Have you ever wondered what a Service Desk is, or why your IT department needs a Help Desk? That thought may prompt you to ask the question “what the difference between a help desk and a service desk is? In this article, I will discuss important features that must be available in any help desk solution you investigate.
What is a Help Desk and Why Is It Important to Your Business?
A Help Desk is a resource used by the IT department to log the calls for assistance from the organisation’s users. In most cases, the users are your internal staff. However, in some business models, the user base may be external. It is also important to note that Help Desk solutions are fundamentally similar, as they all have a mix of default features. The correct solution for your organisation will depend on the feature set that best meets your business requirements.
Reasons why you should consider Investing in a Help Desk
There are many reasons why an organisation invests in a Help Desk solution. Top of the list will be some or all of the following:
- Not attending to user requests within the service level agreement
When your help desk agents cannot cope with the volume of calls you receive, and your service level agreement not being met, then it is time to consider a professional Help Desk solution.
- Low customer satisfaction
This is a constant criticism from all users of support received from the IT department. All too often an inefficient call logging solution is hampering the ability of the help desk agent to complete the call timeously. By giving the user the ability to log and view their calls via a web-based self-service module will certainly improve customer service and user satisfaction.
- Repetitive questions
You can easily create a knowledgebase using help desk software. With resources like video tutorials or an FAQ section, you are able to provide answers for the repetitive questions submitted to your help desk agents. Furthermore, the knowledgebase can be split into a user and technician section, with each section containing articles relevant to the particular group of users accessing it.
- You are using too many software tools
You have moved beyond the email-only help desk solution and invested in tools that assist your help desk agents to streamline their work. However, not all the tools you use communicate with each other, resulting in a duplication of tasks and the likelihood of multiple system failures.
- Management reporting is a nightmare
Generating monthly management reports on the status of the help desk is a challenge or even impossible without the correct reporting tool. This is another case where a professional help desk solution comes to the rescue by supplying reports that address all the common management criteria.
Features to look for in a Help Desk
There is a basic set of features that a good help desk must contain. These include the following:
- Ensure that issues are correctly logged, assigned and actioned within a tracking process system.
- Maintain a central database of client details and help desk history.
- Automatically assign issues to the relevant department or person responsible
- Ensuring that the user is notified when the correct support staff is assigned the issue.
- Allowing employees to log calls and view the status of existing calls using a Self Service module.
Modules that are most commonly needed
The following modules are accepted as basic requirements for most help desk solutions, however, the level of ITIL compliance does vary between solutions.
Figure 1 Help Desk Modules
It is important to select the help desk solution that addresses your organisations business requirements. Remember, the one-size-fits-all rule does not apply when selecting a help desk.
The power and sophistication of your IT Help Desk has the ability to make-or-break your IT staff morale. Similarly, the user acceptance of an organised help desk will have a positive effect on the productivity and morale of your end-users. Likewise, failing to acknowledge the necessity of a help desk, will lead to a loss of productivity and decreasing morale of your IT department and User department.
For more information call Ryan Danvers at ABACON IT on 027 601 2858.
Author: Ryan Danvers