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Service Desk Best Practices To Unlock Value - A Complete Guide

Asloob Alam

All sorts of businesses need to provide service desk solutions, whether to help with in-house issues encountered by employees, or to better assist customers with whatever problems they encounter.

Of course it’s not enough to simply set up a service desk and hope for the best; you have to put strategies in place to optimize the effectiveness of this resource, and to extract every drop of value from it as well.

With that in mind, here are the best practices which you should follow if you’re looking for ways to enhance your service desk setup.

Use a responsive cloud-based help desk

In the past it was usual for service desk solutions to be hosted on-site, but today there are a multitude of cloud based help desk software solutions which overcome the limitations of in-house equivalents.

From a value perspective, the cloud makes a lot of sense as the place to host your help desk. Modern cloud platforms are entirely scalable, meaning you can expect your ability to assist end users to increase along with the growth that your business achieves.

With this scalability comes cost-effectiveness, as you only need to pay for the capacity you require from the vendor, and won’t be hampered by having to apportion on-premises hardware for hosting duties while knowing that it won’t always be used to its fullest.

Likewise, you’ll free yourself of all the other obligations that would previously have been unavoidable. A cloud-powered help desk will be managed, updated and maintained for you, which is handy from a continuity perspective as much as anything else.

Analyze current processes and make changes incrementally

In the case that you already have a comprehensive service desk ecosystem within your organization, it’s necessary to be discerning in terms of how you review the processes that are already in place.

The temptation to implement swinging changes when you realize that they are needed may be strong, but you’ll have to resist it. This is because if alterations are made too swiftly, and in too large a number, this will actually create more problems than it solves in the short term.

It is more strategically sensible to carry out an analysis of your processes, pinpoint the main pain points, and work to integrate solutions at a slow, steady rate.

This will not only give employees time to acclimatize themselves to the changes, but will also ensure that existing customers who have used your help desk in the past, or are in the middle of having a ticket resolved, aren’t left dazed and confused by overnight alterations.

Another advantage to being more considered in your approach here is that you won’t blow the budget in one fell swoop, but can afford to pursue smaller projects over time and thus spread the cost while still extrapolating value.

Focus on the UX first and foremost

If you aren’t putting the user experience at the top of the agenda when revamping your service desk, you’re coming at the problem from the wrong direction.

In the case that the help desk is online-only, then aspects like the interface and the ease with which customers can navigate it to get their problems dealt with will be key.

If your help desk involves other means of getting in touch, such as calling in to speak with a member of the support team, then this too must be tackled logically and with UX in mind.

The more straightforward it is for help desk tickets to be created and for further action to be taken, the more cases you will resolve in the time available. This efficiency will pay dividends, making the cost of the entire department easier to justify.

Go beyond the primary problem

Having a help desk that delivers value to your business is one thing, but it’s quite another to ensure that customers are also getting as much as possible out of the experience.

A good way to achieve this is to make sure that the problem which is originally raised is not the only hiccup that an end user is faced with. Dig a little deeper and you may find that there are other elements of a product or service which are causing dissatisfaction, but which have not been pressing enough for the involvement of support staff so far.

Customers will feel valued if your service desk is set up to help them as thoroughly as possible. While this can mean that cases take longer to resolve, the end result is that you’ll also see satisfaction and loyalty levels increase. People who are more amenable to your business or brand will come back to you time and again, and this is valuable in its own right.

Take training seriously

Every team member on the service desk has to be on the same page so that every end user they interact with gets the same quality of experience. The only way to do this is through rigorous, regular training.

As well as making sure that support staff are up to speed with how to use the software tools they use from day to day, you should also instill in them the best practices that you’ve decided upon in terms of customer interactions. From the tone of voice used in messages sent, to the questions asked in phone conversations, uniformity in this context is vital.

Likewise you have to give your team a degree of autonomy, and let them know that if they need to take special measures or go off-script if the scenario demands it, they’ve got the remit to do so.

Integrate best practices across other departments

It’s no good having a top notch service desk setup if the other teams in your organization are not in the loop about your best practices, or the tools that you’re using. You can integrate Chat APIs from the best instant messaging team collaboration tools such as Troop Messenger in order to provide a seamless service desk operation to your in-house staff as well as your customers.

Indeed support staff will regularly need to liaise with colleagues in different departments to resolve the issues they’re presented with, and so encouraging communication and collaboration here is advised.

Make frequent updates on progress a priority

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to let help desk users know where their case is up to, even if that just means sending them a message to say that you are still working on finding a solution.

A lack of contact can be seen as a sign that you are either ignoring a problem, or are not being especially efficient in your processing of it.
Thankfully, the aforementioned service desk software solutions are equipped with the ability to automate updates so that customers are aware of what’s going on at any one time, without taking your team away from their other duties.

Wrapping up

Delivering a compelling service desk experience doesn’t have to be a drain on your resources, and in fact it can actively add value to your business if it is handled well.

A combination of the right tools, tactics and training are needed to deliver on your dreams of a value-oriented service desk, and the sooner you start making changes, the sooner the benefits will roll in and start to make a difference.

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