It’s this time of the year that so many of your IT staff will go on vacation. When you know you are going to be under-staffed to handle service requests, it is only wise to strategize and implement some best practices that will help your IT teams ensure they don’t get overwhelmed by help desk tickets, and at the same time render timely and efficient IT support. You can implement the 3-prong strategy of PEOPLE, PROCESS and TECHNOLOGY to institute some help desk best practices for the holiday season.
#1 PEOPLE: SET EXPECTATIONS FOR HELP DESK STAFF TO HANDLE SERVICE REQUESTS
- It is critical that you set the expectations for your available IT technicians to be ready to wear multiple hats in IT administration roles especially when they are short-staffed
- Make sure that your help desk teams know their SLA times (for ticket assignment, closure and escalation) as they get to work on end-user service tickets
- Try to also estimate the volume of service requests based on number of employees and service request creation trends.
#2 PROCESS: RELY ON PROCESS AUTOMATION TO IMPROVE TIME-TO-RESOLUTION
- Ensure to implement process automation to auto-assign trouble tickets to help desk technicians based on pre-defined business logic. Typically, ticket assignment is a manual procedure causing a lot of analysis and consumes more time. Automating this step will make the entire process more efficient.
- Implement ticket escalation automation if service requests are not getting closed by SLA time.
- Make use of reusability and automate service request creation for recurring help desk tasks (such as provisioning IT assets to a new employee) and improve overall help desk operational efficiency.
- When you have change approvals as part of your change management workflow, be sure to institute an approval procedure and communication channel in place to ensure, IT support doesn't get delayed.
#3 TECHNOLOGY: LEVERAGE THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY & TOOLS TO SIMPLIFY HELP DESK TASKS
- Asset inventory discovery and management is a useful thing to do during the holidays when you have some time on your schedule. Use automated asset inventory tools as part of your help desk solution to discovery assets and associate them with service requests so they can easily be tracked and history of IT support and issues identified.
- It’s recommended to do your IT administration and support remotely as much as possible to avoid manual efforts of visiting workstations one by one. Try using remote control tools that could initiate remote connection with end-user systems right from your help desk interface.
- Help desk Knowledge Base is another simple, yet powerful technology that could save you a ton of time when looking for fixes and issue resolution especially when your IT admin peers are out on vacation. You can add commonly encountered IT support issues in the knowledge base and use it whenever required.
Help desk and ticketing management need not be complex whether it’s the holiday season or any time of the year. When you have the right people, process and technology in place, you can rest assured your help desk services are rendered with higher efficiency with better customer satisfaction results.