Top 5 Help Desk Support Challenges, And How to Overcome Them

Most companies don’t even have a phone number to call!” The bitter complaint of one IT technician is enough to leave you bewildered. 

This blog post explores how to overcome some of the top challenges help desk support desk agents face:

  • Reducing wait time for users seeking support
  • The need to improve poor IVR trees 
  • Supplying self-learning resources like a knowledge base
  • Curbing frustrations and keeping customers on board
  • Convincing IT teams that the software investment is worth it

The last few years have seen a decline in service and support, from understaffed personnel in shops to understocked shelves in stores. This decline even reaches support lines over the phone or email. But was support ever that great to begin with?

You’ll answer “no” if you’ve waited on hold listening to too-loud instrumentals. If you’ve continually checked your phone for automated call-back from support. If you’ve watched an ellipsis look like dial-up as you wait for the chatbot to answer your “quick question.”

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Good support reviews are difficult to earn—so it shouldn’t take much to stand apart and win customer-converts out from under your competitor’s feet. What do callers struggle with the most? And how can your support team improve your help desk reputation for GOOD?

Overcoming Help Desk Challenges and Providing Superior Customer Support

Reducing Phone Wait Time

The chimes of sappy telephone music shouldn’t berate your callers’ ears endlessly. What is a reasonable wait time for a support member to get on the line with an end-user or customer? And why don’t most businesses honor a reasonable support line wait time? 

We average 30 seconds or fewer to answer our phone lines, but we won’t claim it's an industry standard. In fact, not many SaaS vendors can tout good customer support. Zendesk receives poor reviews specifically about their lacking support, while others like Spiceworks don’t even offer a phone number.

Modifying your IVR trees (Interactive Voice Response Trees) to automatically issue a return call is a healthy address of the wait problem. But if you really want to decrease phone wait time, track the average time it takes to answer phone calls, resolve issues, or respond to email inquiries. 

Want to do this faster? You can easily and automatically log all of this information and more in a software platform designed for your help desk. You can show your end-users and prospects how well you perform customer service. You also can measure trends to preempt similar issues should they arise in the future.

Outsourcing to a third-party support line during after hours ensures your customers always receive responses, too. If this is an option for you, again be warned that these external reps should be somewhat knowledgeable of your IVR tree options, as well as be familiar with the process of putting users in touch with in-house representatives.

Improving Poor IVR Trees For Better Support

Irrelevant IVR trees may leave customers angered and frustrated when none of the options match their needs. Their issue is urgent. They need a solution now. And why can’t they get immediate help from an actual person?! So they hit 0 to finally reach a rep—who, by the way, still can't answer their question.

Your IVR Tree may be more harmful than helpful. Customers or end-users often fall into the trap of thinking they have straightforward options (just press 1, 2, or 3!) when they call a support line—only to realize they must relay the same information once a rep gets on the phone (if they even make it that far).

In tandem with improving IVR tree options, it’s a good idea to coordinate your support team’s product knowledge with the options in your IVR tree. Having an excellent Support team means they are well-equipped to answer help desk users’ questions with an intimate knowledge of their product. Organizations must be mindful of putting in the time and resources not just at the start of employee training, but also throughout every update. This also goes for a sufficient knowledge base for end-users or customers.

Your team really knows their product.” - Issuetrak customer

Keeping IVR trees relevant and support reps on the ball will avoid user frustrations and contribute to a solid infrastructure for your organization overall. 

Providing a Comprehensive Knowledge Base

We get it, though. Managers can easily feel overwhelmed when overseeing user training, on top of their other duties. This is where a thoroughly documented knowledge base comes in handy if your support team needs to familiarize themselves with the functionality of a good help desk. A solid knowledge base gives agents a leg up on providing quality support. They get to be more efficient (and have greater job satisfaction) because they have quicker access to knowledge base resources that answer and resolve queries.

An added perk is that general users (especially those who love independent troubleshooting) can and will access your knowledge base, too. Proper documentation allows users to solve their own problems, give users a chance to interact with your product, and cuts down on wasted support hours because users can answer the bulk of their questions in their own time.

Keeping Customers On Board

Customers will steadily withdraw from your company due to annoyance, frustration, or not feeling like a valued customer—and you may not even see it coming if and when they decide to take their business elsewhere. 

Making your help desk user feel like the priority means you have to take time to hear their concerns. To do this well, you have to engender empathy from the inside out. Cultivate a compassionate company culture to contribute to a healthy support desk. The drive for “people first” companies is growing, where leadership is not about impressive titles but rather about supporting employee growth and well-being—both in the workplace and at home. Being “people first” extends to customer service principles and behaviors, as well. When your support team is innately helpful, your end-users and customers will be captivated, too.

Using help desk software to build a thorough data profile where you can readily document user issues is helpful, too—especially if a user has recurring issues. Help desk software bolsters support calls with an easy-to-follow audit trail. Whether tracking the problems of a user’s asset (like a ticket history of their laptop issues) or revisiting a persistent issue, you can give users and customers the satisfaction of feeling heard because you understand their issue inside and out and are ready to get down to the bottom of a problem for them.

See: Medium or Well-Done? Getting the Best in Customer Service

Convincing Your Boss and Team the Cost is Worth It

IT agents might feel restricted when it comes to convincing their superiors that investing in software is worth it. Many leaders worry that an added expense remains just that—a non-revenue-generating cost. And many employees worry about the added learning curve of adopting a new software platform.

Here’s the real question: Does the cost of outsourcing outweigh upsetting their help desk user’s experience?
What teams quickly learn is that the added value of help desk software is irreplicable. The expediency it provides contributes to both worker and customer satisfaction. Users gain a sense of control over their issues. Agents are less stressed by their workload and more pleased with the work they produce. And executives enjoy full visibility over a well-oiled, efficient help desk operation.

See: What Drives the Price of Help Desk Software?

Change the Bad Reputation of Help Desks For GOOD

How will you answer your help desk needs to satisfy customers, end-users, and leaders alike? Weigh the benefits of supplementing your service with software. You’ll get more done with greater speed and accuracy—and make more time to upskill your agents and improve business practices.

Learn more about how Issuetrak optimizes your help desk user experience.

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Topics from this blog: Customer Support