To keep your company running at peak efficiency you need a way to ensure that your employees or customers can get the help they need when an IT problem pops up. The key to making sure that employees have access to reliable solutions is to provide a well-structured, responsive IT help desk.
Here are some help desk best practices that your company can implement to make sure that IT problems get resolved quickly and that business continues as usual.
IT Help Desk Best Practices
Consistent IT problems can sideline important projects, create rifts between dependable teams, and keep your company from achieving its goals. That’s why your business has an IT help desk in the first place.
However, there are some issues that can set back an IT help desk. These issues discourage people from using it and keep the helpdesk from adding value to your organization. These include:
- Failure to staff the help desk with qualified IT professionals who are skilled at resolving IT problems
- Lack of proper procedures, which ends up slowing down issue response
- Poor communication with the employees seeking help, resulting in a lack of confidence in the IT help desk.
- Poor support tools to quickly and efficiently connect to give support
- No patching and update management software to keep protection up and reduce problems
- Incident tracking systems to keep IT performing to your expectations
If these issues are systemic in the IT department, the help desk can create as many problems as it solves.
Following IT helpdesk best practice processes will provide your employees with the help they need and improve the efficiency of the help desk over the long-term. Let’s take a look at some specific IT help desk categories best practices that you can implement to benefit your entire company.
Find the Best Employees
Running an effective IT help desk starts with making strong hiring decisions.
Too often companies hire inexperienced IT team members to make room in their budget for other priorities. When your company hires skilled IT professionals, you will see a boost in productivity and profit. Hiring IT professionals that are Help Desk Institute (HDI) certified, for one, helps ensure that help desk best practices are followed and that you see a greater return on your investment.
IT help desk support is divided into three tiers that encompass various degrees of help desk services -:
- Tier one: basic helpdesk support
- Tier two: solves complex problems
- Tier three: typically involves an engineer expert.
To best mitigate issues, your help desk should be staffed with a team of helpdesk engineers capable of handling issues at each level. This can be an expensive proposition.
However, a higher quality of service has a direct correlation with customer satisfaction and confidence in the help desk. Every dollar you invest in the customer experience can yield returns of three dollars on that investment.
When your employees receive proper care from the help desk, it enables your organization to run more efficiently.
Service Level Agreements Guide the Help Desk
A service level agreement (SLA) is a document that helps direct the performance of your IT help desk, setting expectations for response times and IT resolution goals between help desk customers and staff.
SLAs are essential tools for measuring the effectiveness of the IT help desk, as they describe the services that the help desk will provide and how quickly those services will be rendered. These agreements establish a baseline to measure the performance of team members, identify areas that need improvement and create consistency across the entire department.
Your help desk management system will be able to keep track of the help desk’s performance through ticket tracking, and you can see whether expectations are being met.
Make sure your help desk has a SLA and is held to the standards it lays out, so that help desk users receive excellent levels of service.
Ticket Resolution with First Technical Contact
With the right tools and the right staff, the next best practice that you should bring to your IT help desk is a high percentage of ticket resolution with the first technical contact.
The first IT help desk team member that takes a call about an issue should be able to take responsibility for that issue and find a solution to that problem. Building a help team that is capable of resolving issues on the first point of contact builds trust between the help desk and the rest of the staff.
Ticket resolution on the first point of contact is a help desk best practice that requires the proper investment of resources such as software, training, and top talent. Employing a help desk that can achieve ticket resolution on the first point of contact enables team members to be more productive and to focus completely on their work at hand.
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Outsource to an MSP
One of the best ways to maximize your helpdesk is by outsourcing it to the experts. A managed service provider specializes in providing great helpdesk support and has the experts on staff to deliver it.
An MSP typically has access to industry-leading tools that are too expensive to deploy in-house, and will solve tickets at a faster rate.
It also helps that an MSP generally has multiple tiers of engineers to handle different level support tasks and has a number of experts on staff who all have a niche expertise in everything IT.
Make sure that your IT help desk software is set up to route tickets to the correct IT person or department. By using IT Service Management software with automated ticketing, you can streamline processes and send the same employee seeking assistance to the same IT professional who has helped them in the past. This helps build a bond and provides your employees with the most personalized care possible.
Strong, supportive relationships between IT support desk staff and the other employees is vital to positive, widespread use. Automated ticketing also allows you to automate standard tasks, so that your help desk can work on resolving more challenging issues.
Create Multiple Support Channels
Employees in your organization will vary in their technology savvy and preferred method of interacting with IT.
There are many ways to reach a modern help desk, each with its own advantages. For example, some employees prefer to contact IT services over the phone, so they can have a help desk employee walk them through the solution to their problem step by step.
However, other employees prefer to outline their entire issue in an email and wait for a response. In addition, text messaging, social media and website live chats have become excellent tools to help employees resolve simple issues in a short time.
Using multiple channels also enables your IT help desk a better opportunity to follow up on resolved tickets. Once contact has been made through a customer’s preferred communication medium, they are more likely to respond to follow up inquiries, enabling the IT desk to improve their processes through feedback.
Don’t limit your help desk or your employees by insisting on a preference for any one of these methods. By opening all of the doors to your IT desk, you will see higher engagement and better utilization of its resources.
In addition, following up on resolved tickets – through an automated email check-in or follow up form, for example – will help your help desk better evaluate staff performance, identify issues and improve processes.
A Strong IT Help Desk Supports the Entire Business
Your company needs a team that can properly implement these IT help desk best practices to be successful. Higher satisfaction with your help desk will facilitate its continued use and maximize the value it can bring to the rest of your organization.
Even given all of these best practices, building an excellent help desk from within can be a time consuming, resource intensive process.
Hiring a Managed Service Provider who has this infrastructure built in can prove to be beneficial for your business – saving you time, money and resources. Contact the IT services professionals at NENS to find out how you can elevate your help desk services today.