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5 Time-Saving Strategies for the Help Desk

Level 14

Support centers in organizations are under constant pressure due to increasing volume of service tickets and increasing end-users to manage. The complexity and diversity of support cases make it all the more difficult to provide timely resolution considering the lean support staff and tight deadlines. So, how can help desk admins increase the efficiency of the help desk process, and ultimately result in faster service delivery? Considering all the things you do, the question to ask next is: “Where can I save time in all my daily goings-on?” Conserving time on repetitive, less important, and menial tasks can help you gain that time for actual ticket resolution.

 

Here are 5 useful time-saving strategies for improved help desk productivity:

 

#1 DON’T GO INVENTING FIXES. SOMEONE MIGHT HAVE ALREADY DONE THAT.Help Desk Flash 2.PNG

Not all service tickets are unique and different from one another. It is highly common to have had different users face the same issue in the past. The smart way here is to track repeating help desk tickets, their technician assignment, and capture the best resolution applied in an internal knowledge base. This way, it will be never be a new issue to deal with from scratch. Any new technician can look up the fix, and resolve the issue quickly.

#2 KNOW WHAT YOUR ARE DEALING WITH.

Before jumping the gun and assuming you know exactly what problem you are dealing with and start fixing it, make sure you have elicited all the details about the issue from the end-user. Sometimes it might just be that the user doesn’t know how to use something, or it is such a simple fix that the user can do it himself. So, don’t settle for vague descriptions from tickets. Make sure you get as many details from the user about the issue, before you start providing the solution.

#3 PROMOTE END-USER SELF-SERVICE.

If your user base is growing and you are receiving tickets for commonplace issues with easy fixes, it is time you start thinking about building an internal self-service portal with updated how-to’s and FAQs to help users resolve Level 0 issues themselves. Password reset is still a top call driver for support teams. Self-service portals will free up a fair share of IT admins’ time if this could be automated.

#4 ESCALATE WHEN YOU CAN’T RESOLVE.

While you might feel capable of resolving any level of support ticket, there will be a time when you face some technical challenges. Finding the cause for slow database response time may not be your forte. That pesky VM always reports memory exhaustion no matter what you do. These are times you must act on judgment and escalate the issue to another technician or your IT manager. Getting all worked up on the same issue (going only off on a hunch) will not only delay resolution, but will result in more tickets piling up. Make sure your help desk has proper escalation, de-escalation, and automated ticket routing functionality in cases where SLAs are not met.

#5 DO IT REMOTELY.

Yes, personal human contact is the best possible means of communication. However, it can cost you handsomely in time and money if you start visiting your end-users one by one for desktop support. So many service tickets can be resolved remotely if you conduct a remote session of the user’s system. And if you have additional remote administration tools, you can master the art of telecommuting for IT support.

What other tricks of the trade do you have to up your sleeve to help fellow IT pros speed up customer support?

8 Comments
jkump
Level 15

Nice listing.  Got all the key points.  After my long IT career I can say I don't think I could have quite bubbled it down so nicely to 5.

cahunt
Level 17

Well stated, especially #2. Troubleshooting network issues are difficult if you do not have either machine or connection information.

bkyle
Level 15

On #3, a lot of people will still want you to walk them through it.

Jfrazier
Level 18

I know some people hate you going through all the steps you need to go through when asking baseline questions.

But you do have to validate everything otherwise you'll miss something.

Bahlkris
Level 12

#6 dont panic, stay calm, if you panic during a problem you will make it worse and you will also likely transfer that panic to your customer.

3-17-2015 8-25-01 AM.png

jkump
Level 15

I learned long ago to be like the medical field.  Keep your emotions in check, stay logically focused.  Go through your list of variables.  Keeping calm and patient.  When things are resolved, go find some way to vent off that emotional baggage.  Has carried me through some awful times and allowed me to keep customers.

novasamurai
Level 12

It is always important to put the Spock face on and don't take anything personal. Once emotion gets involved you have added something to slow down your resolution process. This does not mean to not show empathy to the user, we can still do this and not get too involved. Stay focused on finding the solution, and I'm sure the user will be off your back faster. Then when it is all done I agree you need some time to release the stress. Many workout or have other very productive hobbies to help clear their mind of the days issues.

gfsutherland
Level 14

Love #1 and #3.... never re-invent the wheel... and always hand out fishing poles... not fish!