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5 Things You Should Expect from Your Help Desk

Posted on 6/25/2014 10:31:01 AM by Amanda Glidden
Category: Managed Services & Outsourcing

Technology solutions are ever changing, increasingly complex and play a vital role in your business. When systems are down or users are having difficulties, your business suffers.  Whether you realize it or not, your Help Desk plays a critical role in ensuring your end users are productive and your organization is getting the return you expect from your technology investments.  

Historically, some organizations have viewed the Help Desk as a necessary evil and were reluctant to treat it as the important business function that it is. In this post, we will attempt to reset expectations by covering the five things you should be expecting from your Help Desk.  If your internal team or Managed Services Provider isn’t living up to expectations in these areas, it might be time to evaluate options for improvement.

Empathy and Perspective

The first contact with your Help Desk—from a computer that won’t connect to a printer to an unresponsive server—can make or break your experience. Every call and issue should be important to your Help Desk because it is important you. Understanding and acknowledging that even a small issue can have a huge impact on your day to day business operations is what gives a Help Desk perspective and instills confidence that your issue will be appropriately addressed as quickly as possible. Make sure your Help Desk has the Emotional Intelligence to work well with not only your technology, but also your people. 

Responsiveness and Communication

Response to your problems should be quick and the solution should be thorough.  When you call, a live person should answer, ready to solve your issue in a timeframe that works for you.  Since more complex issues can require the involvement of senior level resources, your Help Desk should be empowered to escalate your issue. The Help Desk should become your greatest advocate, getting you the help you need on the timeline you need it.  They should use their strong communication skills to explain the issue and keep you updated on progress towards a resolution. They should speak with you in a language that you understand so you can in turn communicate with others in your organization as necessary. Before checking the problem off as resolved, they should check with you to ensure that the issue is thoroughly addressed and that you are satisfied with the solution.   

Patience and passion for helping

Have you ever called the Help Desk and come away feeling like you were a burden to the technician? The staff of your Help Desk should be problem solvers who are passionate about making technology work for business people.  They should enjoy what they do and be comfortable working patiently with you to diagnose and troubleshoot your issue. Their empathy and determination to help solve your issue should be apparent with each conversation.  


While Emotional Intelligence, responsiveness and patience are all key indicators of a strong Help Desk, the staff also needs to back up their soft skills with the hard skills and qualifications that make them capable of solving a wide breadth of problems. Training and development are of utmost importance.  Your Help Desk should be trained to handle a diverse set of problems and that training should be backed up with meticulous and detailed documentation. Because the Help Desk is exposed to such a diverse array of challenges, there needs to be a culture of learning within the team. Don’t be afraid to ask about the qualifications and experience of the engineers helping you.  Technology is important to your business and your Help Desk needs to have the skills necessary to support your users and the technologies they employ.  

Team work

Not all problems can be solved with one phone call. Your Help Desk should be staffed with multiple levels of technicians that are comfortable working together as a team.  They should be humble enough to bring in other technicians with the right level and area of expertise to help with a problem.  There should be a prescribed process for handoffs and status checks to ensure you are kept updated on progress and your issue never falls through the cracks. A strong culture of teamwork will lead to a more efficient resolution to your problem, especially when more complex issues need to be escalated. 


If the above is a fairly accurate reflection of the experience your users have with your Help Desk, congratulations!  Your organization or Managed Services Provider is doing a great job of staffing and training your Help Desk and your business users are likely experiencing better productivity than other similar organizations.

If, on the other hand, you’re thinking that your Help Desk leaves something to be desired, it may be worth exploring whether you can get better service for a similar or lower price. Continuing to operate with a subpar Help Desk is likely having a negative impact on business productivity. There are many organizations out there that offer excellent service with skilled employees who love helping others and genuinely care about keeping you and your business running smoothly.

For more on the topic, check out other Winxnet Managed Services & Outsourcing blog posts, including The Case for Outsourcing IT

If you have questions, schedule a call with an expert.