Modern businesses need to prevent technical difficulties that can slow down operations. Yet, most find it challenging to troubleshoot IT problems while conducting their daily tasks. Following IT help desk best practices can help mitigate this issue.
Effective IT support is an essential part of customer service and it keeps employees productive. Since the pandemic began, the average ticket volume has increased by 16% , a figure that could continue to rise as more companies rely on remote or hybrid working environments.
In order to ensure your help desk functions as intended and tickets don’t go unresolved, it should adhere to service desk best practices .
In this article, we’ll explore eight of these IT help desk categories best practices , and why they are vital for effective help desk management and customer support .
What’s the Difference Between an IT Help Desk and a Service Desk?
A service desk involves a human point of contact who helps the user troubleshoot complex IT issues. Often, a service desk agent handles requests for more information or additional services.
A help desk takes a break-fix approach. Usually, an automated software tool generates support tickets and assists with simple IT issues. Help desks help your support desk team manage request volume.
An end-user uses a help desk application to seek a resolution to their problem, and it may or may not escalate to your service desk. Best practice is to use your help desk as an additional tool for your existing support team .
The Top 8 IT Help Desk Best Practices
1. Choose the Right Help Desk Software
Research the best help desk tool for your business. Prioritize tools that are user-friendly, easy to integrate, and effective at reducing resolution times.
Look for a tool that includes a user service portal so people can quickly submit support requests. This feature will improve the customer experience and help you build trust with your end-users.
2. Hire Enough People to Meet Demand
Large companies receive more support requests than small and mid-sized ones. This is not because their products, services , or tools are flawed. It is simply inevitable that more users will lead to more requests.
Hire enough team members to address your users’ concerns within reasonable response times . If your support technicians are over capacity, they can’t promptly resolve users’ issues. Resolution delays will decrease client satisfaction.
Consider service locations while you hire support desk agents. You will need to ensure that users in all of your time zones receive the same high-quality support.
3. Categorize Your Support Tickets
Organize your support tickets so your team can isolate and prioritize specific issues. Typically, tickets are sorted by issue types, such as bugs, feature requests, or how-to questions.
There is a strategy involved in IT help desk categories. Best practices include:
- Add additional fields to each ticket . Further information like the time of the request or username gives your team better insight into user needs.
- Opt for specific category names . Overgeneralized labels might be difficult for your team to decipher.
- Consider how your technicians will interact with each ticket . Include categories such as “ resolvable tickets ” or “closed tickets” to indicate how your team should respond.
4. Use Automated Ticketing Systems
Support desk agents that work alongside an automated system experience a 69% increase in their work satisfaction . Automated systems will not replace human agents. They will help personnel control ticket volumes .
Automatic ticketing also ensures tickets are directed to the most qualified person for the issue. Try also using your automated system to resolve simple technical issues. This saves your agents’ time.
5. Establish a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Hold your IT team accountable to your SLA. Include requirements such as response call minimums and acceptable issue resolution rates . An SLA can motivate your technicians and help track performance.
Your SLA also prevents misunderstandings between you and your team. It should set clear expectations that you can refer to during discussions.
6. Build a Knowledge Base
Knowledge bases give your desk agents a quick guide to common issues. Your knowledge base may also include important contact information and what to do in escalation cases.
Knowledge bases increase your support team’s average resolution time. They can refer to your guide and save time on creating new solutions independently.
7. Track Customer Satisfaction Metrics
Keep track of how quickly and effectively each agent resolves issues. Make sure you also track your user satisfaction.
Check how many tickets are left unresolved after a certain period. Send post-resolution surveys to gauge satisfaction.
This information provides insights into how you can improve your support services. It may indicate that your agents need more training or that you need to upgrade your software tool.
8. Follow-up After Resolutions
According to Mediapost, 84% of consumers want to be treated like a person, not a ticket. Yet, personalized service is challenging when you have thousands of clients.
Send follow-ups to every user, even if their issue was simple and resolved quickly. This added touch makes users feel valued and increases satisfaction.
Interested in learning more about help desk management? Check out these blogs:
Get a Partner Who Knows Every IT Help Desk Best Practice
These eight best IT help desk management practices are a great way to get started. However, expert advice from seasoned professionals will take you further.
The Isidore Group helps businesses of all sizes save costs on their IT support. Our help desk team offers 24/7 monitoring to ensure you receive top-quality customer support at any hour.
Reduce recurring issues with an intuitive ticketing system that prioritizes fast, meaningful responses and long-term solutions.
Contact us today to simplify your IT support system for both your users and your desk agent team.