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10 Most Common Help Desk Problems

common help desk problems
Every organization is different, so every IT service desk has a unique “Top 10 Tickets” list. Though these lists are often sources of sarcastic humor in the office (“Hey Bill, try the power cord”), they can also help your organization save time and money in service delivery. In addition, it’s easier to provide your employees with a positive service environment if you can identify the issues that are occurring over and over again. For example, password resets are among the top 10 service desk requests for many help desk techs. With the right service desk software, you can create an employee service portal where employees can enter authentication information to reset passwords themselves. When your employees are accustomed to submitting requests through the portal, you can even show them a prominent list of issues, linking to troubleshooting articles they can try on their own. Here is a list of 10 common types of IT help desk tickets. How does it compare to your list?

1. I Need to Reset My Password

Sometimes people simply forget their passwords, come back to work from a leave of absence to an expired password, or thought they knew their password, but were kicked off after three unsuccessful tries. Service desks that take phone requests have the burden of determining whether the person asking for a reset is who they say they are to prevent unauthorized access to the system. Password resets via self-service can save time and help prevent security breaches.

2. The Printer Is Down

Some organizations require the IT help desk to oversee printer supplies to help keep costs under control. Printers can be aggravating and stop working unpredictably. When new employees need access to a network printer, they must often be granted that access via the IT service desk, which will install drivers and grant access. Driving them through the service portal for these requests will help you create an efficient workflow to resolve printer issues quickly.

3. Adobe Acrobat Reader Needs to be Updated… Again

In some organizations, employees don’t have administrative rights to change settings or execute updates. There are all kinds of updates that employees need, and one of the most common is Adobe Acrobat Reader. The move to cloud-based service desk software helps cut down on these calls, because updates are installed automatically. You can also release formal announcements and notifications of upcoming changes to software and/or applications through the portal.

4. Video Conferencing Error

Video conferencing software has become an essential tool for a huge number of employees. Many sales and marketing teams depend on it. Remote employees and large organizations with multiple sites depend on it. Self-service for simple issues is paramount because employees will experience the errors only at the worst possible time — right when they sign into a virtual meeting. If there are frequent tickets about a particular piece of conferencing software, perhaps it’s time to roll out a change in tools.
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5. My Voicemail Password Needs to Be Reset

Many service desks also deal with telecommunications issues. When someone moves to another physical location, the IT help desk helps them set up their voicemail on their new office extension. Additionally, with more organizations moving to VoIP systems, help desks are often tasked with helping employees configure new VoIP systems. Connecting employees with a simple solutions article might catch a lot of these requests before they’re submitted.

6. The Network Is Slow

When a network ranges over several floors of a building, or across multiple sites, there will be variation in access speeds, and this is particularly true when an organization uses multiple cloud-based software applications. Some problems are due to physical location relative to network nodes or building materials affecting signal. Network upgrades often make things temporarily slower in exchange for faster access upon upgrade completion. Plan and execute these changes with minimal service disruption through an appropriate IT change management process.

7. I Can’t Access My Documents

Sometimes documents “disappear,” and this understandably disturbs employees. With more documents stored remotely, employees must learn to save documents simultaneously on local workstations and remotely. This synchronization may run into problems, however. For example, when organizations change hardware or applications, employees need to know how to access their documents in the new hardware/software environment.

8. Third-Party Software Problems

Most businesses have written policies concerning installation of third-party software on employee workstations. Installing third-party software that has not been approved can cause conflicts with previously-installed hardware and software, as well as security problems. To prevent these problems, many organizations deny administrative rights to employees wanting to install their own third-party software. In addition, we recommend tracking every detail about every device through a comprehensive IT asset management strategy.

9. My Computer Froze

Some employees leave their computers on all day, and when they get an unexplained freeze-up, they may submit an IT help desk ticket rather than doing a warm reboot or restarting. Actual part failures are relatively rare, but when they happen, it’s up to the service desk to send a technician to make the hardware fix. Everyone is better off if the employee has tried some simple troubleshooting methods before requesting a hardware repair.

10. BYOD Network Connection

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environments exist in a number of industries. The amount of BYOD help the service desk should provide is an issue of debate, and depends on the security and mobility needs for a particular business. When your IT service desk uses leading IT service management software like Samanage, you have options for self-service, remote desktop access, knowledge base, and mobile apps that make the service desk technician’s job far more convenient. Empowering service desk techs to work efficiently and empowering employees to solve some of their own problems are keys to better first touch resolution rates and better time-to-resolution stats, especially if your service desk supports BYOD employees. This post was originally published on 9/25/13 and has been updated to reflect technology updates and ITSM best practices.