University help-desk services need a technological makeover, according to a recent report that shows students and faculty at seven out of 10 schools can’t hold online chats with their campus technology support staff.
Tech-support experts said that while campus help-desk services are understaffed and overworked, an instant chat option—which has become commonplace in private industry—would be one way to help campus technology support staff answer frequently asked questions, known as “break-fix” and “how-do-I” queries.
Higher education had an overall first call resolution rate of 62 percent, just below the 64-percent average across all industries, according to a national report on technology help-desk services published Dec. 9 by support solutions company Bomgar.
Only 34 percent of college help desks meet their first call resolution goals, although industry officials said this statistic is unreliable, because help-desk goals vary from campus to campus.
Phil Verghis, an IT support staff leader at the University of New Hampshire and Duke University in the 1990s, said campus technology departments would answer student, staff, and faculty questions more efficiently if they would encourage the campus community to help each other with common computer questions.