A quick Internet search for help desk best practices will yield literally hundreds of results all touting more or less the same points. Rather than just repeating the same old list once more, this article discusses the most commonly promoted best practices in the context of what should be the two most important goals of any IT department: improving end-user satisfaction and lowering costs.
Some argue that these two goals are mutually exclusive and that one can only be attained at the expense of the other. In truth, they are complimentary and even necessary to one another. The fastest way to both improve end-user satisfaction and lower costs is to reduce trouble ticket resolution times. Use the following tips that outline a strategy to just that:
1. Hire the right people - This point might seem too obvious to even mention, but time and again, IT and Help Desk Managers use the wrong strategy when hiring help desk analysts. When hiring, managers should look for candidates who are empathetic, patient, and articulate. Notice that having great tech skills wasn't mentioned. Having tech skills is certainly important, but those can be taught. In contrast, managers simply cannot teach someone how to be empathetic. Hiring techs with these qualities is the key to end-user satisfaction and end-user satisfaction is one of the keys to reducing trouble ticket resolution times.
2. Provide training and constant feedback - If managers employ the hiring strategy from the first point, they will necessarily need to provide training to their staffs. It is important to keep help desk staff up to date on new releases of software and hardware they support. Certification programs like MCITP and support frameworks like ITIL are also great ways to improve skillsets and they enhance employee satisfaction by bolstering their credentials. It is also important to provide constant feedback to help desk analysts. Don't wait until their annual reviews to tell them they are doing things right or wrong. Feedback and training help techs become more proficient at their jobs, and proficient techs help lower costs while providing great end-user support.
3. Communication is key - If a manager wants to improve end-users' satisfaction, he or she absolutely has to keep them informed about the progress of problems they have reported. To end-users, silence seems like a lack of progress or worse, that IT is ignoring their requests. Too many times, help desk analysts solve problems and simply close trouble tickets or fail to communicate to the end-user that they are researching the problem or conferring with other techs. Put a set of reasonable guidelines in place about how and when to communicate to end-users. Then, take it a step further and communicate to the end-users exactly what those guidelines are. This will help manage end-users' expectations and give techs the breathing room they need to research and resolve problems.
4. Don't wait to escalate - If there is one thing that leads to lower productivity for both techs and end-users, it is allowing a tech to struggle for too long with a problem. If a second-level tech can solve in 10 minutes a problem that would take a first-level tech an hour, it makes sense to escalate the ticket and let the first-level tech move on to other tickets. Implement a time-based policy for the escalation of trouble tickets that makes sense for the organisation. This is an easy way to decrease the trouble ticket counts and end-user frustration while increasing productivity.
5. Help end-users help themselves - Create an easily searchable external knowledge base for the organisation that let's end-users find quick resolutions to easy problems. Add a section for the most commonly encountered problems that end-users can resolve themselves. This will reduce the number of trouble tickets in the queue while increasing end-user satisfaction. It can also help improve job satisfaction for techs by letting them focus on more challenging problems.
6. You can't manage what you don't measure - This is especially true for end-user satisfaction. Survey end-users about how satisfied they are with each and every trouble ticket they open with the help desk. This information can help managers identify weak spots and provide helpful feedback to techs. Take it a step further and follow up with end-users that gave low marks to find out what the techs could have done better. Let them know that their manager heard them loud and clear. This will go a long way toward improving relations between the help desk and end-users.
7. Give techs the tools they need - Reduce trouble ticket resolution times and improve end-user satisfaction through the use of IT management tools. Remote support software is a great example of this type of IT management tool. Some remote support software let IT pros take control of a user's computer or complete Windows administration tasks like restarting services and checking event logs from a console on the help desk analyst's desktop. Network management software with advanced network troubleshooting tools and features that let an IT pro monitor network performance is another helpful example. .
8. Track and manage assets - Asset tracking can help manage costs and improve end-user satisfaction. Nothing makes an end-user happier than a new computer. Asset management tools help by sending alerts about end-of-life equipment. Some asset management tools can also send alerts about expiring service contracts and warranties. An up-to-date warranty on a server can mean the difference between email being down for a day and email being down for a week. Some asset management tools allow effective tracking and management of software licenses. When an end-user requests software, it is helpful to know if there are available licenses. Get to the request faster and improve end-user satisfaction.
