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February 11, 2017 | By

Help Desk Best Practices

Employing a Help Desk is a basic part of the support strategy that most companies use to delight customers and keep them happy and loyal.  While it’s true that today, many customers prefer a self-service component to human support, the reality is that sometimes a human touch is needed. Many modern customer service solutions are quite intuitive, but it’s up to organizations to truly make the most of this customer support technology to ensure that the Help Desk is part of the solution and not the problem.

Here are a few tips to help you help your help desk:

Document Everything with Help Desk Ticketing

Every single request and incident should be recorded in your customer service system so that you have a full picture of your organization’s processes, how it impacts the end user and the ideal management of your ITIL framework. Regardless of the length, subject matter or urgency of the ticket, you must discipline your service team to track and record every touch point with your customers via Help Desk. Companies must research, diagnose and prioritize effectively through detailed documentation within their system.

How can organizations truly evaluate processes and management of Help Desk without detailed documentation of how users are finding resolution? Also, if hand off is necessary to agents with a specific skill set, they must have a clear picture of the customer’s “story” so that you don’t put your users through the painful practice of telling 5 different people their same story repeatedly. Save your customers from bad service.

Communicate with Your Customers

From the instant that your customers submit a ticket via your Help Desk, you should be updating them on every process and stage of their query resolution.  Send an email to inform them that their request has been received, update them when the status of the ticket changes, let them know when resolution is in progress and when it has been resolved. Your customer service ticket management style should err on the side of being too transparent. Comfort your customers and let them know that they are important and so are their issues.

By organizations keeping the communication channels open, they also run the chance of turning an “issue” into an opportunity – an opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty, upsell to their user base and more.  That’s why it’s imperative that your customer service management system is meticulously setting up processes that will ensure that your users have a friction-less experience with your company.

Aim for First Contact Resolution – Before Help Desk

Customer service best practices tells us that sometimes it’s completely unfeasible for companies to resolve customers’ issues upon first contact with the user. But there are so many queries that through an ITIL aligned framework can be resolved before the issue even makes it to your Help Desk and becomes a victim of the “process”.

To truly make the most of the management of their Help Desk, organizations should also integrate a digital customer assistant to absorb the low impact, repetitive queries from their user base that can be quickly resolved with self-service. The Help Desk should be a part of the personalized escalation paths you afford your customers to find the resolution they need, sometimes demanding the human touch.

For the requests that need to be escalated to your Help Desk, you must use all your resources to focus on the right process to solve customers’ issues as quickly as possible. Companies who successfully optimize their Help Desk, align team members, management, training materials, documentation, etc. with this goal in mind. Everyone in your support team needs to be of the mindset that they are “owners” of your customer’s problems until resolution is achieved or the query is carefully and thoroughly handed off to another, skill-specific team member.

Use Help Desk Analytics and Insights to be Proactive

Your help desk analytics and any other customer support system, must be synced. See if it’s possible to make small changes on your website. Also, some companies investigate their current protocol to deflect a higher volume of queries to self-service system. Once you’re able to decrease unnecessary Help Desk ticketing volume, then you can take a much closer look at how your Help Desk management processes may be on point, or perhaps your ITIL is missing the mark with your customers.

Spot trends and recurring issues and work hard with your management teams to minimize business impact. That’s why, going back to the first practice we shared, it’s imperative that your teams document everything clearly so that you can get some clearer picture of the Voice of the Customer. With more advanced ITIL technology such as a digital customer assistant, you can illuminate more clearly the Voice of the Customer by seeing a visual map of your customers’ questions in their own words for better optimization and management.


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