Happy IT Service Week (#ITSW15)! As we kick off a week dedicated to the awesome IT service team throughout each organization, we wanted to take a moment to think about a few ways to go from busy beavers with never quite enough time to get caught up to free work hours with less stress. Because as we all know, overwhelmed workers have a tendency to stray to competitors. Here are few things you can do now to make things better for your under-appreciated and overworked staff.
1. Provide Other Ways for Users to Get the Answers They Need
Have you provided users with a robust self-help portal and knowledge base? Many users would rather visit a website or use an app than to call, wait on hold, and have to explain their whole problem. Self-help options can include searchable knowledge bases where users can use keywords to look for the answers they need, as well as options like email help, chat and/or instant messaging, FAQ web pages, and more.
2. Establish a Fixed Protocol for Contacting the IT Help Desk
Are your users able to just pick up the phone and dial the help desk at will? This wastes a lot of your workers’ time, because it’s just too easy for users to call over trivial little things like printers running out of ink and resetting the Wi-Fi in the break room. Establish a policy to restrict calls to the help desk to those that are actually necessary. For example, you can require that users go through their supervisors before contacting the help desk to weed out silly issues before they get to you.
3. Give the Help Desk Workers a Time Limit on Fixing Software Issues
It is easy for a help desk worker to whittle away a half of a day, a whole day, or even more than one workday trying to troubleshoot a single software issue. Set a time limit. If the help desk worker can’t resolve the issue, say within a half hour or so, establish a rule that it’s then time to wipe the computer, reinstall the OS, and get on with their day. This saves time for both the help desk worker and the user, who also has productive things to get back to doing.
4. Keep Up With the History of Your Users and Devices on the Network
Some users are capable, tech savvy, and don’t bother your help desk unless absolutely necessary. Other users are unfamiliar with computers, software systems, and basic troubleshooting skills like a simple reboot. Some machines on your networks are stable, reliable, and kept tidy by their users. Others are prone to continual hardware and/or software problems. Use help desk software that will allow you to keep track of the users and machines on the system with a robust asset management system. Then when the help desk gets a call from a user about a machine, they know the history. This gives them an excellent springboard for finding and resolving the potential problem.
5. Allow the Help Desk the Right to Refuse Service Under Certain Circumstances
Do your workers often get calls on the help desk to resolve issues unrelated to IT, such as changing light bulbs, swapping out broken desk chairs, or fixing the telephone system? Don’t require that your workers respond to requests that fall outside their purview. Allow them to turn down and transfer calls that belong to another department.
What’s wasting the most time on your help desk? Find ways to cut down on the biggest time wasters and you’ll see IT productivity climb significantly.