopting new software or systems.

Stanger also suggests including self-help tools in your workflow. As a first step, this may allow end-users to resolve some of their technical concerns, allowing the help desk to concentrate on more sophisticated issues.

2. Set up an efficient ticketing system

The efficacy of your help desk ticketing system is primarily determined by it. Get one if you don’t already have one. Break it down if you have one, and see how you can make it work harder for you. Many support desks realized they were poorly unprepared when the whole workforces went remote with COVID-19.

“Companies without a decent ticking system recognized they required a good ticketing system,” Stanger said.

The following are some of the things that a practical help desk ticketing system can do:

  • End-users may input ticket information and report issues;
  • Allows you to organize tickets by problem;
  • Notifications are sent out automatically, including updates and resolution progress;
  • There’s also a searchable knowledge base;
  • Has a function that notifies people when a large-scale issue is already being resolved; and
  • Creates a robust communication framework for support desk personnel

When it comes to remote working, communication is a major stumbling block. Therefore, it’s critical to have an open channel of communication between IT support experts from the standpoint of a help desk.

The lone gunslinger syndrome, according to Stanger, is a prevalent mistake for help desk workers who try to handle complicated issues on their own.

“Help desk personnel must be able to make quick decisions, and there are moments when collaboration is required,” he added. “A lot of help desk employees don’t have that camaraderie.” So create a dedicated space—for example, a Slack channel—where help desk personnel may brainstorm on issues and develop innovative solutions to end-user problems.

3. Put your problem-solving and communication skills to the test

Interfacing with users is the responsibility of the help desk, which necessitates a certain level of soft skills. A personal approach to IT support staff may help them accomplish effective outcomes. Because end customers often come to the help desk with an annoying issue that never happens appropriately, conversations may rapidly escalate beyond the cordial level.

“If at all possible, try to project a positive attitude while you deal with problems,” Stanger advises. Approaching the issue calmly and with a feeling of understanding may assist in keeping the situation under control.

Basic problem-solving abilities, according to Stanger, may help IT support personnel. For example, asking the appropriate questions and learning how to carve down an issue to get to the source may help you solve many problems if you’ve created a connection via pleasant communication. According to Stanger, role acting is an effective way to acquire these soft skills for help desk personnel.

4. Educate users on how to avoid being hacked by social engineers

When everyone works from home, communication techniques change, which opens the door for social engineering attacks. As texting and phone conversations grow increasingly common in remote-working circumstances, social engineers see potential to profit.

“With remote employment, we’re seeing a lot more social engineering,” Stanger added.

Stanger advises that your employees be taught how to spot social engineering techniques. End users will see social engineering more quickly if you’ve created precise methods for managing escalations.

5. Make the switch from a tiered system to a full-stack help desk

Help desks have traditionally been organized in a tiered format, with complicated issues progressing up an escalation chain. Even tiny businesses have multi-tiered help desks. However, the globe increasingly demands help desk personnel to handle the entire range of customer support obligations for various reasons.

More remote employees need assistance these days. In addition, help desk personnel must become more watchful and competent due to cybersecurity challenges such as integrated ransomware operations that incorporate Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).

Help desk professionals with a broad range of abilities can allow more effective ticket response with a large-scale remote workforce. Stanger said that supporting a remote workforce requires talents and problem-solving skills that go beyond what we’ve typically required of help desk staff.

“To cope with remote-working concerns, help desk workers will have to improve a lot more,” he said. As an example, Stanger utilizes the job of a full-stack developer. A full-stack help desk professional must grasp how endpoints function and how they behave in a distributed, networked context, in the same way that full-stack engineers must understand all parts of software design and development.

As a result, today’s help desk employees need a greater level of situational awareness. Understanding networking, cybersecurity, and applying an organization’s privacy and security rules are essential components.

Help desk employees are now expected to think beyond the box and contribute to non-technical initiatives. For example, in the face of COVID-19, they’ve been increasingly invited to discussions concerning business continuity and workplace morale.

In one situation, help desk personnel were requested to provide top management advice on how remote sales teams may interact with clients more effectively. After all, both salespeople and help desk agents are trained to communicate successfully in high-pressure, high-stakes circumstances. So why shouldn’t today’s help desk be expected to contribute in more complex, apparently strange ways? This kind of imagination is what distinguishes a genuine superhero from a help desk employee.

Changes in working situations, in the end, need innovative answers. Therefore, it’s best if your help desk is as versatile as possible.

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