Is this what help desk work is really like?

So, I landed my first IT job on a helpdesk dealing with a variety of issues customers have with their systems/programs. My company seem to not care about the customer they just want to obtain large quantities of calls to make them look good and pretty much whip employees to solve the issue within 5 minutes and move on. It doesnt even matter if we give customers wrong info as long as we keep taking and ending calls. Is this normal? Im wondering if its the company or whether this is standard? If its standard then I will get out now tbh because its a crap way of working and causing me distress.. its actually making me hate IT.

Comments

  • QueueQueue Posts: 174Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I work on a help desk for a hospital taking care of our employees. We are not here for profit. We are here to solve issues. I've had calls that last 30-40 minutes. People have conversations with you sometimes, etc.

    In my experience what you have stated is not the standard.
  • ITIPITIP Posts: 6Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yes and no. All tier 1 Help Desks aim to meet call volume and average talk time. Incidents that arise that you know are time consuming will get escalated to the next level. However giving out wrong info isnt normal unless those giving it are just oblivious to what they are saying. Everyone starts somewhere and with IT getting that first 1-2 years of experience will open tons of doors even if you are stuck doing "dirty" work during the first year or 2.

    The nice thing is usually showing you know your stuff and that you can solve the issues rather than escalate usually leads to a fairly quick job to the next tier where time isnt the factor so much as resolving the issue 100% in a professional matter. I was only on tier 1 help desk for total of 8 months, 2 of those months being an internship at different company, before moving up to desktop support where things are much better.
  • DojiscalperDojiscalper Posts: 266Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Many help desks and even field service departments work that way. Especially ones dealing with home users such as cable companies, etc. They have been known to go as far as not showing up, closing tickets, just to generate a new ticket when the end user calls back. Makes the dept look good because they are busy, but the underlying data would show that they are doing to many "call backs" and in general wasting time. Real support companies work to increase their "first call completion rate" to maximize efficiency of each tech.
  • G.O.A.TG.O.A.T Posts: 138Member
    I can appreciate that companies need call volumes to be large but surely its good to offer customer satisfaction? I've had cases which required alot of investigation to be ended quickly due to my boss wanting to move on.. I always aim to fix the issue not just fix it enough for it to last 24hrs.. this way the customer is happy and doesn't need to spend hours on the phone the next day which makes me feel good and stops the company losing custom... today I fixed an issue a customer had been having for months and was debaiting whether to stop using the producut, I fixed it and stopped them from taking their custom elsewhere.. Maybe my attitude isn't hardcore enough for this type of work?
  • kenrinkenrin Posts: 51Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I've only noticed what you describe when dealing with contractors. This doesn't apply just to help desk. Even the cable company contractors are typically terrible and won't show up and close out tickets and all kinds of things to make themselves look good or their department look good.

    When I was doing help desk they would monitor call times and if you were over 10 minutes they would send someone to your seat to help you get off the call. Even if it meant lying to the person or doing the quick fix that you know they would be calling about again in 24 hours or 20 minutes.

    When I got to level 2 help desk my entire job was being yelled at by angry customers and fixing the mistakes that the tier 1 people are TRAINED to make. The people that didn't care enough to ask for a supervisor or to ask for someone higher up usually didn't get their problems fixed unless it was very simple.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,919Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    G.O.A.T wrote: »
    So, I landed my first IT job on a help desk dealing with a variety of issues customers have with their systems/programs. My company seem to not care about the customer they just want to obtain large quantities of calls to make them look good and pretty much whip employees to solve the issue within 5 minutes and move on.

    ... its actually making me hate IT.

    Depends on the company, but generally call center help desk is the lowest tier of help desk. I've done desk side support before, were I can walk over to the users desk to help them. Often, even though I could have resolved the issue remotely, I still did a visit, gave me a chance to get out of the office and stretch my legs. Of course the call volume wasn't too bad, I worked 2 years grave and 4 years swing shift at a casino.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • jacolemanjrjacolemanjr Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    If you are working for a internal corporate help desk then you will not see that kind of stuff. However, if you are working for a MSP then they just care about quantity not quality of calls.
  • josh.armentrout1josh.armentrout1 Posts: 36Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Your heart is in the right place. Perhaps the helpdesk you landed is just not a good fit with your moral value. I worked for an outsource call center and we were trained on how to "hose and close". Basically get the customer off the phone as quick as possible. This was due to the fact that the client using our services would pay for the first 5 minutes of the call, after that, we had to eat the cost. So we touted "five minute call resolutions!" Of course, this was a pipe dream. I continually got kudos letters from happy customers since I didn't care about average call time. I just wanted resolutions that worked. They wanted to fire me, but the client liked hearing how their customers were being taken care of and told the outsource company to keep me on. Go figure.
  • fmitawapsfmitawaps Posts: 261Banned
    I could never do a help desk job. I have had calls where I start by telling the customer to go to their desktop screen and left click the start button and they say "my what?".

