13 Ways to Develop Your Company's Help Desk Best Practices

13 Ways to Develop Your Company's Help Desk Best Practices

Develop a high-functioning, best-practices help desk that goes above and beyond the competition!

Assess its current practices against those used in other organizations.
How to evaluate that your company is doing as well as what you should be
When it comes to successful customer service, it's crucial to have a high-functioning help desk that goes above and beyond the competition. In order to improve, every organization must assess its current practices against those used in other organizations.
The following are some Help Desk Best Practices that can be used when evaluating what your company is doing as well as what you should be doing.
  1. Perform customer satisfaction surveys on a regular basis

    Use your call tracking software to daily perform customer satisfaction surveys. These provide valuable information from their broad sampling of employees. It's important for your company to generate its own customized survey to keep a close watch on help desk performance at any given time.
    Work to maintain a continuous customer satisfaction survey process improvement philosophy. This will drive customer satisfaction and loyalty to even higher levels.
  2. Implement a web-based knowledge base tool

    The greatest asset of a service organization is the knowledge of its staff. Documenting this knowledge in a central knowledge base makes it available for all staff to leverage. Build this repository by encouraging and rewarding employees to propose articles as they work.
  3. Implement a knowledge base tool with real-time reports, dashboards, metrics and business analytics

    Having readily available reports for knowledge base value, knowledge base usage, knowledge base status and more can assist leaders better understand how their knowledge base is being used, which can further streamline help desk agent processes and increase self-help usage.
    Leaders can better understand how their knowledge base is being used with reports for:
    • Knowledge base value
    • Knowledge base usage
    • Knowledge base status
    This can further streamline help desk agent processes and increase self-help usage.
  4. Implement service request automation processes in your help desk software

    Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Allowing agents remote access to those whom they support can increase problem resolution speed. This can result in greater customer satisfaction.
    Provide the following options to optimize your help desk performance:
  5. Use the help desk software system to increase communications with agents and customers

    Communication among agents can keep the help desk processes flowing smoothly. Some examples include the following:
  6. Implement a 24-hour customer self-help portal

    Allow customers to access a self-help portal to resolve their own issues. Also, when appropriate, they can create their own service requests. This can save your organization a significant amount of money.
  7. Use real-time help desk reports, dashboards, metrics and analytics

    That which is not measured, cannot be managed! Real-time metrics can also result in higher-quality decision making by any involved personnel. This can include the CIO, if needed.
  8. Perform root cause analysis every day to determine why problems occur

    It is important to be able to track the root of issues, so the actual cause of problems can be determined. This helps with forward planning and being able to determine which areas of IT might need more attention. This can include applications, hardware, operating systems, networking, etc.
    Ideally, the help desk software should require selecting a root cause before closing the ticket. This will allow for easy tracking. It should also require entering a problem resolution. Then, root cause reports should be available to identify specific issues and trends.
  9. Implement Service Level Agreements linked to impact on firm revenue

    Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are an important part of help desk accountability to the customer. Compliance with them can impact customer satisfaction and even revenue.
    A help desk should not only implement SLAs, but should be able to track compliance in various levels of granularity. This should include the overall help desk or service groups (e.g. Applications, desktop, networking, etc.) to the individual agents. SLA trend reports should be available also. These can help leaders understand how effectively services are being provided.
  10. Utilize predefined and customizable help desk reports

    Agents and leaders should have a wide variety of reports available that they can quickly access. They should be able to:
    • Easily customize them
    • Share them with others
    • Use them to analyze their areas of responsibility to keep the customer service process flowing smoothly
    The reports should also provide the right data to assist in better decision-making.
  11. Use real-time reporting features that decrease time required to prepare reports

    The following can further provide useful data for quicker analysis and better decision-making, and can save time and money:
    • Real-time reports customized and automatically e-mailed to agents and leaders
    • Real-time report data easily downloaded or sent in various formats (Excel, PDF, etc.)
  12. Implement an asset management system that is integrated with the help desk software system

    Having an asset management system integrated with a help desk software ticketing system can bring the following:
    These systems can also help in saving problem-diagnostic times.
    This type of asset management can include software license tracking as well. This can help IT departments better track licensing compliance.
  13. Implement an integrated ITIL change management software system

    Integrating a change management system with the help desk software system can product the following:
    • Reduction of problems due to change-related failure
    • The help desk being prepared ahead of time with information about upcoming changes, perhaps even notifying its customers beforehand
    • Issues being tracked and backout plans implemented, if necessary
    Further, problem-tracking analysis can help plan for future changes. This type of system keeps the change and help desk teams much more coordinated and functioning as a cohesive unit.

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