How to get the most from any support desk

As I used to be a support analyst, and as I still work in a customer focused team, I get to see a lot of support tickets and how they are handled. This post summarises some learnings from over 10 years working in customer facing positions. Do these things, and you’ll have the support analyst on your side.

  • Be polite
    Too often people on support desks have to put up with people who are rude and impatient.  It is too easy to take frustrations out on the person at the other end of the support line. You won’t win any favours by being rude.
  • Be patient
    Every new ticket from every customer is important to the customer who raised it. It is also likely to be in a queue, and if there is a problem that is affecting several people the queue can sometimes be large. Smart support analysts will spot patterns in the tickets coming in, and can alert systems teams to deal with potential issues. System temas will then need to take 10 or more minutes to investigate thoroughly, and so patience is a useful attitude.
  • Raise a ticket for one issue at a time
    If you raise a ticket which rambles on about umpteen issues, you will confuse yourself and the support analyst as you won’t know which issue you are being asked questions about.
  • Don’t blame the computer system for your inadequacies
    Systems are fallible, but so are humans. Over the years I have seen several examples of customers who feel such anger toward the system, based on the feeling that they are failing because the system isn’t helping them. They then lash out at every opportunity to say the system is unworkable and doesn’t do what they were told it would. Usually however, it is not because the system is not working. There is often clear evidence that other users of the very same system are being successful due to using the system as a tool, and not expecting it to replace the strategy and planning needed to make it work for them.
  • Be helpful
    Give the support analyst as much information that is relevant to the ticket, but don’t be offended if the analyst asks for something else.
  • Demonstrate that you have used the knowledge base
    Sometimes you need to get beyond the “have you looked at the article in the knowledge base” response from the support desk.  Support analysts tend to assume that you didn’t bother to look, so show them that you tried and that you  didn’t find anything that helped.  Also tell them when you have followed some steps to fix an issue if that didn’t work. This will all help the analyst get to a resolution more quickly.
  • Say thank you
    Tell the support analyst working on your ticket that you appreciate the time they have taken out of their day to help you.

I could probably add to these, but these are probably the main things to get right. So go on – make a support analyst’s day, and tell them they’ve done a great job!