key responsibilities of the help desk

For many companies, the IT help desk acts as the face of the IT organisation. It handles employee issues and service requests, while also dealing with most of the communications between end-users and the IT department.

The help desk is a crucial player in delivering IT services to the business and has a number of responsibilities it needs to uphold in order to be successful.

Let’s take a look at some of the key responsibilities of any IT helpdesk.

Key Responsibility – Deliver Excellent Help Desk Customer Service

First and foremost, in the current times of employees experiencing superior customer experiences, the number one responsibility of any IT help desk should be to deliver against end-user needs while also providing great customer service.

That said, it’s easy for IT organizations to fall at this hurdle because they’re too internally focused, with help desk policies and processes (and how these are implemented) serving technical teams ahead of customers.

The primary focus of your help desk is to serve your organisation’s end users, and the roles they fulfil. This should include providing your customers with the information they need, resolving their tickets efficiently, communicating with them about business-impacting issues and changes

How can this be achieved?

  1. Research end-user habits
    For instance, what types of tickets are being logged and what are they complaining about? What common questions are they asking? What help-based information are they looking for? This research will help your help desk to better understand your customers’ needs.

  2. Regularly survey customer satisfaction levels 
    There’s no better way to find out what your customers need, want, like, and dislike than just straight-up asking them. This could be in the form of online surveys, after-call surveys, or even face-to-face interviews. Customer feedback is vital because it’ll tell you what’s working and what’s not.

  3. Communicate in line with end-user needs and expectations –
    Whether it’s an individual ticket, a major incident, or planned maintenance you must ensure that you’re communicating with end-users as they expect you to.

    If a logged ticket needs to be escalated, then tell the affected end-user(s). If a major incident takes down a critical system, then update affected parties regularly until resolution.

  4.  Resolve as many issues at first contact as you can
    Ideally, whenever possible, your help desk agents should avoid having to call-back end-users or escalate the ticket. The more first-call resolutions your help desk can provide, the happier your customer base is going to be.

  5. Provide a self-service portal to support self-help –
    Modern customers like to be able to find the help they need quickly, and an IT support self-service portal can act as a one-stop-shop they can visit to find the answers to common questions.

    A self-service portal will empower end-users which will, in turn, lead to more satisfied customers.

Key Responsibility – Provide Accurate Help Desk Reporting

Reporting is an essential task for any IT help desk. Never underestimate the importance of your Helpdesk reporting module. It can be your early warning system indicating that something is wrong.

Reports can show how well help desk staff are performing, how many incoming incidents and requests the business is facing, whether or not service level agreements (SLAs) are being met, which resolver teams are not turning tickets around quickly enough, etc. They can even highlight problems causing repeat incidents, identify ticket trends, and show ongoing escalations.

How can this be achieved?

  1. Consistently present the figures well
    Your weekly and monthly reports should be shared around your IT department giving everyone a view of what’s going on. Share your performance results with your team, even if they are not perfect.

  2. Use real-time reporting to aid proactivity
    Real-time reports, and dashboards, should be used where possible so you always know what position your help desk is in. Plus, if someone urgently needs the information you can provide it on the spot. Dashboards should be created for any stats that you frequently consult.

  3. Analyse and visualize your data – 
    Reports should be used to identify patterns, highlight trends, and spot any anomalies. This is made even easier when visualizations are used to present your data – because graphs, and similar, are much easier to consume.

  4. Alert teams, when needed, using the reporting data
    Use your reports to alert IT, managers and teams, to potential issues. This highlights where issues are or will be, and allows you (or others) to get ahead of the game.

Key Responsibility – Share Collective Knowledge

Having a knowledge management capability, and knowledge base is a great way to share the knowledge your IT help desk has collated – both individually and collectively. A knowledgebase will provide relevant information to your end-users and technical teams alike. The knowledge articles in the knowledge base can be role-based too, meaning they’re only accessible by the people who need, and perhaps authorized, to use them.

How can this be achieved?

  1. Implement a FAQ area
    Your knowledge management capability should include a space where end users can find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

  2. Review and assess documentation regularly
    Your knowledge base will be fairly useless if you don’t regularly review the documentation stored inside. This might be because articles can’t be found, can’t easily be understood and used, or have become outdated.

  3. Provide easy-to-do fixes
    You can use your knowledge base to provide information to end-users that will help them to solve their own issues. These simple fixes should be able to be performed without the need for admin credentials and they’ll free up your agents to deal with more complex issues.

In Summary

The IT help desk, of course, has many other responsibilities to uphold but customer service, reporting, and knowledge management should certainly be up there at the top. To read more about Help Desk software, visit our website. To signup for our newsletter, scroll down to the bottom of our home page.

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