6 things you need to know when creating a service desk

With organisations increasingly working remotely and relying on IT services, it’s essential that you have a service desk capable of meeting your demands.

Fortunately, Sanjay Nair’s book – The Service Desk Handbook: A guide to service desk implementation, management and support – contains essential advice on how to get started.

In this blog, we take a look at an extract from Nair’s book, which explains 6 things you must consider when creating a service desk.

Planning for a service desk

There are a number of factors to consider when planning and setting up a service desk:

1. Type of support experience you want to deliver

In most cases, businesses will use their service desk in one of three ways:

  • Traditional or reactive – responds to customer enquiries, fulfilling requests and resolving incidents as and when they are reported.
  • Holistic or proactive – adapts to changing business needs by managing workflows, automating responses, centralising customer data and building a knowledge base, in addition to responding to customer enquiries.
  • Enterprise-wide customer service channel – assists both external and internal customers, and acts as a central hub for proactive customer relationship management.

2. Staffing requirements

This will largely depend on the customer base, volume of enquiries anticipated to be handled via email and/or phone, and the operational hours expected to be covered.

To begin with, the expected utilisation rate of agents responding to customers can be set at approximately 70%.

The remaining 30% can be set aside for other activities such as breaks, meetings, training, etc. These figures must be reviewed periodically to ensure that customer wait times are not exceeding agreed levels or that agents are not experiencing extended ‘idle’ periods.

3. Well-defined categorisation and prioritisation

Tickets must be categorised, prioritised and assigned accurately to provide timely support based on levels agreed with the business.

4. Service level agreements (SLAs)

A well-documented SLA is a promise to customers that their issue will be responded to or resolved within a specified time frame. Multiple SLAs can be created with different response times depending on the type of ticket, product, customer group, or other defined criteria.

5. Knowledge base and self-service portal

Self-help content and a knowledge base of solutions for most common issues can be built through regular monitoring and trend analysis of tickets. Knowledge of these trends can be used to draft automated response templates, which save time.

Providing customers with a self-service portal also saves time, and demonstrates an understanding of their preferred workflows.

6. Track and improve on key metrics

Continuous improvement is vital to building a good reputation. This can be achieved through regular reviews of the organisation’s key metrics as it helps to understand if the service provided is effective and also identify areas for improvements.

Likewise, qualitative feedback from customers, for example through customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys, is invaluable to gaining insight into the health of the business. It also helps foster loyalty through positive customer support experiences.

Want to know more?

Purchase The Service Desk Handbook: A guide to service desk implementation, management and support to find out more about this topic.

Nair’s book:

  • Provides operational guidance for managing and supporting service desks;
  • Succinctly and clearly discusses the implementation of a helpdesk; and
  • Acts as a key reference guide for service desk operations in any organisation, irrespective of its size or nature of business.

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