IT Governance

5 Foolproof IT Service Desk Tips

Is your service desk really as good as it could be? In a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy says that it is in fact still normal for service desks to be struggling with the fundamentals. There are many reasons for this—one of them being that practice is more challenging than theory. But whatever the case, Joe shares five tips for a healthier service desk experience:

  1. Be easy to reach.
  2. Make your customer experience consistent.
  3. Make it easier for your service desk analysts to work.
  4. Respond to all contacts, and keep them updated.
  5. Write good call notes.

The Quest for Service

To have a great service desk, it needs to be accessible from every angle. Phone calls, email, instant messages, and a self-service portal are all communication channels that must be considered, in order to cater to a wide variety of personalities and situations. However, equally important is that the same high level of service quality be maintained regardless of which channel users select. This will typically mean providing good training to staff. It will also probably mean teaching staff to work from scripts for some issues—more specifically, the most common issues, where they can be reliably troubleshot through time-tested scripts. For other issues, the service desk should employ a human touch as much as possible.

Joe’s third tip basically boils down to good knowledge management—when you record what people know, that enables everybody to know what everybody else knows. He says you can also invite various support teams to a service desk team meeting to share their top tips with each other. (Maybe that is a tip teams in general should try.)

His fourth tip is equally straightforward—when people request help, they expect confirmation and updates that somebody is actually working on it. It is torturous not to know whether one’s plea is being ignored. And about the final tip, of writing good calls, Joe says this:

“Empty” incident records are harmful to service desks. There’s little worse for a customer than radio silence, or for another service desk analyst seeking to find out how a similar issue was resolved. So, make sure that you update incident records regularly and share the updates with customers when appropriate.

Write clear, easy-to-understand updates when working on a ticket so that: (1) the customer will understand what’s happening if they call in and you aren’t available to help and (2) if someone else has to take over the issue, for whatever reason, then they’re not starting from the beginning thanks to a history of what has already been done in trying to fix the issue.

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