Help Desk Incident Rates Soar

HDI, formerly known as the Help Desk Institute, has released the findings of a new study that indicates users are calling help desks more often than they have in the past. The survey found that the number of incidents reported to help desks by way of chat, e-mail, telephone, self-help systems, social media, the Web and even walk-ins is rising.

Of the help desk organizations surveyed for this report, 67 percent experienced increases in 2010. According to a Computerworld report, this is the same percentage increase that was reported in 2009, indicating a trend.

HDI believes there are a number of factors behind this increase, including the changing technology and budget restraints for companies throughout the world. Companies are increasingly centralizing their help desk operations instead of separating them according to product line or geographical location as a way to increase efficiency.

The centralization of help desk operations enables companies to streamline incident reporting, which could also contribute to the increases found in this survey. It is possible that in the past, companies did not have reliable aggregate numbers of help desk incidents for accurate reporting.

This increase is help desk incidents could also be due to the proliferation of complicated and interconnected gadgets in the market. Homes today are hooking up to cable lines or satellite dishes and home theater systems, computer networks, gaming systems, streaming content from sources such as Netflix and more. The rapid adoption of smartphones has also left some users confused as to their capabilities, all of which can drive increased calls to the help desk.

According to Computerworld, the 41 percent of organizations that are reporting an increase in help desk calls attribute this increase to infrastructure or product changes, upgrades or conversions. Another 26 percent attributed the increase to expanded services and 22.5 percent said they simply had more customers.