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  • #2259032

    Have you got a second?


    by kbrown ·

    Working on the helpdesk has helped me become very familiar with the phrase “Have you got a second, I have a quick question?” I have a hard time keeping track of these tickets. I feel like I am giving my time away, any suggestions on how to keep track of these types of calls?

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    • #3282309

      Track them all

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Have you got a second?

      every single one. No exceptions.

      Why? Tracking questions, help track your answers, and there are times when you need to remind people what you told them. I’ve had users who like to answer shop – they ask people until they get the answer they like – so put it in your database and stop them cold.

      Tracking questions helps better gauge your workload. Closing cases is one thing, answering quick questions, even if they are minutes a piece, can add up quickly. I used to work at a place where I was on the phones for 8 hours a week and being a PC tech on the floor the rest of the time. I’d get too many people stopping me from one case to another or worse yet interrupting me while I am on a user’s computer fixing an issue. The answer is to have them call the help desk and open a case.

      Tracking questions helps you define how you can do a better job as a department in communicating with your customers through emails, newsletters etc.


      • #3283607

        I agree – sot of

        by jdmercha ·

        In reply to Track them all

        If you have a tracking system that your boss gets reports from, then by all means track every little thing no matter how simple and quick it is.

        On the other hand, I work in a small group and tracking calls is a waist of time. But my boss is not a techie and wants a weekly report on all the calls. So when someone can’t find MS Publisher on their computer and you tell them its because they don’t have Publisher on their computer, log it in. Then when they ask to have Publisher intalled, that’s another question and another call to log.

    • #3282308

      I see that happen all the time where I work

      by danlm ·

      In reply to Have you got a second?

      They try to help, until they feel that they are spending too much time. Then they require that a help ticket be opened so that they can track their time.

      I guess what I am saying is, to a certain point this can’t be stopped. But, you need to have a limit of how much time you are willing to spend without the help ticket being entered.


    • #3282307

      With my best Bill Clinton impersonation…

      by tonythetiger ·

      In reply to Have you got a second?

      “I feel your pain.”

      As in addition to helpdesk, I am also network administrator, hardware installer, and broken hardware fixer, (and the occasional heavy object mover) for an 8 county area at up to 60 miiles away. Sometimes I get behind in my tickets, which I write down and enter when I can (I just jot it down in one of those weekly planners).

      What really irks me that when I install a computer in a field project trailer in the middle of muddy BFE that it counts as one ticket, compared to when a colleague walks across the room to get somebody an ink cartridge, which is also one ticket. And my boss wants to know why she has 5 times as many tickets as I do… Grrrrr…

      • #3282284

        When do you track time spent and how?

        by kbrown ·

        In reply to With my best Bill Clinton impersonation…

        Time spent on a ticket is a relative term. Some programs have timers, others allow you to enter in the time manually. What do you do to account for ALL of your time?

        • #3284923

          I don’t direct charge jobs

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to When do you track time spent and how?

          Aside from the various leaves and jury duty, etc, I have just two: Work and Training. If it ever gets to the point I have to document every minute, that’ll be when I quit, because it would take me longer to document what I do than to do it. I usually don’t bother documenting every little thing (it takes me 20 seconds to reset a password, but 3 or so minutes to document the action). I document only when I have to install, move, repair, or replace an inventory item (for inventory and/or warranty purposes), or when it’s a problem I haven’t come across before (for knowledgebase purposes). The rest is “Office Work”.

    • #3284875

      May have to track paper and electronically

      by wallowamichael ·

      In reply to Have you got a second?

      When I worked the ‘trouble ticket’ arena, I used to carry a paper notepad with me. It had lots of information, passwords, etc, that was useful for fixing things. I also used it to track time.

      The minute I took a ticket (phone call, e-mail, whatever) I would log a ‘start time’ for the ticket. If there were interruptions on the way to solving the problem, I would also put a ‘start time’ on the interruption. (Corporate secretary who couldn’t print)

      Then, when I finally finished the original task, I could subtract the time I spent fixing other people’s problems. I could also then generate tickets for them to be billed for my time in fixing their problems.

      Also, if the interruption started taking too long, I could show them the ticket and start time that I was currently working on, and let them know I would get back to them ASAP.

      If you round your time to quarter hours, it’s pretty easy to start billing 8, 9, and sometimes 10 hours a day working 8-5. (Yes, that was working for a law firm)

      Good luck!

    • #3284865

      The answer man

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to Have you got a second?

      I have to track every question and every answer, lest I become bogged down answering the “shoppers” who are looking for the answer they want. Document these people and the answers, sometimes referring them to others for a second opinion will short circuit their needs to shop around. But above all, keep a notepad or use the ticket routine to be sure that you can account for your time and efforts. If I didn’t do this, all I’d have to show for the day is the documented tickets that may not show the real accurate times because you had to stop and answer these “freebies”.

      • #3284708

        paper & pc

        by fungus-among-us ·

        In reply to The answer man

        Since all the people I support are all on the same network… I track my “time” (and answers) with an excel spreadsheet located in a centrally accessable location. If I have to work (put my hands on) on someone’s computer, the last thing I do, is access the excel file and enter my information there and then. I can’t walk from one end of the building to the other (80,000 sq ft), without at least 3 people asking “for a second of my time”, those I track with a little notepad and enter that information when I can. My supervisor has seen my little notepad, and suggested that I put in a request for a PDA the next time departmental “wish lists” are circulated. I think I’ll request a tablet PC instead. 😉

        Good Luck.

    • #3284936

      Keep a notebook or pda handy

      by w2ktechman ·

      In reply to Have you got a second?

      What I do is when people run into me and ask for help, is to write their name down, and a basic problem description.
      the notebook is a paper notebook, not a full computer.
      The PDA is set to sync with my Outlook, so I can add a few notes on it ( I hate typing on it, but if I forget my notebook, this works).

    • #3284925

      is it ever?

      by storch ·

      In reply to Have you got a second?

      When you hear, “I have a quick question.”, it invariably isn’t. Run, if you can! If you can’t run, pleading the necessity of going to the bathroom will usually put them off – at least temporarily.

      Odd thing is, the inquiries that actually turn out to be quick questions are not phrased that way. I think the bit, “I have a quick question.”, is a set-up, consciously or unconsciously. It definitely gets folks’ immediate attention and gets them to stop what they’re doing. Because after all, it should only take a few seconds.

      Yeah, and I fall for it almost every time too, but I’m learning. 🙂

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