Technology is being imbibed into every aspect of the business. Communication, security, data management, storage, sharing, and reporting; there are tools and software available that can make these tasks easier.
Technology can surely bring efficiency and productivity to the table, but it also brings a unique set of challenges to your IT help desk team. The IT team has to understand technology, keep up with emerging IT trends, and resolve customer queries and issues while focusing on quality service.
Let us look at some challenges faced by help desk teams.
7 Challenges of Help Desk
1. Limited Resources
Small and medium-sized businesses may have an internal IT team. They would be responsible for tasks like maintaining the IT infrastructure, configuring new tools, network monitoring, proactive fixes, security, and user and data management.
In the case of limited resources, dedicating a team to help desk queries and issues will not be feasible. This poses a challenge as you divert the IT team’s attention from core business deliverables.
Coupled with budget constraints, hiring talent, training, and retaining them could also be an issue.
In the case of limited resources, explore the option of working with an MSP. You can access customized support plans suited to your requirements. You will better utilize the budget as you will only pay for the services you most need.
2. Help Desk Tools and Processes
You type in ‘optimize service desk’ in Google, and you will be bombarded with tools, software, processes, and best practices. Such an overload of information can lead inexperienced companies to make drastic changes to their service tools and processes.
Changes should be gradual and according to business requirements. You might aim for optimization but end up with losses.
You should start by assessing the existing infrastructure and identifying improvement areas. Then, if you do need ticketing or help desk software, pick one according to your business’s technology, ticket volume, talent, and budget.
3. Long Resolution Times
When dealing with a high ticket volume, responding to tickets and resolving issues may take time. You may need to collaborate with multiple teams if it is a complex technical issue. In other situations, some tickets may fall through the cracks, or there could be miscommunications leading to long resolution times.
This can negatively impact customer experience. They might get the idea the company does not care about service but only about selling products.
Invest in automation and AI solutions like chatbots to quickly resolve common and known issues. Provide employees with an IT infrastructure primed for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
4. Hiring and Retaining Top Talent
If you are consistently looking for new talent, you need to take a step back and assess why your employees are leaving.
Is it a monetary issue? Do they not feel recognized? Do they not have growth opportunities? Are they burnt out? Hiring technical talent has always been a challenge. Post the pandemic, the competition for acquiring talent is at its highest.
Hiring is expensive. You will be spending money and effort on screening, interviewing, onboarding, and training employees. Until they are ready, there is additional pressure on existing team members.
According to a survey by Flexjobs, 62% of employees quit jobs due to toxic work cultures, while 56% quit due to poor management.
Talk to your employees, understand their concerns and see if you can make process changes. You can also consider working with IT service desk companies that can provide stable access to technical expertise.
5. Repetitive Tasks
Repetitive tasks, recurring issues, and frequently asked questions can become time-consuming and burdensome for the service team. In addition, working on the same task over and over again can get boring, hampering employee productivity.
And productivity issues can further affect customer service and your bottom line.
Automation, AI, and self-service portals are the solutions to repetitive tasks. For example, you can automate tasks like acknowledging tickets, sending status updates, and asking for feedback. In addition, common issues can be documented, which will help customers quickly resolve them on their own.
If the customer is not satisfied, there could be triggers set to create tickets and involve the appropriate team. These practices can reduce the help desk team’s burden and improve customer experience.
6. Lack of SLAs
Help desks are quickly becoming a single point of contact for customers. They may call up and expect all issues to be resolved then and there. This may not be a feasible expectation for the majority of service teams.
For example, service teams may be available for a few hours over the weekday. In case of emergencies, the response time would be a few minutes. For other issues, the response time may vary from an hour to a business day.
Similarly, service teams will be given hours or days to resolve issues. These SLAs often do not get documented and published. This leads to unrealistic customer expectations and unhappy employees.
They are providing customer support, but no one has a clue about how they are performing and what they can do better.
Thus, it is essential to document SLAs in accordance with the business objectives. This gives employees tangible goals to work towards.
Businesses can be unpredictable. Managing your help desk team count according to the company’s peaks and valleys can be challenging.
Hiring, as we mentioned above, is cost and effort-intensive. And as new employees learn on the job, you will end up paying overtime costs. This is a consistent problem whether you decide to scale up or down. You cannot keep repeating the cycle of onboarding and offboarding.
Consider working with experienced part-time employees. Or you could consult with an MSP. These third-party IT service providers have a talent pool at their disposal. So they can help you get immediate access to the right talent. And also help downgrade the team when the workload is low.
A help desk team is responsible for translating complex technology and business functions into simpler terms for employees and customers.
A dedicated service team may not be feasible for all organizations. Challenges like limited resources, lack of SLAs, repetitive tasks, and employee turnover can impact productivity. The use of complex tools, software, and processes can hamper collaboration.
To overcome these challenges, consider solutions like SLA documentation, automation, AI, self-service portals, employee feedback, and working with an MSP.