IT Help Desk: Solutions for Common Problems and Challenges

Issues an IT Help Desk Might Face and How to Improve Its Performance

Kelsey Young, SEO Copywriter and Media Specialist

6 Min Read

Organizations with information technology (IT) help desks know the challenges of managing high volumes of service requests. When too many of these issues pile up at once, they can create bottlenecks, slow productivity, and frustrate customers.

You can minimize help desk influxes by preparing for common IT problems and learning to put them to rest as efficiently as possible. This guide will discuss the most common help desk problems and solutions to help your team streamline its response.

Modern Help Desk Challenges and Solutions

Today’s business environment is dynamic, reinforcing the need for operational agility and resilience. A help desk team supports those values by providing the expertise needed to address modern user and organizational challenges. A help desk plays a dual role- it can manage both customer-centric or external issues and employee-centric or internal issues.

Help Desk VOIP headset - solving common help desk problems and solutions

Enabling Remote Work

Many organizations shifted their operations to more decentralized models due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as health and safety issues begin to wane, numerous companies have recognized that hybrid work schedules may be routine from now on.

Regardless of the change’s permanence, enabling secure and productive remote workforces remains an IT challenge for many. Some unique issues IT help desks face in this arena include:

  • Lack of availability: The shift from a traditional workplace often means a departure from a conventional schedule.
  • Empowering collaboration: Remote teams need new ways to work together on projects and conduct meetings in real time.
  • Enforcing security policies: Companies must have a robust strategy for addressing system access and securing endpoints when employees work from their own devices and networks.

To prevent significant business impact, organizations need to empower their IT help desk employees with solutions like:

  • Round-the-clock support: Ensure IT support is available to help when remote teams need it to prevent potential productivity loss.
  • Practical training: Help desk teams must be equipped with the knowledge to resolve application issues during the first call to reduce the costs associated with escalation.
  • Security tools: Help desk staff members should have the ability to enforce VPN use, multifactor authentication, and other access protocols to ensure organizational security.

Improving Customer Satisfaction and the Reputation of IT

Being customer-centric is critical to success in any industry, and that mindset should apply to the IT help desk as well. The difference is that the customers served here are an organization’s own employees.

When end users have to call repeatedly to resolve issues, it adversely affects a business’s productivity and bottom line. Efficiency and productivity decline while frustration and costs increase.

To avoid these outcomes and create a better user experience, a help desk team must be:

  • Responsive: Encourage help desk staff to answer calls quickly and eliminate excessive hold times.
  • Empathetic: Empower your team to see things from the user’s perspective and acknowledge their frustrations.
  • Proactive: Develop strategies to identify potential issues before they occur to reduce their effects on end users.
  • Engaging: Keep call abandon rates low by reinforcing ongoing communication between help desk agents and end users during interactions.
  • Knowledgeable: Ensure your help desk team understands the applications and tools your employees rely on to do their jobs so they’re prepared to resolve issues faster.

Optimizing Costs and Enhancing Revenue

It may not be traditional to think of an IT help desk as a revenue-generating business unit when it’s typically considered a cost center. Yet, there are numerous ways leaders can leverage their help desk to optimize costs and boost the business’s bottom line.

A help desk can support business revenue by:

  • Being ambassadors: There’s no match for a highly skilled, engaging help desk agent. Whether they’re interacting with customers or internal users, a supportive and knowledgeable agent can enhance loyalty and support productivity.
  • Providing insights for decision-making: Help desk teams are invaluable for providing feedback on customer and user experiences since they hear about them firsthand. Their input can help make sense of the data captured in operational analytics.
  • Supporting innovation and availability: Those on the front lines have the in-depth experience needed to address gaps in current technology and processes. They can recommend specific actions or solutions to improve application availability and digital tool delivery.

Why Your Help Desk Is Struggling

If your IT help desk fails to keep up with service tickets and deliver the proper assistance, it’s important to pinpoint why. Your help desk may be struggling due to several reasons.

High Turnover

Talent retention is a major concern for help desk staff. Individuals often view help desk positions as career roadblocks, making them more likely to move on to different jobs. As a result, companies lose time and money spent hiring and training their IT staff. When help desk employees leave, they also take their company knowledge with them, resulting in reduced performance and productivity.

To reduce turnover, try empowering your current help desk staff to make them feel validated and appreciated. You should also address why employees are leaving and act accordingly.

Lack of Documented Procedures

When employees don’t have concrete procedures to follow, they deliver poor or inconsistent service, resulting in higher IT costs and lower productivity. Companies should set clear help desk expectations by implementing straightforward processes, resources, and rules, such as:

  • Updated training programs
  • Dedicated resources and knowledge base
  • Detailed process documentation
  • Real-time performance analytics
  • Operational repeatability
  • Flexible interfaces
  • Process automation

No Support Differentiation

Assigning all help desk troubleshooting questions to level-one support staff is a common mistake that can result in inadequate support. In many cases, giving more complex IT issues to employees with limited knowledge and experience can reduce efficiency and quality of service, causing them to solve problems slower than higher-tier staff.

It’s important to set service expectations for each tier of your help staff — not just level one. With a clear IT support model, employees will solve problems faster.

Outdated Systems

It doesn’t matter how skilled your help desk staff is if your systems are subpar. Inefficient and outdated help desk solutions prevent agents from delivering high-quality service. Your programs and technologies should create a seamless experience that streamlines query management, data reporting, and customer interactions.

No Dedicated Help Desk Team

Perhaps the biggest help desk mistake is requiring employees to handle help desk calls on top of the regular duties associated with their job descriptions. This model forces highly skilled employees to split their time between fulfilling support requests and doing their actual jobs. As a result, service decreases on both ends.

Companies should have a dedicated help desk department with the sole responsibility of managing service tickets so high-level employees can stick to handling more valuable tasks. Outsourcing your tier-one IT support is an excellent solution, freeing up your employees to take on other duties while still lending their expertise for more complex issues.

Solve Your IT Help Desk Problems at GDC

You can eliminate common IT problems by investing in outsourced service desk services from GDC. We support companies by delivering advanced technology and sensible solutions while providing exceptional customer service.

Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities!

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