For most users, everything runs as it should, files are found, passwords are remembered, reports print and IT problems are something suffered by others. But when it goes wrong, who you gonna call?

Our clients call the helpdesk and a team of dedicated individuals, who sit on the frontline in the battle to keep clients’ systems running and performing optimally, swing into action.

It might just be a password re-set or a connection issue, but to the user whose work is delayed or interrupted, our helpdesk analysts are the re-assuring voices that offer salvation and a quick fix – hopefully!

Highlights of a typical day for one of our helpdesk analysts, Jade (in her own words):

7.40am – arrive and swipe in. Kettle on, bread in the toaster then head up to helpdesk.

7.50am – logged in and headset on, but sat reading through email detailing issues from previous 24 hours that we need to be aware of.

8.00am – first call accepted. I open new call log and enter details of the caller and their issue. I provide the caller with the reference number for their issue and advise it will also be emailed to them after the call.

8.01am – user explains they cannot print a report from within their bespoke app. I need to shadow onto their machine and ask the caller to type http://help.quiss.co.uk into a browser. This opens the Quiss Support Portal where by clicking my name they allow me access to their machine.

8.03am – machine accessed, the user now explains the process to try and print the troublesome report. The other reports printed fine, but I can see this one is defaulting to ‘save as pdf’ – printer selected and it can be heard springing into life.

8.06am – waited on phone until the user retrieved printed report.

8.07am – while waiting I notice a particularly tricky issue for another caller has at least three specialists crowded round a monitor next to me, as they try a series of different solutions.

8.09am – user was happy and ended call. I resolved and closed the incident in new call log, with a detailed summary of the actions and resolution. User is then emailed with details and call reference number.

The log ensures any helpdesk analyst has access to the entire call history for each user, which can help us spot recurring issues that might require further investigation.

The Quiss helpdesk support is rare, if not unique in its approach to solving problems, with no call queuing. We have the same three rings to answer rule now, just as we had almost 20 years ago when the helpdesk was set up.

We invest in people and ensure they have the skills for 90% issues to be fixed by the analyst who answers the call – we employ problem solvers, not call handlers.

More of the same until…

12.03pm – call accepted and new call log opened for a user who has forgotten a password and is working remotely.

12.04pm – log filled in as before and I shadow onto their machine. I find the users account, but cannot re-set the password without first challenging them for security purposes.

12.05pm – user is able to provide selected characters from her memorable information, which allows me to re-set her account with a temporary password. She will have to change it to something memorable once she has logged in.

12.07pm – incident is detailed in the call log and a summary email is sent to the user with a call reference number.

Side note – in this particular instance, if the caller was unable to provide characters from their memorable information, we would not unlock the account. We’d send the email detailing the issue and the call reference number. Typically, the caller will have to re-set their memorable information with the help of their HR team or system admin, who will then notify us of the changes.

The user would then need to re-contact our helpdesk and pick up where they left off, using the original call reference number we supplied – which ensures any of our 35-strong team can pick up the call and resolve the issue.

More of the same and then…

15.37pm – new call log opened and caller details filled in, with description of the issue. In this case, user cannot access a programme they need urgently.

15.39pm – as before, I shadow onto their machine and check all the usual suspects; map drives, locked account etc.

15.44pm – the problem is not obvious and I know it must be escalated for a more detailed investigation.

15.45pm – after popping the user on hold, I chat the problem through with the 2nd line team. Because of the urgency, the call and session are transferred for the network specialist to take over and resolve.

15.50pm – it transpires the issue concerned was a set regarding issue with Peppermint which is quickly resolved, granting the caller access to the programme. As before, the call log is updated and the summary is emailed to the user, along with the call reference number.

Okay, so it’s not exactly Jack Bauer in 24 and whilst this brief glimpse at a typical day on the helpdesk fails to capture the intense noise and energy evident in the room, hopefully it helps you visualise the room and team coming to your aid.

Simon Hartshorn, Head of Service Delivery, Quiss Technology plc