Top 11 Help Desk Best Practices

Feb 8, 2023 | ITIL Service Management, Service Desk

Help desk software is specifically designed to simplify the management of customer conversations from various channels into one central location. This allows you to keep track of service requests and efficiently resolve customer issues. It’s crucial to select the right help desk software and implement best practices to maximise the benefits of your investment.

 

Using help desk software can enhance customer satisfaction and ensure your support team is happy as well. However, it’s important to assess your current help desk service provider. Have you recently missed responding to certain customer queries? Is your help desk team able to respond quickly and efficiently?

 

If you’re seeking answers and want to improve your relationship with both your customers and agents, we have compiled a list of the top 11 help desk best practices to overcome the challenges of managing your ticketing system.

 

Help Desk Best Practices

 

1. Choose The Right Help Desk Software

When it comes to choosing the ideal help desk software for your business, it’s essential to consider several factors. 

First, assess the nature of your business and the communication channels used by your customers. Additionally, evaluate the usability and cost of the help desk software. Selecting the right help desk software can ensure a well-organised ticketing system and provide your customer support agents with valuable customer data that enhances their performance. 

We recommend exploring various options, comparing features, reading reviews, and making an informed decision based on which help desk software aligns best with your business workflows.

 

2. Ensure a Seamless Customer Journey

It is crucial to provide a seamless customer experience, regardless of which communication channel they choose to use to reach out to you. Implementing an omnichannel help desk software enables you to capture and integrate all interactions into a single, unified record. This provides instant context for your agents and ensures a smooth experience for your customers. Your help desk should be the central point of contact for both customers and agents.

 

With Freshdesk Omnichannel, you can deliver a consistent customer experience by eliminating the need for customers to repeat themselves and equipping agents with complete context regarding their needs, regardless of the channel through which the request is made. It’s important to establish workflows that efficiently support customers across various channels such as email, phone, chat, messaging, social media, and more. Ensure that your help desk software is regularly updated to handle queries from new channels.

 

3. Create Help Desk Groups

Organising your help desk agents into different groups can greatly enhance their efficiency and help them focus on specific types of customer issues. By assigning tickets to specific groups, you can streamline the workflow of your help desk management system. This ensures that agents only see tickets that are relevant to their assigned group, simplifying their workload.

 

For instance, in an e-commerce environment, you can create a group called “Returns and Exchanges” and utilise automation rules to assign tickets containing keywords like “return” or “different size” to this group. This proactive approach improves ticket allocation and ensures that the right agents are handling specific types of queries.

 

4. Leverage Help Desk Automation

Automation is a powerful tool that can transform your help desk operations. Picture arriving at work each day to find all new customer inquiries efficiently prioritised, organised, and assigned to the appropriate agents. By utilising automation, your help desk team can operate on autopilot. As soon as customers reach out to you, automations can scan their inquiries and automatically assign tickets based on agent skills and workload. 

Additionally, leveraging AI technology allows for categorization, prioritisation, and routing of incoming tickets, enabling agents to concentrate on resolving customer issues. 

 

5. Integrate AITSM with ITSM tools and practices

With the increasing demands on Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) organisations, leaders are looking for ways to automate processes and improve management of their environments. 

One approach is to integrate AITSM (Artificial Intelligence for IT Service Management) with ITSM software and optimised practices. AITSM uses AI, automation, and big data to provide additional guidance, automate tasks, and improve efficiency for I&O staff. The integration enhances the overall effectiveness and minimises errors made by employees.

 

6. Implement Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) define the minimum requirements for service delivery. They set deadlines for your team to respond to and resolve tickets. You can implement a single SLA policy for all tickets or have separate SLA policies for different types of tickets. For instance, you might set a shorter SLA time frame for tickets submitted via social media or from VIP customers. Reminders can be set up for every SLA policy, and an escalation hierarchy can be configured to notify the relevant people in the event of an SLA breach.

 

7. Create a Comprehensive Knowledge Base and FAQs

Offering a self-service portal to customers can be a smart move for customer service teams because it enables customers to find solutions on their own, which benefits both customers and growing support teams. Freshdesk supports a multilingual knowledge base that can be used to facilitate global support operations, with 42 supported languages. A basic self-service portal is made up of three parts: a knowledge base article collection, a ticket viewing and submission area, and a community forum.

