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Windows Thread, How to deal with users who won't help themselves? in Technical; Appologies as I wasn't sure what section to post this in. We currently have one department of 2/3 users who ...
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    How to deal with users who won't help themselves?

    Appologies as I wasn't sure what section to post this in.

    We currently have one department of 2/3 users who call out IT Support for every little thing. They are easily the biggest user of the first line technicians time. Rather than remembering something he has shown them before, they just call him out for the same thing. We susspect a degree of laziness as well as incompetence.
    We're not quite sure how to deal with this- we don't want to discourage people from reporting problems as we have had issues where people haven't reported (for example faulty computers and eventually there wern't enough working PC's in the suite for a class to use. The teacher then wondered when they were going to be fixed even though she hadn't reported any of them to us!)

    We want to try and be as proffesional/ polite as possible with our users.

    I was wondering how other IT departments deal with problem users? Comedy suggestions are welcome as well as serious ones!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    My suggestion is to implement a helpdesk and to keep track of the duplicate callouts via that. Then, when you have some evidence of it, take it to them and outline that you have identified that they are in need of some training. Train them on the problem (seperately to when they are actually having the issue, and would therefore be under pressure/stressed), and then if it repeats, take it to SMT outlining that this is happening.

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    d-taylor (22nd June 2010)

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    Build up an FAQ for each of their commonly repeated issues to save you retyping the advice each time, it may not cure them but it may make your life easier in dealing with them

    Offer them dedicated training time outside of their normal working hours ... the offer of training usually makes them think twice ... don't know why.

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    Second the training idea. Carrot first - offer it as a service to help them out and build confidence. Bring it up informally with their line manager as something to pursue in Dept meetings "anyone having problems / needing a hand with X can attend training sessions at time/date".

    Here, the PFY is herding kids in one of the computer rooms at lunchtime and most of the kids self-herd these days, so there's usually 30mins/day of one-on-one training available during lunch hour.

    Save the call metrics for the "stick" - i.e "PersonA is (compared to EquivalentPersons) a disproportionate time sink - can we see how we can fix that PersonA's Line Manager?"

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    Thanks for all your replies.

    We do have the Spiceworks helpdesk system, and we have a few FAQ's, mainly with articles on Adobe CS3 and our internet connenction. Our first line guy is concerned because there is no search facility, as you build up the FAQ's they are less likely to use it, so there is some self help by emailing them the instructions and having them carry out the steps, but they are less likely to look for this information themselves.

    So am I right in thinking you are suggesting if we offer them training and they are still causing issues, raise it with their line manager and have their line manager speak to them (which might make them think a bit more?)

    Thanks,

    Daniel

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    Jump them up the pay scale a couple of times and give them more responsibility. Sounds like these 'problem users' are ideal management candidates.

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    A knowledge base works wonders - anything I get asked more than a few times gets a knowledge base article. Then when someone else, or the same person reports the same problem, I e-mail them directing them to the knowledge base article and add "if you've any further questions please let me know" at the end of the message.

    Also, if they really do keep asking the same questions all the time, I would treat subsequent times after about the third as a lower priority than other calls, therefore making them wait just that bit longer for support. I think that's perfectally fair given the circumstances. I have done this in practise and it can work wonders as they suddenly reaslise you're not always immediately on hand to service their every need. Sometimes it's just plain old 'Fear of breaking it' that stops some users doing things on their own, but when left to their own devices for a bit, it's amazing how they can suddenty remember how to do it and usually get it right as well.

    Mike.

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    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Develop a very healthy sarcastic personality. I often switch equipment on for staff with a bow, a flourish and a quick exit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICT_GUY View Post
    Develop a very healthy sarcastic personality. I often switch equipment on for staff with a bow, a flourish and a quick exit.
    Alas, meny people don't quiet get the sarcasm - or my wit for that matter. They just think I'm genuinly helpful. Oh-hum

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    In my experience, the ones that can't do/don't bother with ICT usually are the ones that don't attend the training sessions either.

    + 1 also for the help-desk FAQs.

    I would also like to put out there the possibility of video podcasts /video training material done in-house. This way then the user doesn't have to worry about if he/she understands what you are saying in the guides. More work yes, but maybe a better pay-off. I don't know.

    This is the next thing on my to-do list after the help-desk v2.0 implementation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d-taylor View Post
    So am I right in thinking you are suggesting if we offer them training and they are still causing issues, raise it with their line manager and have their line manager speak to them (which might make them think a bit more?)
    Ish. I try to get the line manager to initiate it from a "have you thought about $training_session" perspective, rather than a "Pete says you need training with X". It's polite to give the line manager a heads-up so they know what's going on. Your desired end results are: a) improve their confidence levels / get the basics down. b) less of a drain on finite resources and c) as light a touch as possible so as to avoid them digging their heels in.

    Some people need a lot more hand-holding, while others just need a kick up the backside and their line manager will have a good idea which way to lean on a per-person basis.

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    d-taylor (22nd June 2010)

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    Perhaps they can be told (re: forced) into doing some "how to use a computer" type of training course locally, or even knock up some common issues self help guides so that they can follow. I know I've done that before.... hell... i still do

    Failing that, get their and/or your manager involved. Its the only other way I'm afraid. Especially if its a case of "oh, I cant be bothered to do what he tells me" kind of attitude. It certaily wouldnt be acceptable the other way around i wager

    Good luck.
    Nath

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    Dep head who we have to every time go and help set up and run a DVD, i think after reading this i am going to raise it with my line manager as both me and the other techy have shown him other staff even students and he still asks i think its a degree of laziness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    <SNIP>
    Also, if they really do keep asking the same questions all the time, I would treat subsequent times after about the third as a lower priority than other calls, therefore making them wait just that bit longer for support. I think that's perfectally fair given the circumstances. I have done this in practise and it can work wonders as they suddenly reaslise you're not always immediately on hand to service their every need. Sometimes it's just plain old 'Fear of breaking it' that stops some users doing things on their own, but when left to their own devices for a bit, it's amazing how they can suddenty remember how to do it and usually get it right as well.

    Mike.
    I'll second that. If I have shown people how to do things several times and they still report a problem, I have in the past told them I was in the middle of something and I would be down as soon as possible. Usually this is enough to prompt them into trying things for themselves.

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    Agree with all the above, dealing with the issue is a must in whatever way fits in best for your situation, we do publish department stats monthly on our intranet for staff, so if it is one department they'll quickly see they're hogging the workforce

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