Coordinated Business Systems Blog

IT Help Desks – You Don't Want a Hero


We love the idea of a hero (and the Tina Turner song from Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome).

One person, against the odds, saving us all.

That makes a great movie. In real life, it doesn't work nearly as well.

Especially when it comes to getting help from your help desk. 

Help desks are generally tiered – a request comes in and it's either dealt with or passed up the chain to a higher “tier” (that means someone with more knowledge and experience more likely to be able to solve a complicated problem). There's usually another tier that a problem can be bumped up to for resolution – again, more knowledgeable and experienced help desk staff. 

If your issue is particularly difficult, the last step is to send support staff to your office to resolve the issue. 

What a good help desk team doesn't do is play the hero.

Here's why.

Before explaining why the hero mentality impairs getting the help you need, I want to mention our hiring practices.

IT Help Desks – Starting Point for IT Careers

IT professionals often begin their careers by working on help desks, taking the knowledge they've learned in school and applying it to the real world.

That's right, millennials are manning many helps desks!

This isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but it is a job with a fairly high rate of turnover and that companies try to fill positions for constantly. Those two facts can lead to uneven help desk support. 

For larger companies, they'll seemingly hire the entire graduating IT class from local universities to feed the IT help desk beast. The problem is this – not everyone is suited to working the help desk due to personality, knowledge, and/or lack of training.

We're more selective in recruiting IT help desk talent. We look for capability matched with the personality to be a help desk pro. After completing our interview process, only 3% of the resumes we receive are hired.

This ensures that our support is uniformly good and customer-focused at all times. Of course, we're not perfect in our hiring, but we think we're close. 

No Heroes

We're looking for team players.

There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than to wait to have the help desk ticket resolved. Too often, poorly trained IT help desk staff will do everything they can to fix the issue themselves. That's an admirable trait.

It's not what we do.

We have timed resolutions and an escalation procedure. Here's how it works:

  • Tier 1All requests enter the system here. If the ticket can't be resolved in 15 minutes, then . . .
  • Tier 2More experienced staff will work on the ticket. If after 45 minutes, the issue hasn't been resolved . . .
  • Tier 3These are tickets reviewed by our most experienced staff. Depending on the issue, they may determine that they have to visit onsite to address the issue.

If you get a “hero” who doesn't have the knowledge or experience to fix an issue, they could spend hours of their time attempting to work on it before kicking the issue to a more experienced person. While they're playing Lone Ranger, you're less productive.

It's frustrating enough when something goes wrong with your network or IT infrastructure. Our “no hero” mentality puts the focus of our IT help desk staff where it needs to be: fixing the issue for our customer (not struggling one-on-one to fix the issue themselves).

See what our “Customer first. Always.” philosophy can mean for your business. Simply click the the button below to schedule a time for a hassle-free network assessment.

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