13 Ways to Improve the Help Desk of Your Business

13 Effective Ways to Improve the Help Desk of Your Business
13 Effective Ways to Improve the Help Desk of Your Business

Being the immediate point of contact for customers, the help desk has become the indispensable face of most businesses.  A help desk performs very critical functions: it adds to the efficiency of business processes, ensures that communications with customers are quicker and smoother, helps to reduce complications in interactions, and helps better management of information.

Therefore, the quality and efficiency of your help desk can make or mar your business. You must ensure that the help desk attends to customers’ needs without delay so that they can remain committed and loyal.

13 Effective Ways to Enhance the Help Desk Function Starting Today

Because of the vital role that the help desk plays in customer service and business function, paying attention to the following pointers would definitely help you to leverage the potential of this function:

  1. Answering Calls:

    All help desk staff should display sufficient expertise in this. The first few words of a conversation set the tone for the entire call. Therefore, help desk personnel should aim at starting the conversation in a pleasant manner and being sensitive to the customer’s tone. The ideal script for a help desk staff when answering a call should include statements such as “Hello, thank you for calling X brand (your firm’s name) support, my name is Jack, how may I help you today?” This assures callers that they have reached the right company and the right department, thereby facilitating the smooth resolution of queries.

  1. Determining Priorities:

    Customer queries could range from simple delivery issues to advanced issues related to snags in the product, requiring technical expertise. Helpdesk executives should be adept and experienced enough to ascertain which issue warrants more attention and respond accordingly. Junior executives should not be allowed to handle serious issues or ones requiring technical expertise, as it may unnecessarily delay problem resolution, increasing customer dissatisfaction.

  1. Effective Ticket Notes:

    One of the functions which the help desk does is to generate ticket notes, for each customer request or complaint.  Effective ticket support can prevent customer concerns from snowballing into a full-fledged critical issue.  Poorly created tickets may lead to the delivery of poor quality customer service.  Hence, a ticket note should be clear, unambiguous, and contain all the necessary information related to the call. An effective ticket note should include the following details:

    1. Who spoke with the customer and at what time
    2. Serial number of the ticket
    3. What procedures were performed: the results and error codes
    4. List of actions which the help desk personnel are supposed to take, or have already performed.
    5. When is the help desk  supposed to contact the customer, or when is the customer  expected to call back
  1. Keep The Customer Informed:

    Customers often get perturbed when they are asked to follow several courses of action that they believe would be of no help. In such cases, executives should explain why following these actions would help resolve their issues. This kind of approach will make customers feel that the help desk is eager to resolve the issue rather than reading a pre-written script to fulfill a given role.

  1. Checking Previous Support Tickets:

    If the same customer is calling repeatedly about an unresolved issue, it is better to check previous support tickets to understand the background of the issue and to determine the actions taken so far. This would help you to provide a more effective solution to the issue. A well-written ticket note will help your desk staff resolve the case in a shorter duration of time. This is far more productive as compared to wasting time trying to find the solution starting from scratch, every time through a new ticket.

  1. Avoid Software Issues:

    The help desk should ensure that there are no software glitches when handling a call. It is imperative to check all the functions such as automated replies and distribution of tickets, to ensure that they are in working condition.

  1. Channeling Work:

    Channeling efforts in the right direction always gives best results. Help desk staff should know what kind of calls can be resolved quickly and understand which calls would take time to resolve. You could also help by automating certain processes or making them DIY. For example, help desk staff often spend a lot of time resetting passwords. In such instances, it is recommended that a self-service system be deployed so that users can reset their passwords on their own.

  1. Setting Goals:

    For effective functioning of a help desk, performance procedures and goals should be defined at the outset. These could be in the form of call metrics, ticket times, response times and closed tickets. You need to ensure that the staff adhere to and achieve these targets.

  1. Training Modules:

    Helpdesk executives should be regularly trained and updated about the latest technologies and new services.  In addition, the help desk should have a well-prepared guidebook that could act as a ready reference for assistance with resolving basic to advanced issues.

  1. Utilize Online Media

    The current generation associates with only those brands that have online support in the form of blogs, live chat, Facebook and Twitter pages. This is because customers are mostly on the go and access websites and other services via smartphones and tablets. Therefore, help desks should be well-equipped to handle online queries through chat as well as social media queries and provide the same level of service as telephonic requests.

  1. Escalating Queries:

    Helpdesk executives should be in the right frame of mind to escalate a case when they cannot solve an issue. They need to be trained for this. If they are reluctant to pass on difficult cases to somebody else, it would seriously damage customer goodwill towards the business.

  1. Know the market:

    In some cases, customers may call to get technical advice for deciding whether a particular brand will work for them or not.  In such cases, it is recommended that your help desk staff be familiar with not only with your own product line, but also that of competitors.

  1. Take Ownership of the Case:

    The help desk should take ownership of the case and assure customers that they will resolve the issue as quickly as possible. By taking ownership of the case, especially when things go wrong, the business is reassuring the customers that it cares a great deal about their particular issue.

The most important task that a helpdesk really needs to do is to communicate effectively with the customers and keep customer satisfaction the highest priority.  In addition, it needs to collect, organize and process information smoothly so as to accelerate the resolution of problems. It sounds easy, but it requires skillful people, efficient systems, sufficient information, and technology support. When all these are in sync, your business will have an efficient and productive help desk which would help in raising the levels of customer satisfaction.


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