Everyone knows what it’s like to work through a difficult tech problem. You’re frustrated because your system isn’t working like it should, and the technician is floundering to deliver quality customer service while solving your problem.
If you’ve been that IT professional, or you oversee a team of service desk technicians, you don’t have to feel that way forever. You can improve your help desk operations if you know how to apply the right tactics.
1. Use the Right Tools
No help desk can run efficiently without using all available tools. At the very least, you need a ticketing system that will monitor tickets for you, keep track of hours, facilitate communication, and prioritize orders. If your ticket system is slowing down the process instead of promoting it, consider switching tools.
You also need good remote administration tool. The ability to take over services and processes remotely is invaluable when attending to an IT ticket. It takes much of the headache out of the service for both you and your customers.
A team inbox, customer knowledge base and forums, chat tools, phone systems, and documentation software can also promote help desk efficiency.
2. Document Things Correctly
Unfortunately, many help desk services lack proper documentation. While IT support techs work diligently to solve the problem, sometimes they don’t keep detailed records for following-up, finishing a task, improving procedures, and recordkeeping.
Invest in a ticketing system with documentation services built in. Require proper documentation of each task, and check in regularly on the progress. Then, have your staff properly document all procedures. This will help with employee onboarding and quality control.
3. Look for Client Satisfaction
Sometimes solving the problem doesn’t always lead to client satisfaction. They may have other questions or concerns that you failed to answer. If the service process was extensive and difficult, that can also make the process incredibly frustrating.
Seek client satisfaction, no matter how difficult their service request is. Meet their expectations, and monitor improvement. If an experience is time-consuming or the client gets frustrated, apologize and work to rectify the situation quickly. You might need to offer freebies, discounts, or other offers, but it may be worthwhile in the name of customer loyalty.
4. Know How to Offer Service
Your primary job is to fix the problem at hand, and that doesn’t always lend itself to good customer service. Oftentimes, you’re so focused on the issue that you don’t think about your customer interactions. As you work to improve your help desk platform, here are some things you can do for better service:
- Keep a polite and congenial tone.
- Greet the customer, state your name, and ask how they can be helped rather than jumping straight to details like the ticket number.
- Explain things to the end-user, even if you have to dumb-down the content.
- Take down contact information in case you’re disconnected from the call.
- Show some compassion, and make an effort to truly understand the customer’s plight.
Knowing how to offer good customer service is an invaluable skill for IT pros everywhere.
5. Collect Feedback
Send surveys following each call. Surveys can be done over the phone or through email, and they deliver valuable feedback on the quality of service offered.
Have customers rate the service given, explain whether or not their service was handled properly, and ask for specific comments. This information can be used to improve your help desk interactions in the future.
6. Go Beyond the Phone Call
The service phone call need not be the only form of communication you use. After you’ve ended the call, send an email asking if the problem has been fully resolved. Then, provide contact information in case more issues arise.
You could go one step further and check in with the client a couple weeks later regarding the problem’s resolution. It’s always better to over-communicate with a client than to under-communicate, and using as many forms of communication as possible is highly recommended.
7. Write Useful Ticket Notes
Ticket documentation can help you navigate the repair efficiently as well as provide information for anyone else who works on the ticket later. For that reason, the notes should be clear and useful.
You’ll want to record the name of the person calling, time period, procedures performed, the results, parts used, actions the caller took, previous help desk interactions, and more. These ticket notes will make all future interactions much simpler.
8. Be Accountable
Take ownership of each case. You’re likely to run into a few angry or frustrated customers, so don’t defend the product or company. Instead, acknowledge that the customer is experiencing a difficult time, and tell them you’re doing your best to solve it.
If the service time is extensive, offer regular, frequent updates to keep customers in the loop on the processes. This might not make a customer happy, but it can at least reduce frustration and create a better overall experience.