9. Automate processes - It is important to make the distinction here that IT managers should only try to automate processes that don't require the human touch. For example, when a user sends in a request for software or hardware that requires approval, a person should act. However, some help desk software will allow managers to set up an automated process that notifies the end-user that they need approval and lets their manager know what they have requested. Automating processes can reduce help desk analysts' exposure to tedious and time-consuming tasks and let them focus on real trouble tickets. It can also improve end-user satisfaction by helping them through processes with unambiguous instructions.
10. Choose the right help desk software - This one might also seem a bit obvious, but often small and medium size organisations forgo the purchase of help desk software altogether to save money. There are options on the market for robust, reasonably-priced help desk software. Some of these provide features outlined in the tips listed above like internal and external knowledge bases, automated end-user surveys, email integration, license and SLA management, and asset management. Some even allow IT managers to fully automate some processes. Feature-rich and easy-to-use help desk software is a necessary component in managing both costs and end-user satisfaction.
Open Source Software: The Mega List A jaw-dropping 1,000+ open source software tools. Open source software for, well, everything: Desktop, security, multimedia, small businesses, enterprises, education....
December 19, 2012
By Cynthia Harvey
Throughout the year, Datamation publishes guides to open source software in a variety of different categories, such as security, cloud computing, big data, small businesses, mobility and even games. It's become an annual tradition to compile all those open source apps we've featured into one gigantic list.
Our 2012 guide is longer than ever before with a jaw-dropping 1000+ open source apps in all. As usual, we've divided the list into categories and then alphabetized the projects within each category.
Whether you're a long-time Linux fan or a Windows or OS X user who's curious about the open source phenomenon, you're sure to find something new, interesting and useful.
1. Edoceo Imperium
Designed for small and mediu…
Mengenal Fungsi Dan Komponen Panel Listrik Panel Listrik – Electrical switchboard atau lebih kita kenal dgn panel listrik terbentuk berdasarkan susunan komponen listrik yg sengaja disusun dalam sebuah papan control, sehingga dapat memudahkan penggunaanya. Tuk lebih mengenal fungsi dari panel listrik kita telebih dahulu mengenal komponen- komponen panel listrik dan harus memahami fungsi dari bagian-bagaian listrik itu sendiri Berikut beberapa komponen panel listrik beserta fungsinya yang perlu anda ketahui:
MCB, yg singkatan dari ( Miniature Circuit Board) merupakan komponen panel listrik yang berfungsi sebagai switch pembatas arus akibat dari kenaikan daya /tegangan yg melebihi batas dan atau hubung singkat. Komponen panel listrik ini biasanya terbatas pada arus nominal kecil sampai dgn kurang dari 100 Ampere. Bentuknya ada yg satu pole (satu input dan satu output), ada yg dua pole, tiga pole hingga empat pole.
MCCB, MCCB singkatan dari Moulded Case Circuit Breaker. Circuit Breaker pemb…
Membangun Ruang Server merupakan kegiatan yang tidak dapat dianggap remeh. Untuk sebagian kita menganggap ruang server hanyalah tempat dimana perangkat server disimpan dengan baik. Tapi pada dasarnya, ruang server adalah ruangan yang bisa dikatakan merupakan juga data center dalam ukuran kecil, maka seyogyanya kita juga mengikuti standar untuk pembangunan ruang data center.
Ukuran ruang server umumnya akan sangat bergantung dari kegunaan dan kapasitas penampungan yang direncanakan. Oleh karena itu, ruang server dapat berukuran dari sangat kecil (minimal 2 meter x 2 meter) hingga ruang yang cukup besar.
Kalau kita bicara kegunaannya, umumnya ruang server digunakan untuk :
Menampung perangkat server (baik ukuran tower / rackmounted). Server bisa diasumsikan PC Server juga.Menampung perangkat jaringan, umumnya dalam hal ini minimal switch yang digunakan untuk koneksi ke server atau koneksi ke user.Menampung perangkat sumber daya catuan cadangan (atau kita mengenal istilah UPS)