The growing number of information technology (IT) users seems to bother companies nowadays. Problems of companies with IT users vary from one person to another. In order to deal with IT user problems, companies set up their own help desks. Help desks is a service in which IT users are able to ask about some of their problems regarding products and services a company offers.
However, some problems arise from the quality of service that is given by held desks. In this paper, help desks issues and problems will be clarified. In relation to that, discussion on how to improve and handle help desks services will be presented in order to ensure the quality of assistance an IT user gets.
Companies create their own help desks in order to cut their operating costs. Usually, companies would resort to the use of business process outsourcing (BPO) in order to minimize costs. Companies hire call center agents and put them in their toll free lines or email to provide support to their customers (Miller, 2008).
Help Desks Dilemmas
Help desk is an important part of a business. If a help desk is properly functioning, customers will not leave your company. That is, customers will continue to use your products and services. Another thing is that, new customers will come to the company if help desks are performing very well. In help desks, the goal is to never let go of customers and to bring customers back. However, Problems now arise with regard to help desks performance and capability. One problem is the ability of the help desks to give technical support to its clients. The quality of help desk today is questionable. That is, companies lose their customers due to the problems with help desks services (Miller, 2008).
Setting Up Goals for Help Desks
Help desks is a vital part of a company. In order to provide good service to the customers, a company must have a fully functional help desk. In order to do so, companies must carefully design how they will put up their help desks in such a way that it will attain its main goal and that is to provide quality support to its customers. To attain the main goal of help desks, companies must follow physical and simple ergonomics in order to provide quality support to customers (Miller, 2008).
Companies must consider some things in order to put up help desks. First thing to consider is the physical attributes of help desks. Physical attributes of help desks involve tools and technologies that are used by help desks personnel in order to provide support to their customers.
Due to companies cost restraints, help desks set up is on the verge of choosing between packaged and custom technologies. In choosing between packaged and custom technologies, one must out in mind that the tools to be acquired must be able to harmonize with the users of the tool rather than causing difficulties to the user itself. That is, if technologies will complicate a work then one should not buy it (Bayan, 2003).
A package technology cost less compared to customized one. In addition to that, package technologies are easier to implement than customized technologies. If a company is not interested for a very long payback, then a company must choose packaged technologies. Some of the common tools for help desk are call tracking software like HEAT service and Support.
This is ideal for small to medium help desks set up. However, if one wishes or have plans of expanding help desks in the future, then full scale package applications should be acquired. An example of a full scale application is automatic call distributor (ACD) (Bayan, 2003).
After the physical considerations, the next thing to focus on in setting up a help desks is ergonomics. Physical considerations alone are not enough in providing a good support to customers. A good team of help desk personnel is important in providing good support to customers. Except for a rigorous screening of qualified personnel, one must also consider some concepts in maximizing the efficiency of help desks personnel (Bayan, 2003).
Firs concept is teamwork. In this stage a company that is planning to put up a help desks must have all the personnel needed. However, putting different people in the same room may cause problems in running help desks. Teamwork is a concept to understand and to apply in order to attain the full potential of each personnel. With teamwork being present, skills of personnel will be enhanced with some mentoring. Mentoring can be done in help desks services because personnel have different level of expertise with them. Another thing is that help can be easily provided in a team that is intact and interconnected (Bayan, 2003).
The next is proximity. A crowded work place may be an unsuitable area for help desks personnel to work. This may hinder providing of good service to customers. In order to maximize personnel efficiency, a good work place must be provided. A work place must be good enough so that other personnel will be able to hear their clients during work. This is to provide a good customer-help desk relationship (Bayan, 2003).
Harmony is the next concept. Harmony means that help desk personnel should work along with all of the things inside a help desks area. That includes other personnel, equipments, tools and the work place it self. A good work place should be set up in a way that help desks personnel can move freely and can provide stress free feeling (Bayan, 2003).
Understanding the Customer
Once the set up is done and the personnel are ready to go, the next thing is to understand customers. This means that the company must know the customers which they are dealing with. These customers can be separated to two categories, knowledge and process customers. Process customers are the ones that ask for simple day to day questions. The knowledge customers are the ones that ask for complex product or service questions. With proper identification of customers, one can properly distribute agents or analysts in order to answer questions of the customers (Bayan, 2004).
Unity and Agreement
After the goal, set up, personnel and customers, one must put them all together in one full show. This means that all the components must agree with each other in order to have a good technical support. If the components do not agree with each other, then one must balance it. Balancing means that one must put a component in its right place or replace it as soon as possible, to achieve an agreement with the components (Bayan, 2004).
Providing a quality support to IT users is an important part of a company that wants to obtain more customers. In order to provide a good technical support, one must always remember some pointers. Help desks should always aim for the goal. That is to provide quality support to IT users or customers. Good help desks should have all the proper technologies.
Good help desks should have personnel that are efficient. Next is to identify customers in order to determine difficulty of problems and to answer the problems with much more ease. Last is that good help desk should have unity and agreement. Complementing technologies and personnel, workplace and customers should have a good balance in order to attain the goal for help desks. In this way, a good quality technical support can be given to each customer that they may encounter (Bayan, 2004).
Bayan, R. (2003). Setting Up Help Desk. TechRepublic. Retrieved May 7, 2009 from http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-5112459.html
Bayan R. (2004). Try These Efficiency Strategies when Setting Up a Help Desk. TechRepublic. Retrieved May 7, 2009 from http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-5112468.html
Miller, S. (2008). On the Lookout for Metrics for Help Desk. EzineArticles. Retrieved May 7, 2009 from http://ezinearticles.com/?On-the-Lookout-For-Metrics-For-Help-Desk&id=1490239