Help desks and customer service organizations that have successfully journeyed from being reactive to being strategic generally follow a similar path. Often the steps include the following:
> Develop a call reduction strategy. The most common approach to call reduction is root-cause analysis; a process designed to eliminate the source of key problems. Root-cause analysis, which ought to be undertaken monthly, categorizes calls by type and technology and then discovers common causes for those calls. Next it acts to diminish the number of future calls by refining user training or the development of new online help screens. For example, one help desk found that new employees called the help desk an average of four times per month, while those who had worked at the company for a year or more averaged only one call per month. By providing a half-hour IT orientation to all new employees, the help desk reduced call volume from new users by 60 percent. But don't overlook the obvious. Another help desk reduced incoming calls by nearly 5 percent just by informing callers how their problems had been solved. The next time users encountered the same problem, they were able to solve it without the help desk.
> Free agents to work on call abatement projects. Since abatement projects are the heavy-lifting task of call desk centers, they need to be undertaken well out of earshot of ringing phones. The most common excuse for agents being unavailable for planning is they are trapped in 911 mode. To release agents for call abatement, try to assign additional resources to staffing on the phones or else be prepared for a short-term increase in the call volume can be reduced. Contractors can be particularly useful as a stopgap resource for answering telephones while regular agents focus on call reduction efforts.
See the following link for a great White Paper on the topic: