How to Get the Best IT Help Desk Support
by Brian Petry, Service Manager // Network Technologies on Oct 19, 2017 2:32:00 PM
There are few things worse than reaching out to your IT help desk and then not getting the help you need and want. Expectations are important though – you won't always get immediate action on low-priority IT issues.
Here at Coordinated, we do everything we can to ensure that our IT help desk for our customers is well staffed to avoid customer frustration (read about how we view help desk staffing here: IT Help Desks: You Don't Want a Hero).
As a provider of managed network services, we aren't unique in focusing on supporting our customers – after all, that's what we've been hired to do! There are many worthwhile MNS partners providing great service.
Here's an overview of our IT help desk support procedures. One thing, I think, separates us from the crowd of other MNS providers, we ENCOURAGE you to call us if we aren't responding quickly enough.
Here's how we provide the best IT help desk support in Minneapolis.
THIS IS CRITIAL: please take a proactive role to ensure that you receive the support you need. If at any time you believe an issue is taking too long or you haven’t received an update in an appropriate amount of time please call the help desk.
The table below gives a quick overview of the priority level definitions.
To be sure that we respond effectively, when you submit a help desk ticket (online or on the phone) tell the technician how urgent the request is.
All IT help desk prioritize their responses according to the importance of the support request, usually a four point range (from “everything is broken and we can't work” to “please fix this issue when you get a chance”).
To help you understand these different levels of support and what you can expect from each, below is a table that summarizes the levels of urgency and expected response times. A broader explanation of each priority level can be found below. The goal is to help you communicate effectively with the help desk to get your issue taken care of as quickly and effectively as possible.
Critical issue that requires immediate and sustained effort through resolution
Significant disruption of business, many users impacted, does not require sustained effort
Operations are restricted but a workaround is available
The product is not working as designed.
There is a minor impact to usage, but it is acceptable. A workaround has typically been deployed
IMPORTANT! Once a technician starts working on a service ticket they may need to obtain more information from you or ask for your assistance. If you receive a phone call or email from a technician it is very probable that they have stopped working on your request until they hear back from you. This means it is very important that you stay engaged with the technician. In light of this, we encourage you to communicate with the help desk as often as you feel is necessary.
Here are the priority levels, from least urgent to pants on fire.
Priority Level 4 – The key phrases in this definition are “There is a MINOR impact to usage, but IS acceptable” and “A work around has typically been deployed”. If you are able to live with the problem because you have figured out how to work around the issue until it is resolved then it should be considered a Level 4 priority. The help desk may be able to provide the work around in some cases.
An example: You are unable to print to the printer you usually use but can print to another printer.
Priority Level 3 – The entire definition would be key in this scenario. “Operations are RESTRICTED. But a workaround is available.” You are unable to perform your job to a certain extent but have figured out how to adapt until you can get this resolved.
An example: You have lost the ability to receive emails on your phone but you can still receive them on your PC or laptop and you know you will not be out of the office for a day or two so you can live with this for a short amount of time.
For support issues of this nature, I suggest you CALL the help desk rather than email and explain what the issue is and when you need it resolved by. By communicating when you need the issue resolved by (how long can you live without it being fixed) you are letting the technician know the urgency of the matter. By calling, you will be able to explain the problem and a technician can clarify if more information is needed.
Priority Level 2 – Key phrases are:
- “Significant disruption” Your ability to do your work is significantly impacted.
- “Many users” Often, you are not the only one with the problem. In fact, more than likely, everyone in the office is having the same issue.
- “Does NOT require a sustained effort” It is acceptable for a technician to take a break and work on another call of higher priority or escalate the call to another technician and this hand off won’t be immediate.
- Email is down for everyone
- Your PC is not working but you can temporarily use another one. (This could also be a Level 3 depending on how critical your PC is.)
- You, and possibly others, can’t reach the mapped drives on the server.
ALWAYS CALL for support for issues that you would consider level 2. Make sure the technician understands the urgency that you have to get this resolved. Also, be patient and remember that the technician will help you as quickly as they can. Once a support call has reached level 2 it is important. If a technician needs to call you back ask if they can give a time frame that you can expect a call back within. If they haven’t called back within this time, give them a call and ask for an update.
Priority Level 1 – Just what the definition says. These are critical issues that need immediate attention. Your business is unable to function because of this technical problem.
- Server is down. No one can log in or access.
- Internet is down. No one is able to connect to the Internet.
- Phones are down. You cannot call in or call out.
- Phones System is down. You cannot call internally, call in, or call out.
- Internal Network is down.
A CALL should ALWAYS be made in these situations. The technician will begin working on the issue within 30 minutes and will not give up until the issue has been resolved or the correct vendor is working on the issue to resolve it.
There you have it; our approach to IT help desk support. While this is specific to our managed network services offering, the same general levels of support priority apply to any service offering – including (of course) our copier repair service.
Curious about outsourcing and managed network services? Click on the button below and get your copy of our free toolkit that explains the benefits of managed IT services.