Let’s say you buy the best in class tea. It’s trending everywhere—from TikTok to Youtube—everyone is talking about how refreshing and tasty it is. But when you make it, you hate it. Yikes. You feel disappointed and don’t get why people are raving about it.
What could have gone wrong? Well, the tea could actually be just average, but you might also be making it the wrong way. In that case, you just don’t know the right way to get the best of the tea—hence, it is just a waste of money for you.
This could happen with your help desks too.
You may have the best help desk in the world, but it’s worthless to you if you don’t know how to manage it for better results. You could learn how to use your help desk the right way through years of mistakes or just read the 16 tips we have compiled for you today.
I’d advise against the former option! Ready to learn the best help desk management tips? Let’s begin!
Set Clear Objectives
Without any clear objective, your service desk agents would just be throwing darts in the dark. The team knows where they are headed when clear goals are in place. They are aware of the benchmark that needs to be achieved. A help desk manager will also be unable to measure progress accurately if there are no objectives to compare to.
These objectives could be lower response times, improved customer satisfaction scores, or better resolution times. To ensure these objectives are achieved, you should have one-on-one discussions with team members to understand their challenges and what they need to overcome them.
Use your Help Desk as a SPOC
SPOC stands for Single Point of Contact. This means combining all your customer support channels into a single place to avoid redundancy and inefficiency.
Using your help desk as the single place where tickets from all your channels arrive is another excellent way to use your help desk. The scope for context switching by agents reduces because they do not have to switch between multiple tools.
Using a single point of contact for customer support also improves the response and resolution times—because your agents can be more productive.
Prioritize Cases based on Urgency
Sounds obvious, right? You’d be surprised how urgent issues could go neglected when your team has a heap of issues to deal with. Ticket prioritization saves the day in such cases.
Tickets can be prioritized in various ways. Some help desk software lets you put time-sensitive keys into a separate channel. While on others, you can label them as urgent. For instance, if a customer reaches out saying that his account has been compromised, your agents can mark this as a “High” priority issue and provide a prompt resolution.
Build a Workflow
A workflow is nothing but a step-by-step plan laid out to follow. In our case, a help desk workflow is all the steps your employees will follow to resolve customer issues.
With help desk workflows in place, your team always knows what needs to be done. They’re not sitting ideally, waiting on instructions. Efficiency is promoted, and less time is wasted with help desk workflows.
Workflows also help agents know what is expected of them and standardize the process of providing customer service.
Automating workflows is the best way to get the benefits of a workflow while also saving time. At Keeping, you can create automated workflows as well! But more on that later.
Set SMART Goals
Setting ambiguous or unrealistic goals is one of the worst mistakes businesses can make when establishing help desk goals.
Using the SMART framework, you can prevent this.
You can make sure you’re able to effectively use your help desk by defining goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Specific goals are the clear ones. For example, decrease first response time by 2% in a month.
- Measurable goals are those that you and your agents can measure. For example, a decrease in first response time can easily be measured by in-built reports in your helpdesk.
- Attainable goals are realistic. These are not the goals that your support team cannot achieve. For example, setting a plan to bring the average FRT from 10 hours to 30 minutes in one month may not be an attainable goal.
- Relevant goals are those which have a relation to the business objective as well as the agent’s growth. For example, a reduction in FRT improves your customer support and also helps the agent become better at their job.
- Time-bound goals mean goals that have a deadline. Without a deadline, your agents may never achieve a goal. Setting a deadline of a month for reducing FRT is a time-bound goal.
Train Helpdesk Employees Properly
Adequate training goes a long way. Your agents, if appropriately trained, can provide better and quicker solutions to the customers. Proper training becomes a way to improve customer service and meet customer expectations.
Over time, you can fix issues and reduce costs as well. Moreover, your agents don’t have to depend on getting instructions and answers from other people to provide support to a customer.
This training includes familiarizing the employees with the help desk as well. If you use complex help desk software, you should provide tutorials on how your agents can use various features.
Help desks have categorization features like tags or labels, which are used to put different support queries into other channels. These features are helpful when you want to provide specialized support. Specialized support is provided when a specific ticket category is assigned to a specialist agent.
