How to build an effective IT service desk

Building an effective IT service desk is not easy. With technology evolving so quickly, and companies reliant on a complex mix of hardware, software, cloud-solutions, broadband, telephony and legacy systems, you need an IT help desk that can provide support and proactively grow the business.

An effective IT service desk can do so much more than fix your email when it goes down. For the service desk to deliver great service – both supportive and proactive – your analysts need a range of skills and solutions to operate smoothly. Remember, without IT support; business can’t function. Digital systems, from cloud-storage to communications keep businesses operational.

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Systems and hardware determine the service desk skills you need. And of course, larger companies and those whose business is technology – such as tech companies – need more support. So although it’s somewhat difficult to outline the specific skills your team need, an effective IT service desk requires at least one member of staff who is dedicated to delivering support to your end users.

Next, you need to consider the systems they use to run the IT service desk.

What you need to run an effective IT service desk

#1: Self-service portal

Internal customers don’t always want to make a call. An online ticketing system is essential. It also makes it easier to log and track issues, then prioritise them against everything the service help desk is trying to solve right now.

#2: Live chat and social media

Live chat and/or private social network or messenger options, such as Yammer, are another way to help fix problems quickly whilst documenting issues in the process. Not only is this useful within the context of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) when a problem is easy to resolve, but end users feel they are getting a better service. Everyone can get back to work sooner when technical issues are resolved fast.

#3: FAQ & self-service centre (Knowledgebase)

End users are more technical and digitally empowered than ever before. An online FAQ Knowledgebase reduces some IT service desk workloads whilst giving end users the knowledge and tools to solve issues themselves. Proactive service desks should provide these for staff or clients, to show them that not everything needs a support ticket.

#4: Remote assistance solutions

However, some problems do need support tickets. Remote assistance is an essential part of the average service desk toolkit. Instead of asking a staff member to follow instructions, your service desk team can take over a desktop or laptop (Mac or PC) and resolve issues remotely.

Carefully review the options, to ensure you are using a highly secure piece of software since some remote systems have been used to steal customer and company data.

#5: Ticket prioritisation system

Even with one service desk member of staff, they need a prioritisation system to ensure that tickets can be organised according to the impact on the company and need for a resolution. Prioritisation systems are also a useful way to keep everyone on the same page and manage expectations.

#6: Reporting and analytics

Service desks and those they serve need to know whether SLA standards are being met. A robust reporting and analytics system is the most effective way to track response and resolution times and keep improving.

#7: End user feedback

Another essential system for IT service desks is a tool to get feedback from end users. Even staff working for the same company are, from the perspective of a service desk analyst, a customer. Treat them that way. Feedback, alongside a reporting system, is the most effective way to monitor performance and implement continuous improvements.

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