IT Support Process | Process Street IT Support Process – Process Street

Introduction:

IT support is all too often taken for granted; along with expectations of general expertise come the widely-distributed assumptions that you have memorized the ins-and-outs of each-and-every system under the sun, whilst being magically prepared to resolve any support ticket at the snap of the customer's fingers.

"Being a support tech often means being invisible until something goes wrong. Ironically, if you're doing an awesome job... you're less likely to be noticed" - Becky Roberts

You're some of the most unsung, seldom helped heroes of the tech world, so isn't it about time someone made your job a little easier, rather than harder?

Thankfully, instead of furiously Googling for the solution or wracking your brain for that elusive solution, this time you can scroll through this checklist and find the answers, whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pro. (That's because we've already done the furious Googling.)

Without further ado, let's get you started battling buggy systems and quelling user complaints.

Preliminary data:

Select client profile

As a managed service provider, you'll likely be dealing with a variety of customer profiles.

You can easily navigate case-specific support requirements with conditional logic - just select the profile that matches the support ticket and the relevant tasks will be shown automatically.

Record details of the support request

Once you've determined the client profile, record some basic information about the support request in question.

This can be done by filling out the form fields below.

  • 1
    Low system space
  • 2
    Slow startup
  • 3
    Unnecessary programs
  • 4
    Malware & antivirus
  • 5
    Internet connection problems
  • 6
    Overheating
  • 7
    Cable connections
  • 8
    System updates
  • 9
    System display
  • 10
    Application error
  • 11
    Unsure

Common issues:

Have the client recreate the issue for you

If you're not sure what might be causing the problem, or the client is having difficulty explaining the situation, have them recreate the issue for you.

This will help you to understand what's going on and provide key insight into how to deal with the support request.

Examine all cable connections

Start off the primary IT support process by checking that their machine is plugged in correctly. At the very least, go through and check:

  • 1
    Power cables (on both ends)
  • 2
    Speakers or headphones (correct sockets, etc)
  • 3
    Ethernet cables or wireless boosters (ports, etc.)
  • 4
    USB devices (pugged in and indicating power, if appropriate)

Check for system updates in Linux Ubuntu

Updating in Ubuntu is as simple as running a command-line application.

Simply open the terminal and enter the following command:

 sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

You'll then want to perform a system reset to make sure all updates have been initiated.

Check for system updates in macOS

Macs are simple to update; just follow the simple steps below:

  • 1
    Open the App Store
  • 2
    Click on the Updates tab
  • 3
    Select "Update All"
  • 4
    Wait for the updates to finish
  • 5
    Perform system reset

Programs can be updated one by one, however, this is not recommended; if the client is tech-savvy enough to have a good reason for not updating their software, chances are they wouldn't need to contact the helpdesk in the first place.

Check for system updates in Windows 10

To check for system updates on a Windows device, navigate to their Settings app either through their Start menu, then their "All apps" list, or by typing "Settings" straight into the search bar.

These simple instructions will guide you through the update process:

  • 1
    Open the Settings app
  • 2
    Click on Updates & Security
  • 3
    Click on Windows Update
  • 4
    Select "Install"
  • 5
    Wait for the updates to finish
  • 6
    Perform system reset

All available updates should be installed, and the computer reset.

If the computer in question is running pre-Windows 10, the only difference is how you need to navigate to the Windows Update app.

Instead of the previous method, Windows Update should be available through either the programs list in the Start menu, or by typing "Windows Update" into the search bar.

Reset their computer

Whilst serving as one of the longest-running jokes of the IT Crowd, resetting the client's computer can easily solve many problems the average user experiences.

Although they may have already done this, go ahead and turn their machine off and on again once more to be certain that this basic check has been completed.

Remember to shut the system down properly, as a forced shutdown can both create new problems and worsen existing ones.

Look for signs of overheating

Although it sounds practically comical, a common issue which many unaware users do not even dream of is that their machine can overheat. Lightly touch their faulty device (around the laptop case, desktop tower, router box or external storage casing) and feel for overheating.

If you can detect high temperature in any part of their device, inform them that it is likely the component simply needs to cool down.

Turn off the hot component and ensure that no vents are blocked or clogged up with dust.