    That's how you know it's going to be a bad phone call.

    I don't expect the average user to be as good as me, but come on people, know a LITTLE BIT about your computer!
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    That's pretty bad. All help desks are NOT like that. High call volume can be common, but forcing you to get off the phone and lie to customers to close the case is not right.
  • bpennbpenn Posts: 499Member
    Your heart is in the right place. Perhaps the helpdesk you landed is just not a good fit with your moral value. I worked for an outsource call center and we were trained on how to "hose and close". Basically get the customer off the phone as quick as possible. This was due to the fact that the client using our services would pay for the first 5 minutes of the call, after that, we had to eat the cost. So we touted "five minute call resolutions!" Of course, this was a pipe dream. I continually got kudos letters from happy customers since I didn't care about average call time. I just wanted resolutions that worked. They wanted to fire me, but the client liked hearing how their customers were being taken care of and told the outsource company to keep me on. Go figure.

    How long did you stay there? I couldnt imagine getting fired for doing a good job. What a toxic atmosphere.
    "If your dreams dont scare you - they ain't big enough" - Life of Dillon
  • fmitawapsfmitawaps Posts: 261Banned
    I don't even apply to any job that includes words like "a fast paced environment" in the job description. I don't like to rush or be rushed.
  • UkimokiaUkimokia Posts: 91Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I had a very similar experience at a job I was previously at contracting for the military. Some help desks though are very laid back and are not very stressful at all. It all depends on the company and who they're serving. I stuck it out for 10 months and was happy to move on. Just always keep your eyes open for a better opportunity. No one is really going to blame you for wanting to move on from a tier 1 help desk job. My advice though is to never quit when you don't have another job already lined up.
  • vanillagorilla3vanillagorilla3 Member Posts: 79Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I haven't read the replies yet, but it sounds like you're working for an MSP. Not all Help Desks are like this....and I'm sure not all MSP's are like this. Of course you want customers coming it because that's what keeps the revenue flowing, you also want to make the customer happy. They are paying for you services, so if you can't fix the issue and just tell them BS they'll eventually leave.

    I suggest doing what you know is right. Don't lie to them, fix their issues(if you can.). Try to introduce new solutions. Be the best tech you can be....it doesn't sound like a company worth staying with, so get what you can from them and bounce.
  • Sheiko37Sheiko37 Posts: 210Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    My help desk experience is similar to what you describe, high volume calls, we had to average calls shorter than 3 minutes 40 seconds, if not we had incredibly patronizing training to go over our statistics. Everything was micro-managed, most team leaders and managers were totally brain dead, incapable of putting real critical thought a into the metrics they're supposed to be managing.

    "you need training because number is too high"

    "but my number was fine last week, and we have three people sick today, and higher call volume from an outage, what are they even going to talk about in the training?"

    "...ahuh, but number is too high"
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Sheiko37 wrote: »
    My help desk experience is similar to what you describe, high volume calls, we had to average calls shorter than 3 minutes 40 seconds, if not we had incredibly patronizing training to go over our statistics. Everything was micro-managed, most team leaders and managers were totally brain dead, incapable of putting real critical thought a into the metrics they're supposed to be managing.

    "you need training because number is too high"

    "but my number was fine last week, and we have three people sick today, and higher call volume from an outage, what are they even going to talk about in the training?"

    "...ahuh, but number is too high"

    Wow, that's awful. 3 minutes is way unrealistic. If anyone has anything more than a password reset, there's no way to average that.
  • Sheiko37Sheiko37 Posts: 210Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    The idea was that if it couldn't be resolved in that time you'd log a ticket to second level support who'd call them back. The results is call times going down but first call resolution going up, but the sheer volume of password resets coming through lowered the impact on first call resolution.
  • DojiscalperDojiscalper Posts: 266Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sheiko37 wrote: »
    My help desk experience is similar to what you describe, high volume calls, we had to average calls shorter than 3 minutes 40 seconds, if not we had incredibly patronizing training to go over our statistics. Everything was micro-managed, most team leaders and managers were totally brain dead, incapable of putting real critical thought a into the metrics they're supposed to be managing.

    "you need training because number is too high"

    "but my number was fine last week, and we have three people sick today, and higher call volume from an outage, what are they even going to talk about in the training?"

    "...ahuh, but number is too high"

    I recently left a field service position with a company who started micro managing exactly like that with exactly the same lack of thought from the supervisors and managers.
  • alias454alias454 Posts: 648Member
    I continually got kudos letters from happy customers since I didn't care about average call time. I just wanted resolutions that worked. They wanted to fire me, but the client liked hearing how their customers were being taken care of and told the outsource company to keep me on. Go figure.

    That's a novel approach, who would think a company would want to keep their customers happy ;). It's nice hearing some people still value the customer and doing what is best for them.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • BradleyHUBradleyHU Posts: 918Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    this definitely sounds like an MSP. if its internal, they want the level 1 help desk to do call volume, proper first call resolution, and escalations.
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