Ask the Coach

Preventing Repeat Calls

Q. Dear Help Desk Coach:

Some of our end users call back repeatedly for the same information. It’s hard to have sympathy if they don’t remember or don’t write down the solution. I asked one guy why he called me back all the time for the same thing, and he just said “isn’t that what you’re there for?” I thought I’d be problem solving more in this job and not just reminding people what they should have learned the first time.

A. Dear Frustrated:

You didn’t mention whether you work for an internal help desk or support external customers. If you work for an internal help desk, you could suggest to your manager that internal users would benefit from a training class on the basics. Or if your company has an internal website and could post FAQs, that will cut down on the calls. Even with the training option and published self-help, some people will always pick up the phone and call the help desk. When these customers call again, let them know you’re happy to help. Politely ask if they have something to write with because you’d like them to have helpful information at hand for the future. If your company does provide some form of self-help, direct them toward that source. Remind them the self-help is always there, and can be more time efficient. Follow up with an email answer to their question, and if self-help is available, include the URL.