Zit Seng's Blog

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When Helpdesk Really Isn’t Very Helpful

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It seems obvious, but yet it needs to be continually drilled in. Helpdesk, you need to remember that your core business is to provide help. The last time I complained about helpdesk was almost four years ago. This time my peeve is of a slightly different nature. Helpdesk should not forget that they have many different types of customers.

Sure, there are the obvious front-facing customers. But don’t neglect the fact that there are also the internal backend customers. Many people often don’t see them as customers, but technically, they could also be considered as customers. Particularly when you consider a helpdesk that operates as a service, surely it makes sense that the backend operations that work with helpdesk to serve the ultimate customers are, in fact, also customers of the helpdesk.

  • Don’t create bureaucracy. Bureaucracy can come in many forms. Paper work, operating procedures, rules, etc. Sure, we appreciate that there needs to be some processes involved. But don’t let it get in the way of getting the job done.
  • Don’t assume everyone likes to use the tools that you use. Don’t require everyone to use the tools that you like to use. Everyone has different needs and different requirements. There is no way a single tool will fit everyone. Recognize that as a fact and accept it.
  • Don’t, for the sake of your own efficiency, require everyone to work the same way that you work. As above, everyone has different ways of working. Your job is to provide help. It is not surprising that you should find yourself making adjustments to fit others.
  • Don’t underestimate the meaning of “value-add”. So what if some tasks appear to be meaningless. If there is a small value to it, it is still value.
  • Don’t forget to try to add “valuable” value, always. You should be proactive about it, to try to find ways to add valuable value. Yes, not just any ordinary value, but value that is valuable and appreciated.
  • Don’t forget that, ultimately, we are all trying to serve the customer better to the extent of the scope of services that we provide. Maybe beyond.

The core business of a helpdesk is to help. If you don’t already have a mission statement, can you think about what it can be?

Disclaimer: If anyone should find this familiar… it isn’t meant to be so.

1 thought on “When Helpdesk Really Isn’t Very Helpful

  1. I sense your pain. One of the worst is to have a helpdesk staffed by people who have no aptitude absolutely for the job.

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