Does Your Help Desk Need Help? 7 Bottlenecks That Hamper Growth

Companies with Help Desk support that leaves end users singing praises far and wide can be pretty tough to find — complaints about bottlenecks are much more common. But bottlenecks are fixable! There’s no reason your team or your IT department (if you have one) has to get frustrated.

Here are seven of the most common Help Desk bottlenecks and what your company can do to help get your IT flowing smoothly again:

1. Long wait and resolution times.
The biggest bottleneck is usually a staff that’s too small — makes perfect sense. As with anything else in life, if there aren’t enough people to fix the problems, the problems will stack up. And productivity will take a hit, especially if your team tries workarounds that end up making things worse. The solution is pretty straightforward — hire the number of technicians you need to keep your team working productively. If that won’t work for your budget, look into outsourcing some or all of your Help Desk support, which also frees up your IT staff to work on other things.

2. Things fall through the cracks.
It’s pretty common for individual IT tickets to fall through the cracks. They can get passed around, triaged, moved to the bottom of the stack, deleted or accidentally miscategorized. Trying to track using email is a nightmare, even for small companies, and end users end up having to explain everything all over again after having waited too long already. Or employees can begin to mistrust the Help Desk process entirely and choose to avoid it instead of using it. A strong, efficient, trustworthy system is the way to go. Whether it’s a robust ITIL based system, or a basic cloud-based ticketing system, you’ll avoid bottlenecks with a standardized, accountable tracking system.

3. The gatekeeper model.
When the person who picks up the phone is not the person who can help you, he or she is actually a dispatcher, which in itself is a bottleneck. When the first point of contact is a trained Help Desk technician who can resolve IT issues on the spot, that first tightening of the problem funnel simply disappears. Skip the dispatcher level and let your team speak with someone who can help them during the first interaction — most Help Desk issues aren’t that difficult to resolve.

4. Callbacks that turn into phone tag.
When your employees need help with IT, they need it right then. Later that day they probably have meetings and tomorrow they’ll have flights to catch. When Help Desk technicians call back, they leave messages. And when your employees return the Help Desk techs’ call, the techs are busy working on other problems. To keep phone tag from eating up productivity, your Help Desk support team should take every effort to connect with end users when they’re available. Have a no-callback goal.

5. Your employees have unique personalities.
Each one of your employees thinks differently, approaches things differently, responds to things differently, and has a different way of completing tasks. That’s not going to change — humans are individuals and sometimes quirky. Sammy, Amy, Marty and Charles are all good examples. Your Help Desk staff needs to know how to interact with all types of people and have a system that doesn’t favor the loudest ones or the ones with the fanciest titles. The most critical IT problems could be plaguing your quietest, most polite new hires! Train your Help Desk staff to be as good at working with people as they are with technology.

6. Some staff work evenings and weekends but your IT staff does not.
Chances are you want your employees to be able to get work done at night and on weekends, if needed. And if they have an IT problem after hours, you want them to be able to get the help they need. Same goes for employees who travel — they need help for IT problems regardless of the time zone they happen to be in. Help Desk support that isn’t around the clock leads to phone tag, workarounds and longer resolution times — all those frustrating bottlenecks. Have a skilled Help Desk technician on call at all times.

7. Things keep changing!
It’s tough to keep up with the latest versions of everything. Apps, malware, breaches, hardware, cloud offerings — few things move as fast as changes to IT. The best solution today may not be the best solution used a month ago. And if a problem is malware-related, even last week isn’t the best reference point. Make sure your Help Desk policies and procedures include frequent and robust training — weekly is best. The most potentially harmful bottlenecks are ones exacerbated by lack of knowledge.

If your goal is an optimized IT environment that helps your company grow and prosper, you need highly effective Help Desk support. The faster problems get solved, the sooner your team can get back to work. Leapfrog offers a range of managed IT services, including 24/7/365 Help Desk Support. We pride ourselves in our lightning-fast resolution speeds and deep knowledge of all things IT. Customer service as Priority One means no more bottlenecks!

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