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A Helpdesk without Calls... What next?

By n0tl0b ·
A Helpdesk lives on it's incoming calls, but all good support functions should be striving to reduce those incoming calls because it shows an improving technical environment and staff with better technical ability.

So, once you've implemented automated account management, trained staff in their product set, secured and controlled the desktop, etc, etc, iimplemented highly available systems, and the calls have actually reduced... What next for the Helpdesk?

Maybe the Helpdesk could be shrunk in size, but that's not a great incentive for the team to drive down incoming calls! Much better to utilise that existing resource to do other things to support the business' technology, but what?!

So, what should we be getting Helpdesks to do once call volumes have been successfully driven down?

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Help Desk often an entry-level position

by CharlieSpencer In reply to A Helpdesk without Calls. ...

Most people use a help desk job as a springboard to something better. If your company staffs the help desk with entry level personnel, they'll eventually move up or out and the staff size will reduce through attrition.

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True, but not this one

by n0tl0b In reply to Help Desk often an entry- ...

Historically that's what Helpdesks have been used for, but I think that's short-sighted. Why on earth would you put people with little/no experience on your most customer centric team? We've staffed our Helpdesk with experienced Helpdesk specialists with plenty of experience and we've reaped the rewards by high customer satisfaction.
Yes, people will still want to move on, but I don't particularly want to lose these people, they're really good at what they do!

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Value Add

by vharnadha In reply to A Helpdesk without Calls. ...

An HelpDesk is just not for the purpose of resolving customer issues (conventional view) but the next challenge for HelpDesk is to provid value addition through this channel. Converting this channel into an effective business Channel (Not Marketing alone) with effective tools will be next story soon.

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Diversify

by Candy In reply to A Helpdesk without Calls. ...

Our HelpDesk, of which I'm a part, falls under our Business Services dept., under the IS umbrella. We also handle the purchasing of hardware and software, as well as assisting with other company-wide communication activities, helping to keep our various offices in touch.

Will there ever actually come a time when the HelpDesk becomes unnecessary? I don't think so.
As much as things may be automated, as much as people can be trained, as much as we can offer and urge self-service and reduce the need for 'help' there will always be people, our users, who prefer a real person to help and discuss, or even to let them know that 'yes, that's right' - whatever the issue may be.

I refer you to the automated telephone answering systems.. how many times have we dialed up a number, wanting to speak to real person, only having to jump through hoops and press 1 and 2 and # until we're blue in the face, and eventually toss our hands in the air in frustration? :) Or is that just me?

C~

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IMO

by ctmcswain In reply to A Helpdesk without Calls. ...

I worked for a local health care provider where they actually took their typical "help desk" down and turning it into, basically, a customer support services center. Sounds weird? Yeah, I thought so too but when you think about it, the just turned their customers into the hospital's employees. This entire situation basically turned the "Help Desk" into a front line of defense. Just my thoughts and experience though.

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Improving technical env. or demoralized end users?

by stress junkie In reply to A Helpdesk without Calls. ...

Mark Twain said "There are liars; there are damned liars, and there are statisticians." You have to be careful about how you interpret metrics of any kind. People may not call the help desk because they are discouraged with the help desk responses.

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Statistics backed up by feedback/opinion

by n0tl0b In reply to Improving technical env. ...

Mark Twain was totally right, but in this case our stats are backed up by feedback requested by us and volunteered from the business.

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Use the helpdesk personnel as a training resource

by wallowamichael In reply to A Helpdesk without Calls. ...

Many helpdesk folks are very well trained and/or have highly detailed, specific knowledge about a particular technology. When the volume of calls starts dropping, have them learn a new technology, then offer a class to the user community on how to use the technology. That way, the helpdesk people continue to learn new things, and they can train general users on new tech before it hits the corporate network.
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I have this trouble in the schools all the time. Teachers call, parents call, students can't remember passwords, etc. I looked at the highest volume of calls and sent one of my helpdesk out in person to the schools to train on the problem rather than just responding to the calls. Guess what? The calls all but stopped!<BR><BR>
Now, my helpdesk of four is actually one fulltime phone person, two half time phone, half time trainers, and one full time trainer. The satisfaction surveys about the helpdesk department are the highest they've ever been, and continue to go up.
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And, I still have a fully staffed 'helpdesk', even though they are doing other things, and even though the call load only justifies two or at most three people.

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Heres a quirky idea...

by The B_rad H In reply to A Helpdesk without Calls. ...

Send one of your help desk operators to the CEO/Presidents office and get them to sit in the corner and wait for the CEO/President to return.

When the operator gets questioned by the CEO/president as to why he is here he can simply say:

"The help desk team has become so efficient in reducing the number of help desk calls through training, educating and helping our staff that we can now dedicate the additional time to developing new ways to increase top line revenue for the company using information technology. So far we have come up with 4 different ideas to implement that will increase revenue and my department head sent me here to show them to you. Now, do you have 5 minutes to spare?"

Who knows what will happen? I wish you all the best. No matter what, it sounds like your team has done a great job. Well done.

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Support never ends

by jda.siej In reply to A Helpdesk without Calls. ...

Even if you implemented all the things you mentioned, fortunately for us always there will be users with support needs, so as one of the reply?s said, you can use the HD to give support in the use of the computer itself (macros, how to, and so on).

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