Best Practices for Help/Service Desk
Become a World Class Provider of IT Service...
practices for a help desk are service management
oriented. They are the way an IT organization can be a
world class performer versus an average organization.
They are necessary for those organizations that are
going to succeed in these turbulent times. Here are ten
(10) best practices that we have seen are:
Make the help and service desk functions part of the
IT career path - not a holding area for poor
- Staff needs to have both technical and
communication skills to perform the user support
functions. They are the first point of contact.
They must have the ability to handle stressful
situations and unhappy users.
Implement a formal training program for users
- Employees who are effectively trained on how to
use business applications, will use the help desk
for real issues and will reduce the requirement to
use the help desk as a crutch because they do not
know how applications work.
Implement a formal training program for help desk
- Help desk staff that is properly trained will
provide more consistent service to the user base.
They understand the application better and have a
common policies, procedures, and processes they
follow which provides a consistent level of service
to the user base.
Provide a link between the Help Desk and the problem
- When a service request comes in via the help desk
do not have a layer of bureaucracy which inhibits
the help desk in coming up with a solution within a
reasonable time frame.
Place help desk resources close to users
- When a user has an issue that needs to be
addressed the help desk needs to be available then
and there. Time zones need to be taken into
account. If the help desk is on the East coast and
the users are on the West coast the help desk needs
to be available during the working hours of the
Staff to the level needed not the level approved
- When there is a hiring freeze and your enterprise
is in the process of implementing a new system, get
the extra staff needed. It will cost less in the
long run and be a much easier problem to address.
Implement a customer is always right process
- When a user addresses an issue via the Help Desk,
understand that it is an issue to them. If one user
has the problem then another has the same one or
will have. Do not assume that the customer is wrong
or there is no problem.
Implement a 7/24 Help Desk Solution - Users
work at all hours of the day and seven days of the
week. Have a way for the user to contact the help
desk on off hours and provide support when the
problem occurs and do not force the user to wait
until Monday at 9:00 AM Pacific Coast time.
Pay Help Desk staff for the coverage provided
- Compensate adequately for after hours support and
for 7/24 email - pager coverage
Provide updates to problem status in a timely manner
- Users should be updated on the status of issues
they have in a timely manner. It is always better
to call the user and tell them when you expect a
solution rather that has them call and ask.