Hallgeir Nilsen, and Maung K. Sein, members of the Adger University College, Norway, have tried to answer the question of what is really important in supporting End- Users.
The authors reviewed literature already available to identify factors that have been suggested to influence user satisfaction, and conducted a web based survey at Southland University College (SUC). Their study focuses on employees (teaching as well as administrative staff), in order to help develop an effective user support program for SUC.
The authors focus on two factors: user's satisfaction and user preference. User satisfaction is based on end user awareness, need, expectation and perceived importance for computers at work. User preference is based on technical competence and interpersonal quality of the support provider. The study reveals that awareness (knowledge of how and where to get support), is the most significant influencing factor affecting user satisfaction.
According to survey results, users were confused about support: what is available, where to find it and whether or not they should even ask for it.
For User need and expectations, the authors found that users who needed more help were not satisfied with the support available, and that users with higher expectations of assistance were not satisfied with the level of support received.
Employees who place high value on using a computer at work tend to have a positive experience about the support system. As Nilsen and Sein reason, these employees have more expertise, and therefore need less assistance, which in return leads to less cause for dissatisfaction.
Examining the user preference related factors; the authors find that it is very important to the end users to have a centralized IT support system, including a competent staff. The end users prefer to turn to professional help rather than to their colleges for support. The authors...