How to Avoid Basic Help Desk Mistakes

Running a help desk can be a tricky business, whether it is in-house or you have decided to opt for help desk outsourcing to give yourself, and your employees, more time to focus their strengths where they are most valued. You need knowledgeable staff that knows what they are doing and will really listen to the customers. You also need a payment processing company that understands this industry. For more information about help desk merchant accounts, visit

It can be emotionally draining if customers are problematic, but avoiding some of the basic mistakes will help everyone involved in the process. Here are some basic mistakes and some quick suggestions to avoid them.


  1. Always, always listen. One of the major reasons that people call help desks is because they were unable to find the answer to their problem online or in another help desk format like live chat. They want to speak to a live person because they want to be heard. Be sure that you are listening as much as you are talking, and that will go a long way with the customer. Callers do tend to be more cooperative once they have had a chance to vent or fully explain their problem and why it is important. Connecting with customers is a must, and how you navigate yourself through this is essential. The business you work for may have protocols in place to deal with certain customers, and hopefully, they have utilized updated technology to support them in whichever way possible. This may be in the form of a customer engagement platform with which they can refer for customers’ queries, or they may have a file ready to access that is targeted to that specific customer. It is all about making them be heard.
  1. Don’t get hung up on the script. While your employees were training, they were likely provided a script to use for common types of calls. While scripts are great for training, there is no way that they can cover every type of situation, so employees should be encouraged to vary from the script if necessary. Respond appropriately by listening, not from reading a prepared script.
  1. Don’t pretend that you know the answer if you do not. You will not know the answer to every question that a customer asks, and that is okay. Be honest about the situation instead of giving vague answers or answers that may or may not be true. If you don’t know, then ask. Tell the caller that you will find the answer for them and call them back. Just don’t forget to follow up.
  1. Appreciate their time. The customer may have just slipped away from their desk to make this quick phone call, or they are using their break or time with their kids to speak with you. Appreciate how valuable your customer’s time is and treat it that way. Act quickly and diligently, and your customers will appreciate it.
  1. Don’t blame others. A common line is something like “the other person you talked to didn’t do…” First of all, the customer doesn’t care why something wasn’t taken care of, they just want it fixed. Second, blaming other people is extremely unprofessional and could create problems in the office later. Just explain what happened and what you plan to do about it.


Running a help desk can be challenging, but don’t make it harder on yourself than it needs to be. Follow these quick tips, and you will be on your way to better customer service in no time.