 

Your knowledge base should contain all the relevant information about your product or service, including FAQs, how-to articles, a getting started guide, and troubleshooting information in the event of problems. By including an array of relevant information, a help desk knowledge base can alleviate agent workload by resolving repetitive inquiries. This frees up agents to tackle more difficult questions.

 

You can create a private or internal knowledge base that agents can access to find immediate answers, review policies relating to customer support and the company, or learn about new features or upgrades. An internal knowledge base is a valuable source of information for training new customer support agents.

 

8. Utilise Canned Responses and Templates

Canned responses are a useful tool for enhancing customer support, particularly when your help desk team is dealing with a high volume of tickets that involve common issues. By enabling your team to create and utilise canned response templates within your help desk system, you can reduce response time and make it easier for your agents to provide quick replies. 

Begin by evaluating customer interactions and creating a valuable library of effective canned response templates. This will streamline the customer service workflow and enhance overall customer satisfaction.

Embed video: How to use Canned Responses | Freshdesk

 

9. Utilise Real-Time Reporting

Real-time reporting dashboards are a valuable resource for monitoring the performance and key performance indicators (KPIs) of your help desk. With customizable team dashboards, supervisors can focus on specific metrics to keep track of their team’s performance. By analysing historical data and identifying patterns and trends, supervisors can provide valuable insights to their teams and help improve productivity.

 

Real-time information provides an overview of your help desk system and important metrics related to ticket creation and resolution. This includes the number of tickets created, resolved, or reopened, as well as average response time, resolution time, and SLA metrics. Freshdesk offers interactive filters that allow you to analyse your business and team performance. You can easily drag and drop, search, and modify filters on your customised dashboard.

 

By making data accessible to everyone, agents can prioritise tickets and stay updated on the go, while senior stakeholders can monitor team metrics. Real-time reporting enables you to identify customer issues more quickly and achieve support targets in a timely manner.

 

10. Enhance your Help Desk with Third-Party Integrations

To enhance the capabilities of your helpdesk software, consider integrating it with third-party applications such as Shopify, Salesforce, and WhatsApp. These integrations improve the flow of data between applications, boost agent efficiency, and provide valuable context to tickets within your help desk. While some apps are available for free, others may have charges depending on their complexity and available features.

 

By integrating your help desk with these apps, you can harness the power of a robust help desk management software combined with modern applications, ultimately enhancing your customer support. Additionally, app integration eliminates the need to switch between different tabs or windows, streamlining your workflow.

 

11. Invest in Comprehensive Training for Your Help Desk Team

To manage high ticket volumes and achieve a higher resolution rate, it is essential to provide your help desk team with adequate support and training. While someone may possess deep knowledge about the product and proper customer interaction skills, knowing how to leverage the full potential of your help desk tool is equally important. It may be necessary to partner with a vendor who understands the challenges of your business landscape to gain optimal benefits from your customer support tool. By providing comprehensive helpdesk training to your team, agents can learn and implement optimal helpdesk practices, explore useful features, shortcuts, and become more comfortable using the helpdesk on a daily basis.

 

12. Measure Customer Satisfaction with Surveys

Once you have implemented the appropriate help desk software, you can easily gather feedback and measure customer satisfaction levels through the use of customer satisfaction surveys. Collecting quantifiable data on how well your customers perceive your product or service is essential in making meaningful improvements to their overall experience. 

With help desks like Freshdesk, administrators have the option to include survey links in all emails or limit them to specific cases. This allows you to track and reference all aspects of customer interactions, involve relevant teams in the conversation, follow up on updates, and effortlessly respond to survey respondents once their feedback has been addressed.

 

Conclusion

Onboarding your help desk is a crucial aspect of customer support. Along with becoming familiar with your products/services, company policies, and processes, following these best practices will guide service representatives in providing effective customer interactions. It is important to choose the right help desk software and partner closely with a help desk provider that understands your business needs and supports the scalability of your help desk as your business grows. Additionally, ensure that your help desk has the capabilities to adapt to emerging trends.