How to Set Up Help Desk Workflows

How to Set Up a Help Desk Workflow

A help desk workflow is all the steps that agents must go through in order to successfully resolve customer issues. A well-functioning help desk workflow improves the productivity and efficiency of your team whilst at the same time delivering quality customer service, so everyone’s happy.

catherine heath

Last updated: March 31, 2022

6 mins read

A help desk is the backbone of your customer support team.

It’s the interface that you use to engage with customers who have a problem or a question, and yet many companies are struggling to reach maximum effectiveness with their help desk. Why could this be?

A badly designed help desk workflow could be the culprit.  Read on to learn how to create a help desk workflow process and why workflow management is an important aspect of customer support.

A complete help desk, inside Gmail?
Keeping turns your Gmail into a fully featured help desk. It's not magic, but it feels magical.

What is a help desk workflow?

A help desk workflow is all the steps that agents must go through in order to successfully resolve customer issues. A well-functioning help desk workflow process improves the productivity and efficiency of your team while at the same time delivering quality customer service, so everyone’s happy.  You can use workflow management software that is built into your help desk to automate repetitive tasks.

A help desk workflow is all the steps that agents must go through in order to successfully resolve customer issues.

A help desk workflow is specific to your company’s help desk. It involves processes that are executed when the help desk is in use, such as assigning a ticket to a particular agent.

Help desk workflows can be automated to save time for your team. When certain conditions are met, an action can be executed.

What are the benefits of setting up help desk workflows?

Setting up help desk workflows means your team always knows what is expected of them. Workflows clearly define the tasks involved in executing certain processes and the same steps can be followed every time. Your team can operate more efficiently and waste less time wondering what to do.

Help desk workflows create transparency into your business processes and make them standardized. Your team is more organized and has a shared playbook from which to work.

When workflows are automated this saves your team valuable time and energy so they can spend time on what they do best – helping customers. Without automated workflows, your team struggles to manage an increasing volume of tickets as they are forced to complete manual tasks.

3 help desk workflow examples

Example 1: Organize tickets 

Managing your tickets properly means you need to sort them into categories that make sense for your help desk, and this can be done using various means. Organizing your tickets makes them more meaningful and makes it easier to find particular tickets when agents are searching in your help desk.

You can use labels to highlight important tickets, or group similar tickets together. If multiple customers report a bug with your software, these tickets might be labeled as “frequent bug”. Labels make it easier to see when you are receiving the same issue over and over again and prioritize your support operations accordingly.

Next, you can also prioritize your tickets according to urgency to understand which tickets need to be dealt with immediately and which can be left on the back burner. For example, if a customer contacts you about a billing problem and are at risk of losing your service, this can be classified as more important than a customer who just wants to know when a particular product will be back in stock.

You can also set the status of all the tickets in your help desk. In Keeping, every new ticket that comes in will be assigned as “open”, then when someone starts working on it the ticket may be “pending”, and when the problem is solved it’s marked as “closed”. Using the statuses on tickets tells your agents what stage the customer’s problem is at and whether it has been fixed.

Example 2: Automatically assign tickets flowing into your help desk

If an agent has to personally read and tag each ticket that comes into the help desk this can be demanding and take up a lot of time. The right help desk platform will automatically read incoming tickets and tag them according to keywords present in the subject line or body of the email.  This can really speed up your support process.

For example, in Keeping, if you have a billing issue and the word “billing” is included in the email, this email can be tagged as “billing” and assigned to Brenda of the billing department. All of this happens automatically so your agents don’t have to waste man hours assigning tickets.

Read More: How to Use Workflows in Keeping

Example 3: Combining identical tickets

Sometimes, customers will email you multiple times and this creates duplicate tickets in your help desk. Dealing with identical tickets in your help desk wastes your agents’ time and slows down the resolution that should be delivered to the customer.

If your agent is already working on a particular ticket sent in by a customer, and that same customer emails in again, you can order the help desk to combine the tickets so that two agents won’t be handling the same request simultaneously. Another approach you could take is to close the identical ticket to avoid anyone picking it up.

How to create a help desk workflow

1. Tailor your workflows

Help desk solutions come with automated workflows that you can design according to your team’s personal needs and requirements. You must choose the right automation tool that is flexible enough to allow you to create your own workflows that mirror the practices of your team.

What your workflows look like will be different for every business. Take the time to set up your help desk to support your workflows such as creating tags or email response templates.

Your help desk is only as useful as you make it. Tailor your workflows to your own unique requirements.

2. Make knowledge management a habit

Your agents won’t automatically be aware of your workflows if you don’t make them available. An internal knowledge base is the right tool to share your workflows and ensure your whole team is on the same page.

The key to getting your workflows adopted is to document them for everyone to see. Make sure your workflows are available for quick reference to ensure that they are implemented effectively.

The more workflows you have, the less likely your agents will be to remember them all. That’s why you need to collect all your workflows in a single centralized location that is open to all of your team.

3. Design a ticket escalation process

It won’t always be possible for the first agent who picks up a customer ticket to resolve it for them. Sometimes tickets require escalation to reach managerial attention or someone with more technical expertise to solve.

A ticket escalation process allows your customer support team to work seamlessly together and provide a higher standard of customer service. When you have workflows governing the ticket escalation process, your agents know who to hand off tickets to and when. It prevents excessive back and forth and agents struggle to figure out who should be responsible for a ticket.

The aim of the ticket escalation process is to increase speed of resolution. The faster a ticket is handed off, the sooner the customer has their problem solved and the ticket can be closed.

4. Automate your workflows

Software like Keeping allows you to automate your workflows so you can save time and increase efficiency. There are many tasks or business operations that agents shouldn’t be handling manually as there could be a better way to do it.

In Keeping you can set up an automated workflow to run every time a condition or conditions are met. You can run as many workflows as you like as they allow you to automate repetitive tasks and save hours of manual labor. You can use them for such tasks as assigning a ticket or applying a tag, and they run every time a new ticket arrives in Keeping.

To create a workflow in Keeping, select create a new workflow and name it something that will help you remember what it does. Choose the Conditions that need to match to trigger your workflow, such as the presence of specific words in the subject line of your incoming support email. You can chain together more than one Condition using “AND” and “OR” blocks to make your workflows more complex. Then you set your Actions to apply once a workflow is triggered, such as assigning the ticket to a specific agent. Just like with Conditions, you can chain together your Actions using the “AND” button. Finally, review your workflow and activate!

Help desk workflow template

Help Desk Workflow

The importance of tracking and improving your workflow performance

You will only be able to improve your workflows if you track their performance over time. You need to find out which workflows are effective and will take your team to new heights of productivity, and which ones are hindering the success of your team.

For example, you might be assigning your emails with “billing” in the subject line to Brenda from the billing team, but Brenda no longer works in that department. It’s a good idea to update your workflows to reflect the new team structure and prevent important emails going amiss.

Final remarks

Help desk workflows improve the operational efficiency of your support team and help you prioritize support tickets and helping your customers. They enable you to get more out of your help desk by automating standard processes and save time by avoiding repetitive, manual tasks.

When your team uses workflows, everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing and no one steps on each other’s toes. There is less confusion in your support team when you document your procedures as workflows and teamwork flows more effortlessly.

A complete help desk, inside Gmail?
Keeping turns your Gmail into a fully featured help desk. It's not magic, but it feels magical.
catherine heath

Catherine is a content writer and community builder for creative and ethical companies. She often writes case studies, help documentation and articles about customer support. Her writing has helped businesses to attract curious audiences and transform them into loyal advocates. You can find more of her work at

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