TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

Tech Tips and the Art of Troubleshooting

By: Chris Kidd

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Recently, someone asked me about the hardest problem I have ever had to solve at work. Since I have worked on helpdesks and desktop support for nearly 20 years, most of what I do is about solving problems, so I had a long list to choose from.

About a year ago, I was working with a client who kept getting locked out of the enterprise environment he was working on. It happened again and again, which was obviously disrupting his productivity. Sometimes this happens in enterprise environments because of the way active directories and exchange systems are set up, but the problem was so persistent that I ended up talking to the guy every day until the problem was fixed.

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I did research, talked with the network guys, viewed logs, and did a lot of detective work. Finally, every possibility was whittled down until we coordinated with our local desktop team. It turned out that he was running a piece of hardware that wasn’t approved, making him an automatic hotspot, which kicked him out of the system again and again. It took a bit of dedication and creative thinking, but there is nothing like the feeling you get when you solve a problem—especially when it’s a hard one.

Get to the point and don’t waste time
My personal philosophy is about getting things done as efficiently as possible. Don’t go through unneeded steps if you can just get straight to the point and just fix the issue. I like working for TSP because the company shares that same spirit of doing business, which is to get the end user’s tech fixed and back to life as quickly as possible. I like to find a solution with the client over the phone, and if I have to take a step back and do some research, I always try to find a fix the same day.

Stay on top of what’s going on
A lot of tech service businesses are too big to respond to IT changes, which means their techs aren’t as prepared to answer questions and adapt to emerging environments. For me, TSP is a “just right” size because we’re big enough to access major resources and training tools, yet agile enough to stay on top of new technology developments and remain connected with other parts of the team. TSP is willing to take calculated risks, which means we have the flexibility to try vetted potential solutions and make breakthroughs. We’re always right on the cusp and checking out new ideas and concepts. IT is a trend business, and we have the capability to see what’s going on and respond.

Get to know the client
A lot of tech help is remote, which leads to incomplete or inappropriate solutions when clients call for help. TSP works onsite with clients, so we know how they operate. Knowing the environment means you can have a better sense of what might be causing an issue, which makes it that much easier to get to a fast, complete fix.

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