5 Tips to Provide Better IT Help Desk Support

Do people dread contacting your Help Desk? Have you received poor Customer Satisfaction Scores from external clients? Or, poor employee attitude survey scores from internal colleagues? Here are five quick tips to provide better IT Help Desk customer service.


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Change your mindset regarding the customer’s (lack of) technical aptitude.

“Why are end users so dumb?” said one of the attendees at my IT Help Desk customer service course. “Doesn’t everybody know this (about Windows)?” His comment reflected frustration at an end user’s lack of technical skill and knowledge. The reality is:  Most end users are NOT technically savvy. They need help. That is why they are calling. They need your patience, understanding and simple instructions to make things better. Being condescending or dismissive only makes things worse. Instead, think of a time when you needed help from a trained professional. It may have been a doctor, lawyer or accountant. Did they talk down to you, or explain things in a way you understood? Did they make you feel bothersome or important? Customers judge service based on two criteria:  was my problem fixed, and did they treat me well? Too many Help Desks focus on the problem fixing part and not enough on making customers feel well treated.

Demonstrate empathy.

As a follow to Tip #1, train your Help Desk to use empathy statements such as, “I’m sorry to hear your printer is not working” or “I’d be angry too if my laptop crashed during a presentation.” Empathy and acknowledging your customer’s feelings are the first steps towards creating a warmer, more customer focused interaction. That will help improve your team’s Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) and/or Net Promoter Scores (NPS.).

Offer to help.

“If they are calling the Help Desk, isn’t it obvious I’m going to help them?” said one of my course attendees. Actually, it is NOT obvious. Yes, the customer wants help. But unless you actually say, “Yes, I can look into that right now”, customers fear being transferred or told it cannot be fixed. Confirming your intention to help makes customers feel relieved. They feel rescued!

Be aware of an end user’s time constraints.

“I need to print this report for a meeting in ten minutes and my computer can’t connect to the color printer!” How many times have you heard this from customers? They sound panicky. They want an immediate fix. Demonstrate you understand their time constraint by saying, “I know you’ve got a deadline. Let’s do this as quickly as possible so, you can get going.” Acknowledging their urgency establishes trust. It makes the customer feel like you “Get it.” So even if the solution takes longer than expected, at least they know you tried to help them as quickly as possible.

Avoid jargon.

The IT industry is filled with jargon. Most of which is meaningless to the end user. Instead, use simply language and explanations. Nothing intimidates non-technical customers more than hearing “techno-babble.” Keep it simple!
Use these five quick tips to assist your Help Desk staff in delivering exceptional customer service. It will help you improve your customer satisfaction scores and/or internal employee attitude surveys.