Posted 01 August 2013 - 16:42
Interesting question. I find it really depends on the situation.
A few months ago we introduced a group management tool to the company. What this meant was that all our users could log on to the page, and if they wanted to be added to a distribution list or a shared mailbox they could apply for access. Previously they would have had to send a ticket to the helpdesk, and we would have manually added them.
For the first few weeks we were still receiving tickets. At this time I would write down the instructions in to the resolution and close the ticket. Once the users could get to the page they could find a user guide. However, this backfired. Instead of the incident being resolved, my phone would be ringing a couple of minutes later because the user had read my reply but wanted me to connect to their machine and hold their hand through the process. This kept happening with the same users each time, and one evening I went to the pub in a foul mood. I happened to get chatting to a guy who works in IT as well, and I explained how frustrating it was trying to teach these users when they didn't seem to want to learn.
He looked at me and said, "hang on. What if you did it for them?" My brain didn't seem to understand the question, so I asked him to explain. "The users are turning a task that used to take 2 seconds for you in to a task that now takes 5 minutes for you. If they are not willing to learn, why are you causing yourself more issues than you need?" That made sense to me, and sure enough if I see a ticket that comes in about being added to a DL or shared mailbox, I'll take it and have the application sent off in a minute.
However, I have a different story as well. A colleague turned around to me recently and asked me how I would go about solving an issue that a user was having. I explained a couple of things off the top of my head, but he said, "she's already done all of that..." This caught my attention, as - like the above story demonstrates - not everyone understands their computer, let alone knows various basic troubleshooting steps to take before contacting us. So I asked him to take me to this user. We got there and I confessed my surprise that this was actually a bit of a technical task. We messed around with it for a few minutes and were then able to solve the issue. Once finished, she asked us what we had done. I explained it to her and she replied, "great. So I can try that next time and see if it works."
There are two types of user, those that want to learn and those that don't. My responsibility in IT is to cater to both parties.