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How an IT Help Desk Can Provide a Perfect Customer Experience

How an IT Help Desk Can Provide a Perfect Customer ExperienceIf you run an IT help desk, providing a fast and effective service is key to retaining your customers and keeping them happy.

Providing a great IT help desk service is about far more than computer skills. You and your staff need to view the service through the customers’ eyes to ensure you consistently meet their expectations.

Here are some pointers to help your IT business provide the kind of IT help desk service that every customer is looking for:

  1. Appreciate the level of urgency. What, to you, may seem like a fairly insignificant technical problem may actually be a huge source of stress to the person experiencing it. Perhaps they have a deadline, or are at the point of closing an important sale. So always make sure you ascertain how urgent each issue is. You are there to provide a service to the customer by fixing problems – you’re not doing it as a favor.

  2. Consider “work-arounds” as well as solutions. Sometimes, the nature of a problem may mean you cannot fix it immediately. If, for example, a hardware failure means a wait for a part, think about other ways in which you can allow a user to continue to work effectively and minimize the interruption to their working day.

  3. Ensure your staff knows the infrastructures they are working on. Users must have confidence that they are talking to a technician who knows their network. Ensure that everyone providing helpdesk support is suitably briefed on each client site and never purely “winging it.” If your staff lacks knowledge, your customers will spot it a mile off.

  4. Have a range of remote access tools available. Try to ensure that your helpdesk team has a choice of remote access methods available, so that if they struggle to gain access to a PC with one, they can swiftly try another. Users will quickly get frustrated if you give them vague instructions about updating Java and allowing Active-X controls to run.

  5. Ensure helpdesk staff can clearly talk users through procedures. Sometimes remote access tools won’t work, and it will become necessary to revert back to the “old fashioned” way of providing IT help desk support. Talking users through what to click and why is a skill all of its own, and one that doesn’t necessarily come naturally to the technically minded. It helps to ensure everyone has access to the operating systems and software in use at each client site, so that they can talk users through their actions visually: not just saying “click the “advanced” button,” but instead saying “click the “advanced” button in the bottom right of the “properties” window.”

  6. Don’t patronize. Technical people know instinctively that trying to send a 30MB attachment will probably result in a jammed up mail server and a rejection at the other end, but there’s really no reason why a technophobe would know this. In these cases, it’s important to politely educate and help, regardless of how daft the actions of the user may seem to be.

  7. Keep good documentation. Use an effective call logging system and make sure good notes are taken of each call. The one thing guaranteed to upset users is having to call back, speak to another helpdesk team member and explain their problem again from the start.

  8. Follow up each call. Use some kind of system to ensure every issue is followed up. A good way of doing so is to send an email to the user when a call is closed, inviting them to respond if any element of their problem remains unresolved.

  9. Notice trends. The calls coming in from users are a rich source of information on the stability of each infrastructure. As such, it should be easy to spot trends and patterns and respond to them proactively. For example, if a single user calls to say their machine is running slowly, it’s likely a problem unique to their PC – but if several callers call the same day to complain about performance, there’s probably something more significant going on that requires server-level investigation.

  10. Seek feedback from clients. When you talk to your client contacts, perhaps at scheduled IT strategy meetings, ask them how well your IT help desk is performing and invite them to suggest ways you can improve. Everyone has had experience with IT helpdesks, both good and bad. If you want to hang on to your clients, you must make sure that yours is one of the good ones.


What do you consider essential in running a quality IT help desk? Share your views in the Comments box below


And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on How to Start a Computer Consulting Business: 6 Proven Ways to Build Your Initial Client Base

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