Tell Me Where It Hurts
We all need to call a software help desk now and then. It can be frustrating and even exasperating, but it doesn’t have to be.
I work at a help desk providing support to offices using electronic medical records. I’ve learned that in some ways my job is like a doctor’s: we both diagnose and treat problems.
Keep the similarities in mind when calling a help desk and you’ll likely have a better experience.
Doctors and help desks need to know who you are to give proper help. For a help desk, knowing your name and location are important. That information alone can let us know what software you are using and how you are using it. It gives us a head start.
Which brings us to voice mails: “This is Mary. I’m having a problem with the system. I can’t get in. Call me back.” I’ve gotten calls like this. Do you have any idea how many Mary’s call me?
Please. Help me help you.
Okay, so we know who and where you are. Now we’re ready to gather information to diagnose the problem.
Be as specific and detailed as possible about your problem. Include the who, what, when, where and how (we’ll determine the why). This is difficult to do when stressed and frustrated, but good information leads to a correct diagnosis and proper treatment.
Both a help desk and a doctor will ask a lot of questions at this point. When you are irritated or hurting patience is hard to come by. But the process is necessary to treat the problem (or at the very least not make it worse).
Now that we’ve got the data, help desk and doctors can get down to treatment! We’ll talk to you and you’ll likely hear some jargon. We try not to use it but it’s an occupational hazard.
Call us out! If you don’t understand what we are saying, ask us to explain. It is our jobs to make it make sense. It is our job to help you understand.
When you call a help desk or see a doctor, you may be hurt and struggling, frustrated, impatient and angry. We’ll try our best to help you and be as professional as possible.
If you can….if you are not overwhelmed with what brings you to us… please try to remember that all day, every day, we talk to people who feel just like you. Then, take a deep breath and start talking.
We’re here to help.
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