Laptop does not work; the system is too slow, need help with an upgrade; the printer does not print; forgot my password – who do you reach out to when faced with such issues? The help desk team serves as the first point of contact for employees and customers.
They will troubleshoot and try to resolve issues. If not possible, they will route tickets to the appropriate teams.
The help desk team aids your employees in doing their job without any technical difficulties. They also help resolve customer queries and concerns.
Thus, it is essential you structure the help desk team right and provide them with support to handle issues while maintaining user satisfaction. You can choose to build an internal team or explore help desk outsourcing services offered by MSPs.
The article will look at the process of organizing a help desk that will help you bring to life the many benefits the team can offer.
The Process of Organizing a Help Desk
Here are some ways you can structure the help desk to improve its effectiveness and employee productivity.
1. Implementing a Tiered Support Model
In the absence of a tiered system, handling tickets will be an issue. In case of easy-to-resolve issues, any team member can handle the ticket. But if it is a complex IT issue, a specialist can be the only one capable of handling the ticket.
There is a risk the ticket will keep getting reputed before it reaches the right member. And delayed resolution in a user-facing situation is never appreciated.
A tiered support model helps streamline the help desk. For example, instead of fumbling and rerouting tickets, a funnel will route tickets to the right tier based on their complexity.
A typical tiered help desk should have three tiers:
- Level 1 (L1): These agents will be responsible for general issues. For example, the L1 tier can handle password reset issues. You do not need a specialist for it.
- Level 2 (L2): Tickets that require troubleshooting complex issues will be routed to L2. For example, they may look into configuration and upgrade-related issues.
- Level 3 (L3): This tier will include IT specialists. If issues need advanced troubleshooting, L2 can escalate the ticket to L3. The IT specialists can provide root causes analysis, fix defects, and do minor enhancements to improve performance.
With proper ticket funneling, the volume will decrease as you go up the tiers. This helps improve customer and employee satisfaction while the company significantly saves on costs.
2. Consider Setting Up Specialized Help Desks
Large organizations with many employees and customers using multiple tools, software, and processes will need a support team to match. In such cases having a single team handle the sheer volume and variety of tickets can be overwhelming.
You can train agents, but these issues may not purely require technical expertise but inputs from multiple teams. So, your L1 team will spend the majority of its time running back and forth between different teams. Or they may push the ticket to the L2 team, which invalidates the purpose of a tier system.
Instead, consider having specialized help desks depending on the tools and processes that require maximum support. This way, users and customers get support right away. It also helps employees respond and resolve issues faster.
3. Set Tangible and Relevant SLAs and Goals
Your help desk serves as the first point of contact, but that does not mean you let the team drown in responsibilities. Without specific goals, the scope of issues the team can handle can get blurred. This, in turn, will overburden employees. You will also have no way of measuring the team’s performance.
Goals and SLAs provide the help desk team with a sense of direction. It defines the scope and metrics they have to meet for quality customer service.
You can go one step ahead and set customized goals according to teams for better performance management.
4. Using Shift Left Strategy
The shift left strategy involves resolving the issue quicker and closer to the end user in their tier model. For example, issues that L2 earlier handled can be automated, and L1 agents can now address such tickets.
This cuts down the customers’ waiting time; issues get resolved quicker, which improves customer satisfaction. According to Salesforce Research, 78% of customers will do business with a company again, even after a mistake, if the company offers excellent customer service.
It helps companies save costs as most tickets get funneled at the first line of defense. The upper tier of skilled IT specialists is involved only in the most complex issues.
So, try automating repetitive issues. Involve your L3 to make performance improvements.
5. Offering Users Self-Service Portals
A self-service portal is another tool that can offer customers quick resolution. The self-service portal can include detailed resolution steps for basic-level issues that customers can handle independently. There is no need to interact with a help desk team or wait for them to get back.
Moreover, today customers expect companies to have fully functional self-service channels available. According to HubSpot, a knowledge base is a popular self-service channel among customers.
These portals help organizations, too, as they are one of the most cost-efficient help desk models available.
6. Consider Working with an MSP
Building and maintaining an internal help desk team may not be feasible for all organizations due to a lack of resources. However, you can outsource your help desk service needs to an MSP in such cases.
With MSPs, you get immediate access to resources with industry experience and technical expertise. In addition, you can discuss and come up with a customized help desk plan suited to your requirements.
You can scale the team up or down as required. For example, if you are taking on new tools or software, an MSP can align an appropriate resource from their talent pool to your team.
They can also help provide insights on cost spending, budget forecasts, performance, and efficiency issues.
When setting up a help desk, opt for a tiered support model. This will help funnel tickets better, which in turn will help the right employees provide quick resolution. Set specific SLAs to provide your team with direction and measure their performance.
Encourage automation and innovation to resolve issues closer to the end-user. Empower customers with self-service portals.
You can also work with an MSP and leverage their help desk service to serve your customers better.