  • 1
    Power off the computer
  • 2
    Wait for the components to cool
  • 3
    Ensure no vents are blocked

Application support:

Perform general application troubleshooting

If your client is experiencing problems with one of their applications, you can use the following list of best-practice troubleshooting responses to determine the cause and hopefully resolve their issue.

Try each solution in the following sub-checklist one by one, and check them off as you go.

  • 1
    Check the software version
  • 2
    Search Google for known issues
  • 3
    Check StackOverflow for existing solutions
  • 4
    Undo any recent hardware or software changes
  • 5
    Restart the software
  • 6
    Open task manager and close unnecessary programs
  • 7
    Boot up in safe mode

Perform Clio troubleshooting

If your client is having trouble using Clio, your first port of call as a support officer will be the Clio Help Center. Many of the most common problems will be quickly resolved by simply referencing this resource.

  • 1
    Recreate the error as reported by client
  • 2
    Refer to the Clio Help Center

If the problem isn't clear after consulting the Clio Help Center, then have the client provide additional information and proceed with the checklist.

Perform DuxWare troubleshooting

DuxWare has a comprehensive online database to address common problems and customer issues. 

If your client is experiencing difficulties with DuxWare, you may want to first query the official online manual to see if an answer to their problem already exists. 

Have the client recreate the error for you so that you can assess what else might be contributing to the problem.

  • 1
    Recreate the error as reported by client
  • 2
    Refer to the DuxWare online manual

If it's still not clear what's going wrong, ask the client for more details.

Perform AutoCAD troubleshooting

Autodesk has a comprehensive knowledge-base designed to assist with support of their range of architecture and engineering-focused software products.

Firstly, have them recreate the issue for you.

Check in here and see if you can find a solution to the client's problem off-the-bat.

If the solution is not obvious, then you should ask them to provide additional details so you can get a better understanding of what's going wrong.

  • 1
    Recreate the error as reported by client
  • 2
    Refer to the AutoCAD knowledge base

If you still can't figure out a solution, then it may not be a problem with AutoCAD and you should continue on with the checklist and see if the problem can be resolved otherwise.

Perform Salesforce troubleshooting

Salesforce has lots of resources readily available to aid with support requests. First, have them recreate the error and try checking it against their Troubleshoot Processes page; many common issues and their solutions are listed.

  • 1
    Recreate the error as reported by client
  • 2
    Refer to the Salesforce Troubleshooting Processes page

There are also video series designed to help with Salesforce troubleshooting, which may be useful to review.

Ultimately, the problem may lie elsewhere. Once you've finished basic Salesforce troubleshooting, continue on with the checklist to make sure you've got all the bases covered.

Official Salesforce troubleshooting video

Perform Quickbooks troubleshooting

Quickbooks has designated help pages designed to deal with common customer issues - you should be familiar with the extensive troubleshooting documentation available online for Quickbooks products.

Have the client recreate the issue in front of you.

Make sure to take down any additional notes relating to what you think the problem could be - and check the Quickbooks resources in case a solution to their problem has already been documented.

  • 1
    Recreate the error as reported by client
  • 2
    Refer to Quickbooks troubleshooting resources

Once you've checked the Quickbooks troubleshooting resources extensively, you'll want to proceed with the checklist to make sure nothing else is contributing to the problem the client has reported.

Free up some space on the hard drive

The easiest way to increase the performance of a computer (if only by a little) is to clear up some space on the hard drive.

Ask the user if they have any unnecessary folders and files which you can delete to make space on their hard drive. If either you or they are unsure as to the purpose or function of a particular file or folder it should not be deleted.

Check their startup programs in Linux Ubuntu

Another feature which can damage a computer's performance (although mostly upon booting up a computer, rather than a lasting effect) is the number of programs which attempt to start as soon as you turn on the computer.

As such, you need to check their list of startup programs.

Ubuntu is even easier than Windows or Mac, as all you need to do is the following:

  • 1
    Open the System app
  • 2
    Click on "Preferences"
  • 3
    Click on "Startup Applications"
  • 4
    Disable unnecessary startup applications

Check their startup programs in macOS

Another feature which can damage a computer's performance (although mostly upon booting up a computer, rather than a lasting effect) is the number of programs which attempt to start as soon as you turn on the computer.

As such, you need to check the client's list of startup programs and remove any that are not useful.

Follow these steps to open up the "Login Items" menu and remove unwanted programs.

