Written by Alan Conduct, Head of Support Services at UKN Group
Building an effective IT service desk is not easy. With technology evolving so quickly, with companies reliant on a complex mix of hardware, software, cloud-solutions, broadband, telephony and legacy systems, you need an IT help desk that can provide support and proactively grow the business.
An effective IT service desk can do so much more than fix your email when it goes down. For it to deliver great service – both supportive and proactive – your help desk analysts need a range of skills and solutions to operate smoothly. Remember, without IT help desk support; business can’t function. Digital systems, from cloud-storage to communications keep businesses operational.
Systems and hardware determine the support desk skills you need. And of course, larger companies and those whose business is technology – such as tech companies – need more support. So, although it’s somewhat difficult to outline the specific skills your team need, know that an effective IT help desk requires at least one member of staff with the right skills/experience, at a minimum.
Next, you need to consider the systems they use to run the IT service desk…
#1: Online Ticketing
Internal customers don’t always want to make a call. An online ticketing system is essential. It also makes it easier to log and track issues, then prioritise them against everything the service help desk is trying to solve right now.
#2: Live Chat and Social Media
Live Chat and/or private social network or messenger options, such as Slack, are another way to help fix problems quicker whilst documenting issues in the process. Not only is this useful within the context of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) when a problem is easy to resolve, but customers can feel they are getting a better service. Everyone can get back to work sooner when technical issues are resolved fast.
#3: FAQ & Self-service centre (Knowledgebase)
Customers are more technical and digitally empowered than ever before. An online FAQ Knowledgebase reduces some IT service desk workloads whilst giving team members the knowledge and tools to solve issues themselves. Proactive service desks should provide these for staff or clients, to show them that not everything needs a support ticket.
#4: Remote assistance solutions
However, some problems do need support tickets. Remote assistance is an essential part of the average service desk toolkit. Instead of asking a staff member to follow instructions, your service desk team can take over a desktop or laptop (Mac or PC) and resolve issues remotely.
Carefully review the options, to ensure you are using a highly secure piece of software since some remote systems have been used to steal customer and company data.
#5: Ticket Prioritisation System
Even with one service desk member of staff, they need a prioritisation system to ensure that tickets can be organised according to the impact on the company and need for a resolution. Prioritisation systems are also a useful way to keep everyone on the same page and manage expectations.
#6: Reporting and Analytics
Service desks and those they serve need to know whether SLA standards are being met. A robust reporting and analytics system is the most effective way to track response and resolution times and keep improving.
#7: Customer Feedback
Another essential system for IT service desks is a tool to get feedback from customers. Even staff working for the same company are, from the perspective of a service desk analyst, a customer. Treat them that way. Feedback, alongside a reporting system, is the most effective way to monitor performance and implement continuous improvements.
Setting up a service desk does not come cheap. Companies need to use layer upon layer of systems to track and monitor inbound contacts. Staff need the right skills. You also need to ensure the company isn’t using too many legacy systems that slow you down and reduce efficiencies.
With the right IT partner, you can get all the support you need without the stress, making it possible for a company to work with internal or external IT staff to drive growth forward.