Posts Tagged ‘help desk management’

Just What is Help Desk Software?

January 2, 2013 3 comments

What is Help Desk Software?

This write-up provides an overview of today’s modern help desk software features and requirements. Included below are links to valuable service desk resources and software downloads.

Help desk or service desk software works to automate the service management and support function. Typical support desk purposes include helping users retrieve lost passwords, helping customers troubleshoot product issues, assisting employees with hardware and software technical problems, and more. There are number of service and support solutions available that offer rich and robust functionality for optimizing the help desk management process. Common service desk application features include:

  • Incident, problem and request management: This covers one of the main facets of service automation softare — to assist end users and customers in troubleshooting hardware, software, product, and other technical or operational/process related issues (including, of course, lost passwords). Good help desk software will include rich capabilities for service desk staff to troubleshoot, diagnose and solve issues quickly and effectively. More robust software will enable end users to solve issues for themselves, without the help of the support staff (which is a big plus for help desk operations).
  • Self-service capabilites via the Web and mobile: More traditional help desk implementations were client/server based and forced the end user or customer to contact the support desk directly for problem solving and general questions. Today’s modern help desk managment solutions are built with accessibility and mobility in mind, taking advantage of more sophisticated and secure web and mobile technologies — a.k.a SaaS, the “cloud”. Hosted service desk packages make it easier for client sites to implement, while rich web-based interfaces and mobile accessibility apps empower help desk staff, users and customers to troubleshoot issues no matter where they are. Self-service capabilities work to reduce help desk stress and dependency, making for a more efficient and proactive support staff. This leads to higher satisfaction levels across the board – staff, users, and customers.
  • Service level agreement management: Key to maintaining an effective help desk (as well as client relationship) is understanding the measures, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs) that govern the process. Service desk software equipped with SLA management capability helps ensure a more effective process and delivery of support servies. Degradation in service delivery can be costly, damaging, and difficult to recover from. When evaluating software, make sure it includes provisions for SLA management.
  • Knowledge management: A subset of the incident/problem management, knowledge management capability ensures the support desk is not only provisioned with pre-defined problem/resolution “pairs” (to answer the more basic and predictable questions expediently), but also has the ability to “learn” in a sort of “cognitive” fashion. The “smarter” the help desk software in terms of “self learning”, the more effectively the software can help automate end user and customer problem resolution without the need for service desk staff to intervene. On the flip side, making problem resolution data readily available to the support desk staff ensures the quickest and most effective help desk ticket resolution possible. When evaluating software, rich knowledge managment capabilities – including the ability to define problem resolution sets, rules and knowledge trees – will ensure peak satisfaction and service delivery efficiency.

Other key service desk software features:

  • IT asset management
  • Change management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Customer relationship management

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It’s a Perfect 10: Rules that Can Help You Manage Your Help Desk Better!

August 28, 2011 2 comments

We came across this recent story providing useful tips for ‘slick and sane’ help desk management.

Since we know how crazy the help desk environment can be — and how difficult it can be to streamline operations and ensure your support personnel AND end users are happy — solid guidelines like these can go a long way.

Enjoy this read, and then stop by for more tips, tricks, and advice on how to optimize your help desk operations. Be sure to visit our ‘Help Desk Coach‘ resource section for real help desk Q&A, white papers, case studies and more.




Ten rules for a slick and sane helpdesk

1. Patience
If you’ve done any remote support, you’ll know that users can really tax your patience. I have actually had users seize control of the mouse from me while I am trying to solve their problem — just so they could compose an email.

Many users seem to think their problem is the only one you have to deal with and prevent you from working efficiently. Some of them struggle with the terminology needed to communicate their problem to you. It is essential to have patience in reserve when dealing with these types of people. Not only will your patience help them, it will keep your blood pressure down.

2. Compassion
I have experienced users crying on the phone because of an IT problem. In these instances, your compassion is essential. You must remember that in some cases their problems are preventing them from completing an important task or doing business. When users have a lot at stake, their stress levels can be high and they’re bound to be tetchy. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you would deal with it. Try to be understanding so your users feel you are on their side and doing everything to make the problem go away.

>> Click here to see the rest of this story

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