Categorization can also be done based on problem type, client type, department, product, and priority type. If your help desk contains sensitive information, you can allow specific groups of agents authorization access using categorization.
Use Automation and Integrations
Your help desk staff is empowered to customize their working environment using automation and integrations.
By using integration, you can guarantee that your support desk can access tools for project management, asset management, team collaboration, and more from a single location. Additionally, you can create unique workflows and integrate well-known apps like Zapier and Shopify to minimize system switching.
Help desk automation also reduces workload and reduces the scope for human error. Your help desk staff can perform better, and issue resolution rates also increase. Your team can stay sane while handling a large volume of tickets with the help of automation.
Create and Update Internal Knowledge Bases
An internal knowledge base acts as a guide for support agents. An internal knowledge base is not exactly a detailed guide on your product that can be used. Instead, it is a playbook your agents can refer to. It may contain tips/instructions on how to deal with specific types of customer queries. Agents not equipped with your help desk system may also be provided with a user manual to get the best use out of the help desk.
Implement a Reward-Penalty Strategy
Your support desk’s performance can be significantly enhanced by using the reward-penalty strategy. For instance, it will improve staff morale if you provide each employee a prize for their accountability and contributions to improving your help desk KPIs.
They’ll be inspired to put in more effort. But if you also have penalties for errors, they’ll try harder to be more responsible in the future. This can have a significant and advantageous effect on the effectiveness of your company’s help desk over time.
Track Help Desk Metrics
Help desk metrics are your report card. They show you how your customer support staff is performing and what your customers feel about the customer support delivered to them. These metrics speak for themselves, and you will clearly see where your team is lacking.
By looking at help desk metrics, you get insights into whether your help desk team is on track towards meeting the Key Performance Indicators. For example, you usually look at the ticket resolution rate and average response time to see if the KPI to increase customer satisfaction is being met.
Implement Customer Feedback
Your customer feedback is the most significant source of improvement for your business. Don’t sleep on it. To make the best use of your help desk, you should actively seek customer feedback and implement it.
Uber is an excellent example of actively seeking customer feedback. After each ride, customers are asked to provide ratings. Similarly, you can send ticket rating emails once the ticket has been resolved or set up survey forms that help you get a glimpse into a customer’s ever-changing opinion about your brand.
Train your Employees to Fill Skill Gaps
Every year, the market is influenced by new customer service trends, technical developments, new tools with the latest features, updated products, etc. Your agents will be fully equipped for these difficulties thanks to consistent training.
Give your support staff a setting where they can work on any obvious gaps without fear of their skill or knowledge limitations. Give them the option to enroll in training courses that will help them enhance their careers. For instance, they can learn how to effectively manage help desk difficulties by earning ITIL or ITSM certifications.
Encourage Team Collaboration
As Hellen Keller says, “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”
Cultivating a culture of team collaboration brings more productivity into your organization. Naturally, your agents may not be an expert in each function. While some may know the help desk better, others may see the product better.
When the values of team collaboration exist, agents will be willing to help each other. For example, if an agent is unsure how to solve a ticket, partner him with somebody else in the same team so that both of them can work together on the ticket. This way, the agent knows what to do the next time such a ticket arises.
Hire the Right People
All help desk tips are useless if your employees are unwilling to learn and implement them. Hiring people who align with the vision of your business ensures that they’re working towards business development. The right help desk employee will have the following qualities:
- Attention to detail
- Team worker
- Customer focused
- Communication Skills
With the right people onboard, you’ll be all set to deliver excellent customer service using your help desk system.
Choose the Right Help Desk
Lastly, your help desk greatly contributes to how much efficiency you can achieve with it. You must choose help desk software depending on the needs of your organization. Look at the features you get and if it’s a cost-effective option for you.
If you’re an organization that works out of Gmail for customer support, Keeping is the best help desk for you! Keeping converts your Gmail inbox into a fully-featured help desk that can be used to track, manage and report all customer service activities. Ready to deliver excellent customer service right from your inbox? Start here.