If you’re running a help desk, you’re probably aware that this can be a stressful job if not set up properly. The following are obstacles you’ll want to identify and develop solutions for so you’ll know what to do when you hit them:
Too Many Demands
It’s important to figure out how much staff support you’ll need so you don’t end up with more customers calling in for support than you can realistically provide. If your help desk isn’t staffed well enough, you’ll end up with frustrated customers who will leave for another system or who will burn out your help desk employees. It’s much wiser to have too many employees and have some down time now and then than to have too few employees and leave tickets unresolved to or customers on hold for hours.
Customers Who Can’t Follow Instructions
You’re going to run into people who simply can’t follow the instructions you give on the phone or online. As a help desk, you’ll need to determine what your strategy will be for people who can’t describe a problem to you over the phone or computer and then follow the instructions to try to solve the problem. Will you dispatch people to go on location? Will you work with vendors or suppliers to handle these dilemmas? How much are you willing to work with people who obviously can’t follow instructions? Come up with a policy and stick with it.
From time to time you may come up with issues of language. Your help desk employees may not speak top-notch English (and yet may be incredibly good IT solution providers) or your customers might not speak English as a first language. You may need to hire IT employees who speak Spanish or other languages, or you may need to send your help desk employees to communications classes to teach them proper pronunciation and common layman’s terms that will enhance communications. In any case, make sure you address this problem so you won’t add language barriers on top of the existing challenges.
Problems Outside Your Scope of Influence
You’ll also want to come up with a list of problems that are not related to your scope of influence so you’ll know when to direct customers away from your help desk and to another resource. For example, if you’re working at a software help desk, you can’t help the customer if the problem has to do with an unrelated virus or their personal computer itself. By keeping a list of issues that you have already determined are “not your problem”, you’ll save time that could have been wasted. You can then focus on the customers you can help.
Running a help desk is not easy, but it’s rewarding. Put your heart into developing plans that will skirt around obstacles and set you up for success.
Born and raised in North Carolina, Heather Green has worked as a fashion and beauty consultant as well as freelancing for various wedding, fashion, and health publications. She currently acts as the resident blogger for Online Nursing Degrees where she’s been researching online nursing bachelors as well as msn degrees.