It’s easy to complain to the IT department when you experience problems with your systems or network. They’re in charge of all IT-related issues, so when things go haywire, it must be their fault. However, not all problems can be foreseen or prevented, and IT support staff must adhere to certain best practices and protocols in order to resolve problems accurately.
These protocols were not created to irritate you or make you wait. In many cases it would be much easier for IT support staff to make a quick fix that temporarily gets you off their backs. However, the goal of IT support is to identify the source and scope of the problem, and identify the most efficient and cost-effective way to resolve the problem so you can do your job.
Here’s a look at five support protocols from IT’s perspective:
- Business comes first. The most important job of IT support is to maintain optimal business operations and customer service. IT must find out who is having a problem, why they’re having a problem, what this problem is preventing them from doing, and how this problem is affecting business operations and customer service. Only then can IT support determine the best way to fix the problem.
- Strive to resolve issues on first contact. The goal of IT support is to use all available resources – colleagues, product documentation, prior issues and more – to solve problems immediately and minimize downtime. Issues should only be escalated after every approach to resolution has been exhausted. This explains why IT may ask a lot of questions. They need to collect information in order to solve your problem.
- Own the problem. It’s IT support’s responsibility to follow up until an issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of the user, not IT. No support ticket should be left unresolved.
- Document everything. Again, this is why IT tends to ask a lot of questions. They need to retrieve and document enough information to create a support ticket that allows for effective research, troubleshooting and prioritization with other tickets. Documentation also enables IT to spot problematic trends, make management aware of these issues, explain why they need to be addressed, and develop a long-term, permanent solution.
- Build trust. Nobody wants to call support. It’s a sign that there’s a problem, and it takes people away from their jobs. IT support needs to build trust, act as an advocate for the user, and help users understand that IT support is there to make the user’s life easier.
To be fair, if IT support personnel are ever dismissive or condescending, or they just make excuses, feel free to let them have it. But if they are simply doing their job, control your frustration and let them adhere to the support protocols they were trained to follow. You’ll be much better off in the long run.
Atlantic-IT.net, your outsourced IT department, provides unlimited IT support delivered by highly trained professionals who follow these and other best practices. Let us show you how our Support Center can benefit your business.