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Conflict with engineers

By daisuki1980 ·
Hi, just would like to get some feedback from all of you about this.

I work at a helpdesk that is located offsite from the actual clients themselves. We provide technical support to the clients where possible and escalate issues that cannot be resolved through the phone to our onsite engineers who are permanently stationed at the site. In other words, outsourced technical support.

In a perfect world the helpdesk and the onsite engineers work together to complement each other and resolve customer issues efficiently. However, this is not the case here. The helpdesk and the onsite engineers are constantly at each others throats.

The helpdesk feel that the engineers are choosy about the cases that they accept and not very cooperative when the helpdesk escalate cases to them.

The onsite engineers on the other hand do not feel that the helpdesk are technical enough and do not troubleshoot cases properly before escalating them.

Both have their points. The helpdesk are often times asked to help troubleshoot custom applications that they have never seen much less used. Hence, the reliance on the onsite engineers for advise. Even worse, the client itself has its own internal tech support department who tend to have important sounding titles but of course do not seem to have any visible labour. Not to sound too biased, but when an organisation's network and system admins outnumber the helpdesk and the onsites engineers put together, you gotta wonder what they do everyday.

The onsite engineers on the other hand are often short on manpower and have the unenviable task of supporting users at a ratio of one engineer to a hundred or so. And of course half of them always seem to be involved in setting up and configuring new pcs and laptops to replace existing ones. So what you are left with is 3 engineers to support a whole building full of users.

And then we come to the users themselves. Who it must be said are some of the most pampered users I have ever encountered anywhere and I've worked in technical support for a few years for other pc companies before. The users seem to feel that basic troubleshooting is beneath them and that a single blue screen equals an engineer visit just to make sure their computer is not going to **** up. I mean this are Windows OSes after all.

To summarise, the users refuse to troubleshoot and get angry when the engineers do not drop all they are doing to come to their rescue, the engineers get pissed off because the helpdesk waste their time with cases that can be easily resolved through the phone with a bit of time and the helpdesk get stuck in the middle as the whipping boys. And of course the users come to equate the onsite engineers with efficiency and the helpdesk as a bunch of incompetent monkeys.

Sorry, if I came was long winded or biased in any way, but I must say that it feels good to let this out. Can anyone advise on this? This has been a major stress point to my working life. Never have I felt so burnt out in my life.

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Stuck between a rock and a hard place

by Black Panther In reply to Conflict with engineers

People want to speak straight to the person who can solve their problem. If they have to go through a number of levels to get to this person they cannot understand why.

I think the users need Senior Management to educate them further on the process ie

The help desk is primarily there to receive and log the call. If they are able to help you resolve your problem they will attempt to. If not your call is logged and prioritised until an engineer can attend to your call. Remember if you have to wait then there will be a reason and one day you may be the person who has the Urgent call and will be attended to as soon as possible.
It is not the help desk's person's fault if they cannot help you straight away - they are their to take some of the burden away from the engineers so that the engineers have more time to attend to your call.

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One of the big problems in IT

by gralfus In reply to Conflict with engineers

Walls tend to form between various groups that make up IT. The server group will not want to respond to questions and only give terse replies that necessitate further questions. The networking group will pass the buck to other groups, and so on.

We have a rotation set up so that members of the deskside suppport team spend a week at the help desk and vice versa, specifically to break down walls and demonstrate what each team can and cannot do. By setting expectations within IT, IT can then set expectations for their customers and not bad-mouth other sections of IT. This has to be a vision of management, but the suggestion can come from anyone. No one will *want* to do this, because we get comfortable in our roles and don't want to change or even associate with the teams we have come to despise. However, after a year or so of doing this, we have seen a lot more understanding and cooperation between the groups.

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