IT Support Self Service

Staff in the IT support process have a lot to deal with; we all know that. They have to remember the ins and outs of every system under the sun, on top of expectations that they should be able to fix any issue which comes their way.

Being a support tech often means being invisible until something goes wrong. Ironically, if they’re doing an awesome job… they’re less likely to be noticed.

They’re some of the most unsung, seldom helped heroes of the tech world, so isn’t it about time those in need made their job a little easier, rather than harder?

Thankfully, instead of furiously Googling for the solution or wracking your brain for that elusive solution, here is a checklist you can to find the answers, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro. (That’s because we’ve already done the furious Googling)

Without further ado, let’s get you started battling buggy systems and quelling user complaints.

Preliminary Data:

Record the CPU’s data

The first step in the IT support process is to record all important information about the support case in question. This can be done by filling out (or editing) the form fields below.

Client Name
Something will be typed here…
Support Technician
Something will be typed here…
Support Process Date
 Date will be set here
Any Known Details
Something will be typed here…
Don’t worry about giving a life story in the details section – go for a rough overview of the problem, ideally as the client originally reported.

Primary IT Support Process:

Examine all cable connections

Start off the primary IT support process by checking that your machine is plugged in correctly. At the very least, go through and check:

1 Power cables (on both ends)
2 Speakers or headphones (correct sockets, etc)
3 Ethernet cables or wireless boosters (ports, etc.)
4 USB devices (pugged in and indicating power, if appropriate)

This can be a delicate subject for some, as you need to convince IT that you’ve applied common sense. And that you’re not a dumb user. These checks need to be achieved whilst being friendly and in no way at all patronizing, lest offence be experienced.

Reset their computer

Whilst serving as one of the longest-running jokes of the IT Crowd, resetting  your can easily solve many problems the average user experiences.

Although you may have already done this, go ahead and turn their machine off and on again once more to be certain that this basic check has been completed. Remember to shut the system down naturally, as a forced shutdown can both create new problems and worsen existing ones.

If nothing at all happens when turning the machine on (no sound, lights, etc.) despite being plugged in, it is most likely that either a fuse has blown in the plug, or that the PSU needs replacing. Advise the IT support of this.

In the event that the machine boots up, but either makes unhealthy clicking noises or presents you with a BIOS error relating to the hard disk, the PC should be turned off immediately and a data recovery company contacted by the your organisation.

Check for updates to your system

Although this will probably require another system reset, you must now check that you have the latest updates to your operating system.

First off, think back as to whether you’ve previously received any prompts to restart the system recently (especially from official sources such as Windows Update). Although updates should be checked for no matter the response, this can indicate that a system update is required and could solve many issues.

Windows

To check for system updates on a Windows device, navigate to their Settings app either through their Start menu, then their “All apps” list, or by typing “Settings” straight into the search bar.

Once on Settings, follow this path:

Update & Security
Windows Update
Install now
All available updates should be installed, and the computer reset.

If the computer in question is running pre-Windows 10, the only difference is how you need to navigate to the Windows Update app. Instead of the previous method, Windows Update should be available through either the programs list in the Start menu, or by typing “Windows Update” into the search bar.

Look for signs of overheating

Although it sounds practically comical, a common issue which many unaware users do not even dream of is that their machine can overheat. Lightly touch their faulty device (around the laptop case, desktop tower, router box or external storage casing) and feel for overheating.

If you can detect high temperature in any part of their device, inform them that it is likely the component simply needs to cool down. Turn off the hot component and ensure that no vents are blocked or clogged up with dust.

Describe your problem in more detail

Now that the general fixes are out of the way, it’s time to start tailoring your enquiries to your specific needs; although your have probably given some basic information about the problem you have experienced, it’s a good idea to share as much detail as you can.

Extra Details 
Elaborate more on the issue which they have been experiencing, and attempt to tailor your next move to any details you give. Adjust your use of this checklist accordingly.

For example, if your are unable to give more detail, is unsure as to their exact problem or is experiencing multiple issues at once, go through the entirety of this checklist. If you give feedback such as “my computer is going much slower than it should be”, considering prioritising the “Sluggish Computer” elsewhere.

Ensure you communicate all your actions leading up to the problem surfacing, as this can often give an indication as to when the problem was caused by.

 

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