How to Treat Your IT Support Team Properly

OK, everyone knows that IT guys are a bit leftfield. There’s the one who seems to exist solely on coffee and protein bars, the one who gets dressed up as Sansa Stark for the Christmas party and the one who wanders the corridors bopping his head to imaginary microtonal jazz.

These guys, however, are there to save your work and your business when you get hacked, or when there’s an update that Just. Won’t. Get. On. With. It. This means that you need to keep them happy so that they’ll always go that extra mile when stuff starts going down. Here’s how you do it.

Make sure you have all the right information ready for them

If you outsource, you may have to call your IT support in Manchester when there’s a problem where you are in Nottingham. This means your techie can’t just nip upstairs to have a look, so make sure you have your workstation number and the number of the printer that’s causing the trouble. Otherwise, you’ll have to hold the call while you desperately try to find this info. It’s annoying and it’s a waste of time.

Always be polite

Your IT team will understand your worry and upset if you think you may have lost some vital files or your laptop crashes just before deadline. Tears and desperation is alright (well, it doesn’t feel it at the time…), but anger and rudeness isn’t. Shouting at them won’t solve the problem any sooner and you’ll feel really silly when it turns out to be an easy fix (which it usually does).

Don’t ask why they want to know some “useless” information

Very often your IT support will ask a series of questions that seem a bit random; they’re not. Think about how doctors diagnose illnesses – your techie is doing the same thing here. He or she knows what they’re doing, so just go along with it to the best of your knowledge.

Never ambush them in the corridor

It might look like he’s just wandering along, listening to the microtonal jazz in his head, but he’s also on his way to sort out someone else’s problem. If you catch him off guard and ask him how to change your screensaver, you’ll distract him (and probably scare him, too).

‘Fess up if it’s your fault

You didn’t finish the update and now everything’s gone weird. You just couldn’t be bothered to wait and so you’re stuck in some weird bootloop. Just say so – don’t waste time with the diagnosis process if you know what’s up.

Don’t assume they keep an internal inventory of error codes

The most common error codes will be easily recognisable, but wait for the techie to tell you what it is once you’ve relayed it to them. Don’t just steam in with it and expect them to reel off the explanation. You do need to give them the code, though, so they can look it up and get going.

Read the emails

It’s easy to overlook the emails from the IT support, but they often tell you how to use a new system or to be wary of some malware that’s doing the rounds. If everyone else is up to speed and you call them after a couple of weeks saying that you downloaded this interesting Malice in Wonderland attachment and now there’s a scary big skull on your screen…