ExpertBeacon Logo

How to improve and create an efficient help desk

How to improve and create an efficient help desk

The number one key to help-desk success is your support technicians’ ability to handle human interactions. But that doesn’t mean that you, the manager, can just hire friendly people and relax your way to success. You still need to facilitate processes and report on key metrics to set up your team for success.

Read on for a little friendly advice for keeping your help desk in tip-top shape.


Do be responsive and transparent

As a customer, there’s nothing worse than thinking your email, voice message, call or ticket has gone into the void, where it will just be forgotten. Be transparent with your customers; respond in a timely manner to say you’ve received an issue and let them know when you begin your investigation into it. As soon as you have an ETA for when the issue will be fixed, let the customer know and give periodic updates until it’s resolved.

Do track key metrics

You can’t know how well your help desk is performing unless you’re reviewing key metrics on a regular basis to see how you’re trending and if any process improvements need to be made for the following month. Some key metrics to track are:

  • Response times: how quickly is your team initially responding to calls?
  • Resolution times: how quickly is your team resolving issues and getting back to customers with good news.
  • Open vs. close rates: are your customers opening issues faster than you’re closing them?
  • Customer satisfaction: are your customers happy with the quality of service they receive?

Do have the right tools for the job

Arming your front-line with the right tools for the job is critical. A screen-sharing solution will eliminate the need for technicians to wander over to the customer to see what they’re doing, allowing them to resolve issues more efficiently. If your customer needs to be able to physically see what the technician can see (which is typically the case in field service work), consider a camera-sharing tool.

Do look for certain skillsets

Individual technicians may have specialized knowledge about particular products or services. Set up a customized routing system to allow customer issues to get to the right person faster. This will have a massive impact on response and resolution times and overall customer satisfaction. And use the experts on your team to build a powerful knowledge base, so their specialized knowledge can help other team members resolve issues without any assistance.


Do not keep your customer in the dark

As a customer, there’s nothing worse than thinking your email, voice message, call or ticket has gone into the void and has been forgotten. Let your customers know that you received their message and be sure to follow up with them in a timely manner.

Do not rely on instinct to evaluate performance

There are better ways to justify a customer support role rather than trawling through emails to create a report. Most support professionals use a help-desk solution of some kind to track key metrics.

Do not rely on solving problems in person

Always look for ways to optimize your support process. Today’s support tools are both powerful and easy to use, reducing the need to travel on-site and saving associated time and transportation costs.

Do not bounce customers between departments

Very little in customer service is more frustrating than spending time explaining a problem to someone only to be passed on to another representative, explaining everything all over again, and then being bounced to another representative or even another department. Matching up technicians with the appropriate skill set is crucial to effectively supporting your customers: make sure support departments are structured in a way that the first contact with a customer leads to being routed to the right person for their specific issue.

Jumping cartoon

With these tips, you can stay on track and have an efficient help desk operation. But remember that processes only take you so far; you need the right tools for the job. Be sure to research online for software, tools, and companies that can help you create efficiency and keep your customers happy.

More expert advice about Business Operations

Photo Credits: PaulPaladin/; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Luke GrimpstrupProduct Manager, GoToAssist

Luke Grimstrup, Product Manager for Citrix GoToAssist, is passionate about ensuring his users deliver the best quality of support to their customers and managing the services they provide effectively and efficiently using industry standard servi...

View Full Profile