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The Ratio of Support: Creating the Perfect Help Desk Team

Efficiently handling customer support tickets can potentially be one of the most difficult parts of being in the businesses of supplying the public with a product or a service.  One miscalculation or wrong phrase uttered can ripple outward and tarnish your brand and hurt future sales.  Added to these already heated waters is the typical customer demeanor when a ticket is processed.  With tensions high, you will need to make sure that your customer support experience is as sound and efficient as possible.

Creating the Perfect Help Desk Team:

Creating the Perfect Help Desk Team
Creating the Perfect Help Desk Team

While each customer ticket is unique unto itself, there are a number of strategies in practices that can be imposed to improve the chances of a satisfied customer and a happy employee.

Knowledge:

Knowledge
Knowledge

Ensuring that your help desk team has all the applicable information in one location is an important part of delivering the highest quality of support possible.  While all of a client’s records, information and previous support history may be located on the same computer that the help desk professional is using, jumping around to numerous folders and databases is an inefficient way communicating with customers.

To remedy this, have all of the client’s information ready to be accessed in one spot.  This will not only cut down on the time the ticket goes from unresolved to resolved but it will also please the consumer as their problem was taken care of quickly and efficiently.

Software:

Software
Software

Allocating the right piece of software for the right job is the backbone of a great customer support module.  While it’s easy to equate helpdesk software to the customer, perhaps even more important than that is thinking of it in terms of your support team.  Help desk software only does its job when employees are using it accurately.  Because of this, there shouldn’t be room left for error or lost opportunities to educate everyone on the ins and outs of the program.

Your help desk team should not feel like the aging parent who is trying to navigate email for the first time.  Productivity comes through enjoyment and knowledge; don’t neglect the team for the bottom line.

Excellence:

Excellence
Excellence

Any industry can attest to the copy and paste fallacy and I’m sure we’ve all been victim of this at some time or another.  Copy and paste errors should have no room in your customer support flow.  Moving information from email to data-form can not only present multiple opportunities for mistakes, it has become largely automated by quality software and programs available today.

If an emailed form is an integral part of how your customer support team works then ticket tracking software is a must.  Software automation will reduce the occurrence of errors by leaps and bounds and help direct employees in the right direction when dealing with a ticket over the phone or through email.

Preliminary Measures:

Preliminary Measures
Preliminary Measures

Any quality customer support experience is going to be bolstered on multiple fronts.  Be it through intuitive FAQs on a website, troubleshooting guides or access to a live representative.  Having help in a variety of locations will reduce the chances of having an unsatisfied customer.

With these steps in place you will reduce the chances that your help desk team does not have their time wasted by questions that could have been easily answered via other means.

Ease of Access:

Ease of Access
Ease of Access

Consistency is key when it comes to reducing errors and being noticed for excellence in customer support.  Information to assist in resolving tickets in one centralized location should not be overlooked.  Along with this, all information related to a customer support ticket needs to be setup in a way that it is consistent from one ticket to the next.

Down the line, you will probably be running some analytics to track common problems, solutions offered and perhaps amount of time it took to resolve an issue.  Save yourself the headache now by anticipating these reports and streamlining information into a form that is the same from ticket to ticket.

Reduce Error:

Reduce Error
Reduce Error

Plain and simple, errors are going to happen and your help desk team is no exception.  Why you can’t eradicate the human penchant for error, you can develop strategies to help reduce its occurrences.  A well-developed help desk system is going to see your employees being prompted to make intelligent choices and ask customers questions that will result in fewer errors.

And because it needs to be stated, spell check, spell check and spell check.  Nothing screams unprofessional then a blaring typo in an email seeking to correct a problem.

Improve Performance:

Improve Performance
Improve Performance
[Image Courtesy Creative Common]

Efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to providing the best customer support.  If there is a task that is done time and time again throughout the work day, ask yourself, “can this be automated?”

Think about forms and similar data fields per customer tickets.  Create templates for popular ticket issues.  While they may need to be adjusted per issue, these suggestions are a much quicker way of dealing with customer issues than starting fresh each time.

Every help desk team will be unique and have its own set of challenges that are unique to the industry.  Even if your company is in its nascent years and may not warrant the creation of a full-fledged support team it’s never too soon to start anticipating what that team might look like.

About Patrick Strahan

Patrick Strahan is an IT professional and freelance blogger. He writes about such things as the latest help desk software on the market. When he’s not busy blogging or responding to dozens of work orders, Patrick finds time to ski and to write the next great graphic novel.

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