  • 1
    Open System Preferences
  • 2
    Select "Users & Groups"
  • 3
    Choose your username on the right
  • 4
    Select the "Login Items" tab
  • 5
    Check startup programs you want to remove
  • 6
    Press the “–” symbol to remove the program

Check their startup programs in Windows 10

If the client is running Windows 10, their startup programs can be examined from their Task Manager.

From here, you can change the status of a startup program (enabled or disabled) by right-clicking on the item within the Task Manager.

  • 1
    Right click the Start icon
  • 2
    Select "Task Manager"
  • 3
    Select the program to be disabled
  • 4
    Right-click on the item
  • 5
    Change the status to "Disabled"

Uninstall unnecessary programs in Linux Ubuntu

Linux recognizes which packages it has installed that aren’t being used or depended upon, and they can be removed with a simple command:

 sudo apt autoremove

Uninstall unnecessary programs in macOS

When removing an app from a Mac, all you need to do is drag the application icon to the Trash and then empty the bin.

  • 1
    Open the Applications folder
  • 2
    Move the application to the Trash
  • 3
    Empty the Trash

Uninstall unnecessary programs in Windows 10

To uninstall an unnecessary program within Windows, type "Programs and Features" into the search bar, or do the following:

  • 1
    Open the Control Panel
  • 2
    Select "Programs"
  • 3
    Select "Programs and Features"

Discuss with your client as to which programs could be removed, and uninstall any excess programs.

Remember to not uninstall or remove any programs which you are uncertain as to the purpose of; this will avoid causing further damage to the machine.

Security problems:

Check that Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW) is active in Linux Ubuntu

Linux makes use of the kernel-based Uncomplaiced Firewall (UFW) to manage netfilter and firewall set

You can check that UFW is running by inputting the following into the terminal:

sudo ufw status

Whenever ufw is active, you’ll get a listing of the current rules that looks similar to this:

Status: active

To               Action      From
--               ------      ----
22               ALLOW       Anywhere

Check that only one antivirus is active in macOS

For compatibility reasons, you should make sure only one antivirus program is running at any one time. 

For macOS, checking which antivirus is running is as simple as hitting the Command+Option+Escape keys to open up the Force Quit Applications window.

From here, you will be able to check which antivirus programs are active, and Force Quit all but one.

Check that only one antivirus is active in Windows 10

Multiple instances of antivirus programs running at once can cause compatibility problems, and so you need to make sure that your client's computer is only running one active antivirus program.

To give an example, if the computer is running McAfee and Norton antivirus at once, any problems they are experiencing are likely to at least partially be caused at the points where they meet.

Thus, you should deactivate (and preferably uninstall) all but one of their antivirus programs.

  • 1
    Check that only one antivirus is active
  • 2
    Uninstall all but one antivirus program

Run an antivirus system check in Linux Ubuntu

Whichever antivirus software is installed, you'll want to perform a complete system check. 

If there isn't already an antivirus program installed, you can use ClamAV.

To install ClamAV, run the following in the terminal:

sudo apt install clamav clamtk

Next, update ClamAV's virus database.

sudo freshclam

Make sure you go to “Settings” and check off the following before the full scan:

  • 1
    “Scan files beginning with a dot"
  • 2
    “Scan files larger than 20 MB"
  • 3
    “Scan directories recursively"

All that's left is to start the scan.

After returning to the main menu, select the directory that you want to check. If you want to scan the whole drive, select "Filesystem."

  • 1
    Return to the main menu
  • 2
    Select "Scan A Directory"
  • 3
    Select the directory that you want to check

If you run into a problem here, it's likely because you need to run ClamTK from the command line with "sudo" to grant relevant privileges, like so:

sudo clamtk

After the scan is complete, Clam will give you the option to either delete or quarantine the threats it has found. 

Be wary, as deleting certain system files infected with malware could lead to further system errors. Make sure you fully understand what you're doing before deleting anything.

Run an antivirus system check in macOS

Contrary to widespread belief, macOS is in fact just as susceptible to viruses and malware as a Windows operating system.

With whatever antivirus software that is left installed, perform a full system check.

After the check, you'll want to deal with any threats the software has detected by removing or quarantining them.

  • 1
    Open the antivirus program
  • 2
    Perform a full system check
  • 3
    Quarantine or erase any detected threats

Run an antivirus system check in Windows 10

Next on our list of security measures in the IT support process to open and run the remaining antivirus program.

