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Preparing to Contact the Help Desk

Contacting the ITS Help Desk can sometimes be a frustrating experience. Issues such as long wait times or the seemingly never-ending stream of questions can cause our tempers to flare. Before you begin planning out your next salvo against the help desk personnel, here are a few tips that will help you prepare for the call and hopefully alleviate some of the frustration.

Let them know who you are

Provide your name, e-mail address, phone number and location. If you are in a county office or a REC, be sure they are aware of this as well. Support can vary greatly depending on your location, and the more information you can provide on who your support providers are (NDSU, NDACo/NRG, county, etc.), the easier it will be for the technician on the phone to determine what they can do and who may need to get involved.

Sometimes you will be asked for your EMPLID. The EMPLID doesn’t just identify you to the technician; they need it to be able to view and/or change your account settings. Everyone with an NDSU email has an EMPLID, so county-paid and other staff can be identified with their NDSU email.

Be prepared to identify your computer

Provide the NDSU inventory number (green metallic tag) and your operating system and version (Windows 7, Mac OS, etc.) if possible.

Describe the issue with as much detail as you can

Begin by explaining what has happened. Depending on the complexity of the issue, you may asked to repeat part or all of your explanation for the technician to get a good grasp on the situation. Please do not be offended if you are asked to repeat; they don’t want to miss any details that could help them resolve the issue more quickly.

Providing information such as what you were doing and/or what programs were running at the time can be a big help. If you can, note the time and date when the problem happened in case the technician needs to look through logs. If you are having trouble accessing a Web page, be sure to have the Web address (URL) handy. Lastly, try to write down any error messages you received. This will be a huge help when searching for symptoms and/or solutions.

The Help Desk is best able to assist you when provided with the information above. While they may not always be able to help you get it resolved on the first call, this information will certainly help streamline the process, resulting in a faster overall resolution.

Jerry Ranum, Desktop Support Specialist; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

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