Saturday, April 24, 2010

Echoes from the Computer Room : Help Desk Edition

As you may know I am level 1 technical support for a bank. In that capacity when employees of my bank have technical issues I am the one they call. First line of defense if you will. Even with only about 300 people to deal with it is very easy to get bogged down in multiple requests, especially if they required hands on solutions or take a long time. When I'm unavailable and someone calls for help they are prompted to leave a voicemail so that I can get in touch with them. Here is where the fun starts.

Ok I don't know about you but when I call someone but end up with their voicemail with the exception of confidential information I always leave a brief description of what I was calling for. That way when the person gets the message they can develop an idea of what's going on. On my job leaving a message with some amount of detail can mean the difference between taking 5 seconds to fix you then send you a quick email, having to take several days to solve the problem, or already knowing what your issue is because it system wide meaning there is no need to call you until its fixed. So I'm sure you'll understand me when I say that one of the most aggravating things you can do is leave something similar to the following,:
"Hi this is ______ give me a call back."
That is the most worthless voicemail message ever. Even outside of work my dad does this and I've gotten to the point where I sometimes simply will not call him back*.

And it gets even worse if I try to call you back and don't get you because guess what kind of message I'm forced to leave? :
"Hi this is Daniel returning your call."
That is wasted dialogue and more importantly wasted time.

Even something as basic as,
Hey this is ______ I've got this weird error in my email."
is more useful. At least with the keyword email I can start thinking about what it could be. "Is this like the call I got a few hours ago?" "Is this related to the network going down last night?" "Is this a side effect of the upgrade that was installed yesterday?" When you give me a keyword I can at least start churning on what the problem might be. This can save time and effort. And I say this from experience of having played games of phone tag with each only asking for a callback, usually going on for hours and sometimes even days.

So just a tip. When you call technical support that but end up with voicemail try to at least give some sort of description.

* - Yes I will do this. My thing is if you need me to call you back you can at least give an idea of what's going on. My dad once countered with telling me that the point is to make sure I call him back. Bullshit. The point is that whatever he called me about. If you call me wanting to pick up something from the store then the point isn't that I call you back. The point is that I get the item(s) from the store for you.


April said...

Oh man, I'm so nervous whenever I call the helpdesk. I so do not want to irritate the person answering the phone.

A guy from IT came up to my department after my supervisor called, and he asked, "Okay, which computer is making the... funny noise...?" I imagine that was annoying. Ha.

I feel for you all :)

Danny said...

Funny you mention that April. Just today I got a HelpDesk call from someone saying she was hearing voices in the speakers of her pc. More than likely her speakers (cheap ones) were picking up CB or even cell phone traffic. Scary I know.