This is exactly what is says on the tin, quite frankly. Open whatever antivirus program is installed and perform a full system check through it.

Finally, erase or quarantine any threats which are detected.

  • 1
    Open the antivirus program
  • 2
    Run a full system check
  • 3
    Quarantine or erase any detected threats

Connection issues:

Ensure that the router is not causing the issue

Connectivity problems can make up a sizeable chunk of support requests and callouts, and so it only makes sense to deal with the easiest solution to many of these issues first.

You need to confirm that their router is working, so follow through with the sub-checklist below.

  • 1
    Check all indicator lights are showing correctly
  • 2
    Ensure all cable connections are secure
  • 3
    Turn the device off then on again
  • 4
    Make sure the antennae are vertically positioned
  • 5
    Ensure there is nothing obstructing the signal
  • 6
    Press the router reset button

Check that the computer is connected to the router

After you check that the router is working properly, make sure the computer has a good connection, whether wired or wireless.

The computer will be connected via ethernet cable or via wireless connection, so the first step will be to determine which.

  • 1
    Determine whether the computer uses a wireless or ethernet connection
  • 2
    Ensure that connection is stable
  • 3
    Check that the computer has a working wireless connection (if applicable)

Configure Wi-Fi settings in Linux Ubuntu

Thankfully, Linux Ubuntu has the Network Manager graphical interface for easy network troubleshooting.

Click on the Network Manager icon to see the available connections.

Once here, select the active internet connection and then "Edit Connections."

  • 1
    Make sure "Enable Networking" is checked
  • 2
    Make sure "Enable Wi-Fi" is checked
  • 3
    Select the active internet connection
  • 4
    Click "Edit Connections"

Next, make sure the SSID and password are correctly input and enable an automatic connection.

  • 1
    Check SSID is input correctly
  • 2
    Check password is input correctly
  • 3
    Check "Automatically connect to this network when it is available"

Once you've configured Network Manager, input the following terminal command to perform a ping test:

ping -c 5 google.com

Doing so will send five Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request packets to the domain specified.

  • If your connection is working as it should be, you will see five responses from google.com.
  • If there are no responses, then your computer can’t reach google.com, meaning there is a problem with the internet connection
  • If there are some (fewer than five, greater than 0) responses, then your computer is experiencing "packet loss", which could mean that the problem is with any of your router, modem, Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Google itself.

Configure Wi-Fi settings in macOS

Everything you need for network troubleshooting can be found in Apple's Wi-Fi menu, which you can access by clicking the Wi-Fi icon located in the top right hand corner of the screen.

Firstly, you'll want to check the basics:

  • 1
    Make sure your Wi-Fi is turned on
  • 2
    Make sure you are connected to the right network

Following this, you should check and configure the advanced settings.

  • 1
    Open the Apple menu
  • 2
    Select "System Preferences"
  • 3
    Open the View menu
  • 4
    Select "Network"
  • 5
    Select "Wi-Fi"
  • 6
    Open the Advanced menu
  • 7
    Select the "TCP/IP" tab

Your screen should now look something like this:

Finally, make sure all of the TCP/IP and DNS settings are input correctly, as the computer won't be able to connect to the internet if any of this information is incorrect.

Check all additional Wi-Fi menu tabs as well, to verify everything looks acceptable.

  • 1
    Verify TCP/IP settings are correctly configured
  • 2
    Verify DNS settings are correctly configured
  • 3
    Verify WINS settings are correctly configured
  • 4
    Verify 802.1X settings are correctly configured
  • 5
    Verify Proxies settings are correctly configured
  • 6
    Verify Hardware settings are correctly configured

Run the network troubleshooter in Windows 10

Network problems can be frustrating to deal with, as there are a multitude of points at which the connection can fail.

Thankfully, by running the client's network troubleshooter, many connectivity issues can be automatically solved.

You can very easily access the network troubleshooter in Windows 10 by right clicking the network symbol in the taskbar, then clicking "Troubleshoot problems".

  • 1
    Right-click the networking symbol in the taskbar
  • 2
    Select "Troubleshoot problems"

Computer display:

Update Linux Ubuntu video card drivers

Visual problems can often be caused by having outdated graphics drivers, and so you now need to go through the process of checking and updating their drivers.

