How To Manage Your IT Helpdesk

Your IT help desk serves a critical role in ensuring smooth day-to-day operations. When poorly managed, your help desk will lead to further workflow bottlenecks and unnecessary interruptions – that’s bad for business and frustrating for employees.

The good news is that, with just a few simple steps, your help desk will be running like a well-oiled machine.

In this article, we cover practical IT help desk strategy and discuss some of the most effective features of IT help desk tools. We’ll also address the advantages of an IT help desk outsourcing service.

What is an IT Helpdesk?

Before getting started, let’s define what a help desk actually is. Though it seems obvious, it’s not uncommon to confuse the role of the help desk with the role of the service desk. In fact, you’ll often hear the terms used interchangeably.

While both combine technical knowledge and customer service, they act on different levels within an organization.

IT help desk strategy

Help Desk

A help desk is your organization’s frontline support for everyday IT problems. From software to hardware, it’s a reactive solution where expert technicians provide direct assistance.

Common tasks include password resets, adding/deleting users, creating accounts, installing software, and general maintenance.

Generally speaking, there are three tiers that reflect the level of support required to resolve an issue.

Tier 1

As the lowest level of support, tier 1 is considered “first-touch resolution. These are easier changes or fixes that do not require research or in-depth knowledge.

Tier 2

A problem may be escalated to tier 2 if it requires more in-depth knowledge to solve. Product specialists may perform extensive troubleshooting.

Tier 3

Tier 3 is reserved for the most complicated IT issues. Engineers, programmers, and even the chief architects of the product may get involved. They will generally simulate the problem to determine the root cause.

Service Desk

Whereas help desks tackle daily issues on an individual level, a service desk works on a strategic level to improve IT services on behalf of the organization. This is a data-driven approach and relies on the use of IT service management (ITSM) tools.

There are many frameworks for implementing ITSM. One of the most popular is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL protocols were first introduced in 1989 and are grounded in the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle.

These are highly customizable solutions that evolve over time. And, while you don’t need to implement every ITIL process, here are a few to consider.

Incident Management

This goal of incident management is to identify and resolve each individual issue as quickly as possible.

Problem Management

Problem management is used when a group of incidents continues to occur. The goal is to minimize the number and frequency of these problems by determining the root cause and finding solutions.

Change Management

Change management aims to identify and mitigate issues during organizational transitions. The objective is to implement standardized and efficient procedures to minimize disruptions and risks.

IT help desk tools

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IT Help Desk Management Strategies

Properly managing your IT help desk is an effective way to reduce workflow interruptions, improve productivity, and foster a happy work environment. Let’s take a look at some practical methods to get you started.

1. Track IT Help Desk Performance Metrics

Data alone is as useful as a credit card in the Sahara desert. But, when combined with the right analytics, it becomes a powerful tool to boost performance.

Though the following list is nowhere near exhaustive, here are three common service desk metrics.

Response Time

Response time is a measure of the time between when a ticket is received and when it’s addressed. According to HubSpot, 90% of help desk customers consider an “immediate” response to be vital. Of those, 60% quantify “immediate” as within 10 minutes.

Tracking response time will show you which issue types get the fastest attention and which get the slowest. You want to make sure that urgent tickets receive the priority they deserve.

Backlog

When your team becomes inundated with more tickets than it can manage, a backlog occurs. Even a small backlog can quickly stack up, growing larger and larger and decreasing response time.

Backlogs can be addressed by providing customers with a self-service portal or by creating an internal knowledge base to resolve frequently encountered issues.

First-Contact Resolution Rate

The ratio of tickets successfully resolved within a single session is your first-contact resolution rate. This key metric reflects your team’s problem-solving abilities and their patience to see an issue through to the end.

Notice a dip in resolution rate? Take the time to investigate what might be going awry: Consider potentially awkward workflows, system glitches, or an oversight in training. Finally, make sure your staff has access to the resources they need to get the job done.

You may also want to track more abstract metrics like customer satisfaction and even agent satisfaction. Keeping each team member happy is the best way to ensure your help desk is always performing at a high level.

Whichever help desk performance metrics you decide to track, the right software is indispensable. Next, we’ll discuss the advantages of an issue tracking system.

Intellicomp Tip: Track as many IT help desk statistics as possible. This will give you a deeper and more holistic understanding of the help desk’s strengths and weaknesses.

IT help desk outsourcing

2. Install Help Desk Software

Help desk software is a small investment that will save your organization a lot of time and money, while providing a better overall customer experience. These versatile platforms are highly customizable and feature-rich. Some of these features include:

  • Managing incoming tickets
  • Automating processes
  • Streamlining workflow
  • Recording common issues or inquiries
  • Routing topics to the right people
  • Tracking key metrics

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Ticketing Systems vs. Shared Inbox

An issue tracking system, or ticketing system, is the most efficient way to manage IT issues. Nevertheless, many small businesses and startups operate just fine without one. Instead, they rely on a shared inbox to collect, address, and collaborate on IT problems.

So, can small businesses really benefit from an issue ticketing system?

The answer is yes. Triaging and resolving issues have been vastly simplified thanks to help desk software. These platforms allow your team to handle a significantly higher ticket volume while reducing the resolution time of support tickets. It’s a huge improvement over cluttered inboxes, Post-It notes, and messy spreadsheets.

IT Help Desk Performance Metrics

3. Outsourcing IT Help Desk Services

There are many benefits to IT help desk outsourcing. For one, the cost is significantly lower than hiring an in-house help desk staff.

Additionally, the best outsourced IT help desk companies provide you with 24/7 customer service and customer support.

Finally, working with outsourcers can give your organization access to additional offerings that can be bundled into a single service package for a lower price.

Take Your IT Help Desk to the Next Level With Intellicomp

Whether it’s tracking a particular performance metric or efficiently addressing support requests, Intellicomp’s 24/7 help desk is always at your service. We offer:

  • O365 or GSuite management
  • Network management
  • IT advice
  • IT help desk policies and procedures
  • Troubleshooting
  • Basic installs and modifications
  • Third-party vendor liaison
  • Workstation setup
  • Easy click tickets
  • On-site remediation

Do you have an urgent technical problem that needs to be solved? Consider it done. At Intellicomp, we provide you with all the IT help desk support tools you need to reach your IT help desk goals. Contact us today for more information.