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Improved tech support website returns to Tinker

Two men talking in front of computer

Matt Blomquist, left, knowledge management specialist, and Jeff Schubert, web developer, both with Chickasaw Nation Industries, discuss the revamped TierZero website that is relaunching at Tinker Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by April McDonald)

Screenshot of Tier Zero website

A screen shot from the 72nd Communications Directorate’s new Tier Zero website shows how to set up Microsoft Teams, Aug. 24, 2020. The redesigned Tier Zero website is designed to alleviate many common computing problems for members of Tinker Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Paul Shirk)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

The 72nd Air Base Wing Communications Directorate is relaunching a useful web tool to assist Tinker Air Force Base’s computer users with their most common challenges.

The Tier Zero website, a self-help tool which is available to almost any Tinker AFB network user, assists users with common tasks such as clearing web browser caches or connecting to network printers without the need to speak to the base’s help desk.

“The Communications Directorate is constantly striving to ensure customer service, communications and mission support by improving our processes wherever we can,” said John Chiffy, 72nd Communications Directorate Operations Division chief. “We’re hoping Tier Zero will be our next success story.”

The Tinker help desk typically handles 300 to 400 calls per day, according to Eric Robinson, Chickasaw Nation Industries help desk program manager. Robinson said the new system should reduce long hold times, abandoned calls and ultimately enhance the customer experience.

Tinker AFB members with access to the Air Force Network can use Tier Zero by visiting https://usaf.dps.mil/teams/TMC719348/Tier%200/Home.aspx or by clicking a desktop icon that will soon reside on Tinker computers. Users can still call the Tinker Help Desk at 405-734-HELP (4357) if needed.

Users also have access to another tool on their desktop, the Air Force’s Virtual Enterprise Service Desk (vESD). Choosing which one to use comes down to what problem the user is trying to solve.

“Tier Zero guides the customer in trying different settings, using a work around, or even educating the customer on how a certain application works; like OneDrive, Outlook and Teams,” said Jeff Schubert, a CNI web developer. “vESD supports the customer in launching a wizard and getting some results, then placing those results in a ticket for the 72nd ABW Communications Directorate to troubleshoot. And while vESD does give some advice on what to do, Tier Zero provides more in-depth guides with pictures or videos on where to go and where to click to resolve common issues.”

Tier Zero previously launched in 2010 and was popular with base users. However, the site was not updated for two years as another company ran the contract.

When CNI resumed operating the help desk in 2020, work on self-help tool resumed.

“The new Tier Zero has a clean and simple look that is easy to navigate,” Robinson said. “It will be a great tool for anyone that likes to fix their own computer problems.”

The name Tier Zero comes from the way a help desk classifies the level of support a customer needs.

“You have tier one, where you call and get a client system administrator who can help you with your problem,” said Robinson. “When a Tier one cannot resolve the problem they route it out to Tier two. So Tier Zero is available and could help before you even get to that point.”

Schubert added, “Tier Zero does not replace a Client Service Technician, it’s more a guide, to help educate the customer to resolve their problem.”

Approximately 16,000 Tinker computer users, about 75% of the base, visited the original Tier Zero website during its first 16 months of operation. The Communications Directorate hopes that the new site will help even more Tinker computer users in the months and years to come.