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Top Ten Tips Before You Call the Help Desk

Here’s a likely scenario: 

It’s Monday.  You pre-empt your week by heading into the office early to get a head start, sit down with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and attempt to open Outlook (or any mail program).  Suddenly you realize there is a problem; no new mail is loading and attempts to retrieve mail are met in vain.


When quitting Outlook doesn’t help, you try and load your mail in a web browser.   That fails to connect as well.  Panic ensues. 


You call into your help desk and wait, losing valuable time and increasing your level of frustration.


Did you know, there are a number of steps you can take in certain situations, which can decrease the amount of downtime that you spend waiting for a help desk technician to assist you with your issue.


Provided below are some tips on what you can do yourself before calling the help desk:


  1. Keep Calm and don’t panic: Many computer problems appear more serious than they really are. Power, cabling, bad monitor, broken peripherals (mouse, keyboard, etc.) can all be easily remedied.

  2. Check your connections: Often times a loose connector (power, network, keyboard, mouse, speaker cable, etc.) is often the culprit. Definitely check the Ethernet cable (colored cable plugged into the back of your machine) to ensure a proper fit: unplug and plug this cable in the back of the machine and into the wall.

  3. Power: Check the surge protector or power strip.  It might not be working because it is designed to trip if it takes too much of an electrical jolt.  Turn it off and back on again.

  4. Internet: check your wireless settings and again, check to see if the network (Ethernet) cable is connected to the computer and the wall.  Additionally, check to see if other users in your office are having similar Internet issues, there might be a wider outage affecting your company.

  5. Make sure your monitor is turned on: It seems obvious but it is one of the first triage steps that a help desk technician will check.

  6. What alerted you to the problem?  If you receive an error code on your screen, write it down or take a screen shot so you can provide this to the help desk technician in order for them to serve you faster.

  7. Have you made any changes? Try to pinpoint when the trouble first started.  Have you made any changes or updates to the machine recently?

  8. Viruses: Have you downloaded anything from the web?   File sharing and MP3’s are an easy way for viruses and malware to infect your computer.

  9. Has anyone else used your computer? A setting might have been changed or maybe the other user simply hasn’t logged out yet.

  10. Reboot: this is the first step that a help desk technician will take in remediating your issue.  Front–end this process by performing this yourself.

Always remember that your help desk team is there to support you but they can't fix something if they don’t know its happening.  Call them and use them.  But try to preface any call by taking the aforementioned steps.  Do you want a good experience with your help desk team or a great one?  Using these steps will help your experience to be a great one.



 Download Our Tips Guide

Lou Ardolino

Written by Lou Ardolino

Louis Ardolino is the VP of Client Services at TBNG Consulting.


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