Those high expectations are definitely difficult to match up to ... we do our best by offering users various avenues for support. Of course, users can send an e-mail to the Help Desk to automatically create a trouble ticket, or they can go to the self-service website to look up their problem and/or generate a ticket. They can also use Microsoft Lync instant messaging to ask for assistance from one of several Help Desk, PC Technician, or Network Admin types. Our support staff have several tools (Dameware remote control being one of them) that allow them to interact with the end user and provide support.
Beyond these traditional support offerings, we are now pushing hard to move forward with VDI using VMWare View. VDI offers us something that we have never had before in terms of support for end users ... the ability to recompose desktops on a weekly basis. Recomposing desktops helps us to insure that we have a standard, known-to-work, configuration across the board. Any changes that might occur through the course of any given week will automatically be reverted back to the fully functional version of the desktop when a new week begins. VDI helps us to insure that users are working with an up-to-date and standard desktop image at all times. We update the source image at any time during a week and we know that, come Monday, everyone will be using the latest. This drastically decreases the support calls both for users that are at their company provided PCs, BYOD users, and our mobile workers.
My situation is a bit different as a majority of our end users are actually customers that pay for our services so we support the services that they pay us for. With that being said, when a customer asks us for something our general response is to do what we can to provide it for them and then worry about the charges part of it later. The most important thing for us is making sure we meet our customers needs in the most agile way possible while still managing risk as much as possible.
When it comes to our internal customers (employees) we generally have standards for applications and systems. If our employees choose to use different devices or software packages we will of course do our best to support them as much as we can but at the end of the day it's on them to support themselves. I think the most important thing in these cases is to make sure you have a standard that is supportable and gives the employee all of the tools that they need to do the job while still allowing them the flexibility to go outside of that box if they want to manage the risk.
My end users are SolarWinds customers. I am a traveling field engineer and spend the majority of my time flying from place to place helping out a multitude of SW customers. Life on the road is quite fun and challenging in the same fashion. I, unlike many of the folks I visit, have the advantage of seeing these customers face to face. Having this type of contact has a much deeper impact in terms of the training I provide or the work we perform on their SW platforms. I think face to face is the advantage. I enjoy interfacing with customers and getting a chance to use my personality along with my technical prowess.
I know my response is not quite exactly what you were asking about, but I really love and enjoy my job and I just had to share.
It all depends on supply (how many techs you have available) vs demand. When I worked at a school as an IT department of one, it got to the point where we had a policy that only designated individuals would have phone e-mail access and all others were lowest priority. We used central copiers as print systems (Kyocera) and got rid of individual printers. If someone wanted to go out and buy their own printer, they were told up front that installing it was a low priority ticket and if it breaks they have to get it serviced themselves.
I did go out to a house to fix their Internet problem because that individual worked from home due to a family illness.
I personally prefer a work environment where the company owns all the IT assets because the people are told that it isn't their PC it is the companies and IT sets the policy (with management approval)
Like Sohail above, my end users are customers and I use everything from the traditional email and phone to new ways like remote screen sharing, Skype and online support forums. I also do a huge amount of travel. All important accounts get one visit per year and while it is hard, it can be a great way to really see how customers use systems.