Running a Help / Service Desk is a bit like a dog chasing its tail. You go round and round every day managing the same issues over and over. Most of this can be managed more easily with a process oriented, ITIL-based ITSM solution. For other issues, you just have to "scratch your ear" and live with them.
So in a totally nonscientific order of annoyance, here are the 5 most common Break/Fix issues. The number 1, first on the list and most annoying request - Drum Roll Please€¦ "I am locked out/I have forgotten my password." The easiest solution to this ongoing issue is to increase your Office Depot budget for Post-it Notes!
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According to analysts, around 40% of Help Desk calls are for Password Resets. But you already knew that. Although I know the Post-it Note solution is just a joke, it is one of my favorites!
At one point, while at a biometric security software firm, I saw a colleagues' laptop with the requisite post-it note containing her password. It was stuck right next to an unused biometric reader! Yes, we have password issues because the IT Organization is constantly fighting the battle of access convenience verses security. Make it too easy and you open your organization up for uncontrollable security issues, make it too difficult and you can decrease productivity beyond an acceptable level.
So, as IT professionals, I am sure most of you have a solid process in place for password resets, possibly even a completely automated solution. If it is a manual process, look at this process and see if you can imprint some of the process onto some of your other common requests. Hmm, sounds a bit like working with ITIL.
So, then you create a process workflow and it's as rewarding as a doggie treat. Until, the second most aggravating customer fix call comes in - "my Smartphone can't get my email." A very common problem, that creates a myriad of solutions based on the device. Oh, you say, your IT organization doesn't support BYOD or not that device or... Well, I suggest you check out my recent BYOD blog posts on BYOD Policy.
Employees need to be able to retrieve their business email at anytime, anywhere. The best solution is to make sure you support BYOD. Any help is valuable, full support is fast becoming the norm.
The next most common issue is all too familiar to me, as I have had this one on occasion. "I have lost/deleted an important file, can you help me find it?" I hope that you have a great backup schedule for the company data and a user policy around file locations on your server. A great plan, no? Well, we are dealing with users here and they don't always follow your carefully laid out plans. This is a tough one. Good luck getting that file in time for the Executive Board Meeting this afternoon.
The number 4 most annoying Help/Service Desk request is possibly the biggest threat to your IT Organization. "I think I downloaded a virus. Oh, should I mention that I just sent it to the entire company via email???" Now is a great time to whimper like a sad puppy! I then suggest that you get to work fixing this soon to be bigger issue.
Number 5 on my list of annoying requests is requests about peripherals. "My (fill in the blank with printer, thumb drive, mouse€¦) won't work. Annoying, but hardware issues can be a simple fix, so not a real problem. Follow a step by step to have the system recognize the offending peripheral then, thank your customer and time for the next call and another round of tail chasing.