10 Common IT Support Requests and How to Reduce Ticket Volume

Computer User Who Needs Support

Many organizations use an outsourced IT support company to assist their employees with setting up their computers and any issues they may experience.

For these organizations, in-house or third-party IT customer service provides necessary support for employees — whether employees work at headquarters, in a hotel, or from home.

Most office workers want to get their jobs done. Marketers and salespeople want to focus as much as possible on landing new customers. CPA firm accountants need to concentrate on client books and taxation compliance.

Staff doesn’t have the time or the inclination to learn about the many behind-the-scenes workings of information technology and systems.

This is why access to a knowledgeable team of IT support techs with a broad range of skills is vital to business productivity and success.

We’ll first look at 10 of the most common problems that people within organizations request IT help desk support to solve.

Then, we’ll look at ways to reduce the need for support for these IT requests. Companies incur a cost when employees repeatedly request help for the same or similar issues.

1. Problems Logging Into a Device or an Account

The good news is that many people now use different passwords for all their online accounts and local software applications. They are also using complex passwords.

However, users can’t memorize multiple, complex passwords.

Because of this, a typical help desk request is, “I’m typing in my password, but I can’t get logged in.”

When manually entering a complex password, it’s pretty easy to mistype. Sometimes, the issue may be a case of the caps lock key being on.

Two things that can help with this are a password manager and a Single Sign-on (SSO). A password manager can autofill usernames and passwords. Single Sign-on means one online account can be a gateway into other accounts (external link).

2. Printing Issues

Printer Issue - Paper Jam

Even though most of us print less than we used to, printing can still be one of the more issue-prone day-to-day computer activities.

A typical IT support request is, “I’ve tried to print a document several times, but nothing is coming out of the printer.”

Printers can have paper jams. All printers run out of paper at some point. Printers sometimes lose their network connection, whether wireless or wired.

Sometimes, a Windows or macOS printer driver needs to be reinstalled.

3. Inability to Access Shared Files

With an increasingly collaborative work environment, there is more file-sharing than ever.

Whether files are on a local server or a cloud drive, a standard report is, “I can’t get to our company’s shared folders.”

This can be the result of network connectivity problems. The issue may be a back-end access control setting for files on an in-house server.

For cloud files, it could be that folder-sharing settings have been changed.

4. Missing or Deleted Files

Important files sometimes go missing at the worst possible time, such as before a deadline or a scheduled presentation.

An employee may report, “I have a project due tomorrow, and I’ve lost all my work.”

Many companies now have disaster recovery solutions in place. These solutions can retrieve files whether they were deleted accidentally or intentionally.

The role of the IT support person is to explain the safety net and how to recover missing data.

5. Challenges With Online Meeting Services

Online Meeting Audio Problems

Because of today’s hybrid workforce, online meetings are used more than ever.

With various online meeting platforms — including Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams — people sometimes have difficulty connecting to a meeting, getting their microphone to work, or getting their speaker to work.

End-users can be challenged with sharing their screen when they have multiple monitors or an ultrawide monitor.

Commonly reported issues are:

  • “I can’t connect to the meeting”
  • “My microphone doesn’t work”
  • “I can’t hear others”
  • “I’m unable to share my screen”

Audio issues can be related to several factors, including hardware, drivers, services, and privacy settings.

6. Slow Internet Connection

Almost everyone has experienced a slower-than-usual internet connection at one time or another.

The user report may be, “Web pages are loading slowly” or “Files are taking forever to upload.”

An IT support specialist can help identify whether this is due to peak load usage or other technical factors.

Questions the tech can ask include, “Is this related to the time of day?” and “Has anything changed since you first noticed the slower speed?”

When slow internet is reported too frequently, it may point to a need for greater bandwidth.

Many companies now double up on their internet connection to get more overall speed and redundancy.

7. Wireless Connection Problems

Frequent reports on wireless connectivity are, “I can’t connect to our Wi-Fi” and “My Wi-Fi connection is slow.”

This is often related to a computer’s network settings.

There may have been changes to policies that now restrict wireless connections to a specific router.

8. A Suspected Computer Virus

When someone’s computer is acting strangely or running slowly, they may report, “I think my computer has a virus.”

The best way to diagnose this is to run an antivirus scan on the computer.

A suspected virus or malware is often the perception but not the reality. The root cause could be a slow computer.

9. A Frozen Computer

Frozen Computer Reset
Windows “blue screen of death”

Users may report that their computer freezes when they launch a specific application. They may report that a program not responding.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of ending an unresponsive task in Task Manager. Invoke this on a Windows machine with Ctrl + Alt + Delete. In other cases, a hard restart of the computer may be needed.

10. Assistance With BYOD Apps

Most organizations do not issue company smartphones or tablets to their employees. As a result, employees bring their own devices to work.

Among the common IT support questions for a BYOD is, “Can you help me set up company email access on my iPhone?”

Email access, server names, ports, and even digital certificates may be required to set this up.

An employee may also request access to files from their phone or tablet.

Reducing the Volume of Common IT Requests

Where there are computers, there are problems. Hardware can malfunction. Computer software applications can experience bugs and have incompatibilities.

The job of an IT department — in-house or outsourced — is to help reduce end-users’ frustration and make them more productive.

Many IT support tech interactions with computer users are training moments. Rather than just fixing the problem, the technician can take a little extra time to educate their customer on how to avoid a similar issue in the future.

IT Support Guy Helping Customer
A Fortis IT Support Engineer Helping Out a Customer

Vague, non-technical explanations such as, “My computer isn’t working,” require more time-consuming back-and-forth communication. Employees can be educated on how to provide more specifics about an issue they are experiencing.

Businesses or their IT vendors can create self-help resources for end-users. This can be in the form of both FAQs and a knowledge base.

Migrating legacy apps to a private cloud and hosting thin client user desktops on the same cloud can significantly reduce the number of support requests.

A proactive computer and device maintenance system can reduce the number of IT support tickets related to technical problems.

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