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11 Help Desk Best Practices That Every Business Needs To Follow

No matter the size of your business, from a small start-up to a global organization, excellent customer service is vital to succeeding long-term. Customers expect a great user experience and a high level of assistance when required, so your help desk needs to be at the top of its game at all times. Here are our 11 help desk best practices to guarantee that your business’ help desk is working to its optimal capacity and that your customers are left satisfied. 

Why Is It Important To Adhere To Help Desk Best Practices?

In terms of customer retention and building your reputation to gain new customers, the capability of your help desk is of the utmost importance. Especially if you want to stand out from the crowd. In modern business, customer satisfaction is crucial, as online reviews and feedback can persuade or deter new customers from using your services.  

Businesses must consider every factor when developing their help desk, from processes to reporting, to deliver the perfect user experience. 

11 Help Desk Best Practices for Your Business To Follow

To help you plan and develop your help desk, we have outlined our top 11 best practices to ensure the best service possible.

1. Select the Best Help Desk Software To Use

Capable help desk software is critical for managing your support ticketing system effectively and responding to customer queries quickly and efficiently. 

When choosing your help desk software, ‌consider the following factors:

  • Whether it’s suitable for your business needs
  • If it is compatible with your customer communication channels 
  • Usability, support, and training for a simple transition
  • Additional features, such as the issuing and managing of invoices and payments.
  • Price

2. Assess Your Current Processes

Implementing a new and successful help desk system does not mean starting from scratch. It is likely that some of your existing processes are still fit for purpose and could serve you well in the future. Therefore, your next step should be to assess your current practices and decide which ones to keep or repurpose. 

This can also help limit the amount of training that is required, creating some continuity and familiarity. Similarly, customers may like some of the current elements of your help desk procedure and interface. So it may be a good idea to integrate new features into the old system rather than reinventing the wheel. 

3. Create a Flawless Customer Journey

Your help desk software should provide customers with several communication channels to make their life easier. This omnichannel approach does not have to be complicated; you just need high-quality software to manage and unify queries and support tickets so they can be picked up by your customer service team or live chat agents.

Regardless of which channel the customer uses, the journey needs to be seamless, ensuring they don’t have to repeat themselves or wait too long for a response. The system should gather as much information and context as possible so your agents can identify the problem quickly and offer a prompt response. 

4. Organize Your Help Desk 

Organize your help desk into groups, with specific agents allocated for different query types. This means that agents will only see tickets that apply to them, resulting in better workflow and efficiency. 

You can set up tools to identify keywords within support tickets that relate to specific issues. These tickets can then be directed to the group dealing with that query or problem. Ticket management is a key consideration when choosing your help desk software. 

5. Use Automation Tools

Automation tools can make the lives of your employees a lot easier, prioritizing the most urgent tickets and sorting them into the correct groups, so they reach the relevant agent. You can also set the rules so that high-importance or priority customer tickets are immediately sent to your more experienced agents to receive special attention. 

These automation tools work in real-time to speed up the help desk process, minimizing the chances of missing new queries. As a result, your staff can spend less time organizing tickets and more time helping and communicating with customers. 

6. Integrate Third-Party Apps

Your business and its customers may use many third-party apps. Fortunately, most help desk software can help integrate apps such as Shopify, WhatsApp, or your chosen sales tool to help your agents understand the customer’s issue with more context. This also means that all the information will be available on one platform, and your team doesn’t need to switch between different tabs or windows. 

7. Create Quick Response Templates

Some tickets may refer to repetitive issues flagged up in your live chat function many times a day. Quick (or canned) response templates can help your agents deliver rapid responses to reassure your customers about issue resolution. Providing your team with a range of templates reduces the ‌time spent going back and forth between messages, meaning agents can resolve issues quicker. 

8. Team Collaboration and Training

When implementing any new system, training and team collaboration are essential to ensure everybody is on the same wavelength.  Before you launch the new software and processes, your help desk team should be comfortable using it. 

Collaborating with your existing team on what the help desk should do and not do is a good way to build a functional system they can understand and enjoy using. 

9. Set Standards With Service Level Agreements

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) set minimum standards that can help establish key performance indicators (KPIs), so your staff knows what is expected of them. This will also allow your team to deliver better customer service consistently by setting response deadlines. 

For improved performance, you can set different SLAs for different tickets, issue reminders when deadlines are close, and escalate cases should a query remain unresolved. 

10. Set Up Real-Time Reporting

Once you set the KPIs, you can implement real-time reporting and create dashboards to monitor the help desk’s performance. Team leaders can analyze a range of metrics to determine the effectiveness of individuals and the overall team. This will allow them to spot trends and identify ways to adapt and improve. 

Valuable metrics can include:

  • The number of tickets submitted
  • The number of resolved or reopened tickets
  • Response times
  • Resolution times
  • SLA performance

11. Collect Customer Feedback and Data

Companies need Data collection to adjust to customer behaviors and requirements. Gathering regular feedback from your customers and staff can ensure you perfectly meet your clients’ needs. 

One easy way to gather useful feedback is through customer satisfaction surveys, which can even be incentivized for increased participation. 

Help Desk Best Practices

Following help desk best practices is crucial to succeeding in today’s competitive business landscape. The 11 help desk best practices above will help improve your customer service team’s efficiency. Start by assessing current processes to see which parts you can integrate into the new system. Then, develop a seamless customer journey, organize your help desk, and use automation whenever possible. The right help desk software like LiveHelpNow can take your support operations from average to awesome!