To update video card drivers in Linux Ubuntu, start by opening the terminal and entering the following command:

sudo lspci | grep VGA

The text returned will include the client's graphics card's manufacturer's name (usually NVIDIA or ATI).

Next, you need to check for the version of the driver they have installed. In the terminal, type the following command:

sudo glxinfo | grep OpenGL

This should return more data, of which the last series of numbers in the "OpenGL version string" line is the driver version. Once you know both the driver version and manufacturer, go to the manufacturer's website and download the newest driver.

Update macOS video card drivers

Visual problems can often be caused by having outdated graphics drivers, and so you now need to go through the process of checking and updating their drivers.

Macs are much easier to find updates for (indeed, most should have already been installed when checking for OS updates). This time, all you need to do is follow this path

  • 1
    Click on the Apple logo
  • 2
    Select "Software Update" from the drop-down menu
  • 3
    Wait for the update to complete
  • 4
    Restart the system

Update Windows 10 video card drivers

First up, you need to find out what make of graphics card their machine is running. This can be done by searching "dxdiag" in their computer's search bar, and opening the resulting program.

When the DirectX Diagnostic Tool opens, navigate to the "Display" tab and note down the make of graphics card, which is displayed in the "Device" section under "Manufacturer".

Depending on the make of card, you must then go to one of the following websites and download the latest driver (there will usually be a tool which you can use to automatically detect the latest applicable driver, if you are unsure of which one to download).

The following sub-checklist will guide you through the process of updating the visual drivers.

  • 1
    Open the start menu search bar
  • 2
    Type "dxdiag" and hit enter
  • 3
    Determine graphics card model name and number
  • 4
    Go to the manufacturer website and download the latest drivers

Check the screen resolution in Linux Ubuntu

If a client is complaining of strange visuals, but not necessarily anything malicious (menus and desktop shortcuts being the wrong size, the screen being blurry, etc.) you need to check their screen resolution.

First up, determine the current monitor's resolution.

Then, in the client's terminal, enter the following command:

xrandr

This will show up a list of resolutions, from which their ideal one should be selected.

The process is outlined clearly in the sub-checklist below:

  • 1
    Check the current resolution
  • 2
    Determine the optimal screen resolution based on monitor size
  • 3
    Enter "xrandr" into the terminal
  • 4
    Select the optimal resolution from this list

Check the screen resolution in macOS

If a client is complaining of strange visuals, but not necessarily anything malicious (menus and desktop shortcuts being the wrong size, the screen being blurry, etc.) you need to check their screen resolution.

First up, determine the current monitor's resolution.

Next, ask them what size their monitor screen is (if they do not know, measure the screen size from one corner to its diagonal opposite; eg, the top right corner to bottom left).

From the size of their screen, assess what resolution their monitor should be:

  • 13 inch = 640x480
  • 15 inch = 800x600
  • 17 inch = 1024x768
  • 21 inch = 1280x1024

If their resolution is correct, then move on. Otherwise, you will need to change their resolution with the following method.

  • 1
    Open the Apple menu
  • 2
    Select "System Preferences"
  • 3
    Select "Display"
  • 4
    Select "Scaled"
  • 5
    Select the optimal resolution from this list

Check the screen resolution in Windows 10

If a client is complaining of strange visuals, but not necessarily anything malicious (menus and desktop shortcuts being the wrong size, the screen being blurry, etc.) you need to check their screen resolution.

First up, determine the current monitor's resolution.

Next, ask them what size their monitor screen is (if they do not know, measure the screen size from one corner to its diagonal opposite; eg, the top right corner to bottom left).

From the size of their screen, assess what resolution their monitor should be:

  • 13 inch = 640x480
  • 15 inch = 800x600
  • 17 inch = 1024x768
  • 21 inch = 1280x1024

If their resolution is correct, then move on. Otherwise, you will need to change their resolution with the following method.

  • 1
    Open the Control Panel
  • 2
    Select "Appearance and Personalization"
  • 3
    Select "Adjust Screen Resolution"
  • 4
    Select the optimal resolution from this list
  • 5
    Select "Apply"
  • 6
    Select "Keep"

Finishing up:

Forward support ticket report

Congratulations on completing the support process for your client! Now all that's left is to forward a copy of the completed checklist report to the customer for archival purposes. 

The following fields will be filled in automatically based on the details you input to the checklist as you were working.

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