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Help Desk Basics: How Effective Is Your Help Desk, Really?

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Help Desk Basics: How Effective Is Your Help Desk, Really?

Help Desk Basics

An Effective Help Desk

Before you can determine how effective your help desk is, you need to determine what your help desk does. What would you say your help desk’s most important purpose is?

I’ve had the opportunity to work on many different help desks of many different sizes. I’ve found, almost in every case, help desk technicians are unable to answer the basic question of why they work for the company. Some will say “We fix PCs!” or “We answer phones!”

Those may be good examples of their duties, but they do not directly answer why they have a job.

For internal IT help desks, the answer is simple, but rarely communicated or discussed:

The role of all help desk employees is to reduce employee downtime and maximize employee financial productivity.

If you or your team do not have a clear understanding of your primary goal, you may be working on solving problems that do not impact your core objectives. You will also never be able to truly determine how effective your help desk is.

Many metrics are available to help desk managers and employees, including Average Talk Time, Call Abandon Rates, First Level Resolution, Client Satisfaction Scores, etc. Out of all of your metrics, if “Financial Productivity” is your primary focus, this helps narrow down your key metrics to a smaller number.

I do want to state that all metrics are important to understand and measure, but decisions and directions should be primarily determined based on your key drivers. The # 1 most important metric when identifying effectiveness:

First Call Resolution 

How often does your help desk have the tools, knowledge, and access to resolve reported issues on the FIRST call, without delay or escalation? The only faster way to resolve an issue is by avoiding the issue altogether—a topic we will cover in a future blog post.

Do you agree?  Do you disagree?  I would love to hear from you!

By Steven White, Director of Customer Service, Managed Services

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