Help Desk Software Guide

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Handling increased Help Desk traffic

Hopefully, your help desk is staffed by productive workers. Sometimes, a situation arrises, when you expect your call volume to increase because of a new system implementation that affects a good chunk of your user base. But what if your budget doesn't allow for additional headcount? What do you do?

Tips for handling increased Help Desk traffic

  1. Help your users help themselves. Put together a sample group of affected users, help desk technicians and project team members to brainstorm a sizable list of FAQs, and post the results on the help desk website as part of the launch communication. Strongly encourage the use of online knowledge bases and self-service ticket management capabilities.
  2. Keep things simple. Make sure your online knowledge base is simple and easy to use by focusing on the 20 percent of problems that account for 80 percent of the calls. A complex online knowledge base just brings users back to the telephone hotline.
  3. Check your Help Desk Metrics. Make sure you've got very clear metrics around average handle time and average speed-to-answer, and train your team to use these metrics effectively. You'll get more calls handled by the same number of people, even those you already assumed your team is productive.
  4. Go into triage mode. Ensure ahead of time that your help desk reps can recognize the difference between a low-priority and high-priority issue, and deal with the former quickly by opening a ticket and getting off the phone. Too many times, help desk techs do not discriminate the way they should during spikes, and the truly needy wind up waiting in queue excessively.
  5. Use your superusers. Enlist some great business users early on in the project, and train them alongside your help desk staff. They can help with the surge of calls for weeks after implementations at their respective sites. Not only will this help you deal with the call surge, but it can also build a team environment between IS and the business at another level in the organization.
  6. Keep morale high. Good morale boosts help desk productivity. We never spend enough time with our teams, and this is the perfect opportunity for the CIO to spend some quality time in the area, showing his support for the help desk. Or have the VP from the supported business area come by and talk about how important the help desk is to the company's success. Most people leave a little in the tank each day, but help desk crunch time is when the staff needs to go home on empty. Showing how much you value your team will go a long way.

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