Five Ways to Get More from Your HRIS Software Help Desk

May 3 2011

When a call is placed to your Payroll/HR software help desk, “first-contact resolution” is the ultimate goal for both customers and support reps. It’s win/win when the user gets an immediate answer AND the call center rep can mark an item as completed with no need for follow up. 

As a user, you may think the call center staffers have all the answers, but you can play a significant role in how quickly issues can be resolved satisfactorily. Here are five ways to make the process smooth and efficient.

  1. Be Specific & Thorough
    When you place a call for help, be as specific as you can possibly be.  Sending an email that says, “My EEO report totals are wrong,” is not going to be enough information to get an answer to your question.  If you know that something is wrong, offer what you think your results should be.  Proving what the result should be is even better!  Send screen prints, job logs with detailed error messages.  Be sure to tell the call center if an update has recently been loaded on your system.  Did your power go out when you were running a big job?  Gather details before you place your call so that you can give the most information possible to help the call center find your answer.

  2. Grant Everyday Users Appropriate Authority
    Grant users the authority that they need in order to work with the software help desk. If a user calls for help, but can’t access files, libraries or directories that contain necessary information, either the problem will remain unsolved or everyone loses time while someone with proper authority is located.

  3. Follow Directions
    Explicitly follow the directions of the support rep.  It’s fine to question the help desk, or to confirm that you understand their instructions, but don’t strike out on your own.  Remember that you are talking to someone who is specially trained to troubleshoot your software; they may not know every possible way to correct your issue, but they DO know at least one way.  By following their directions, you will save time for everyone, but if you add your own embellishments to their instructions, you may make matters worse.

  4. Know Your Company Policies
    It’s very possible that the help desk is going to ask you why you are performing a task in a certain way, and “Because we’ve always done it that way,” is not an acceptable answer. Even if the person who trained you used that excuse, take the time to find out why your policies are set the way they are. Your last software package may have forced you to handle reimbursements as a negative deduction, but that doesn’t mean your new software can’t provide a better solution. If you truly have a good reason for doing something in a certain way, it will help your support rep find the best solution for you.

  5. Have Realistic Expectations
    Unless you purchase a custom package, you may have to bend a little from time to time.  When you call the help desk because your government-required report does not follow the government’s format, you should expect the necessary changes to be made so that you will remain compliant.  However, if you call to request a feature that will multiply the number of widgets produced every 12th Thursday by .003846778%, remember that this request will not be beneficial to the software vendor’s other clients.  Chances are that if a feature is missing from an off-the-shelf software package, it has not been requested by other customers and you should expect to be offered a custom modification.


Susan Warren, CPP