How to Choose the Right Help Desk for your Organization

How to choose the right Help Desk

 

How to choose the right Help Desk  

 

No matter how great your product or service is, it is inevitable that eventually there will be a need for customer support systems. It really doesn’t matter whether they have encountered a small error, are having trouble setting up their account, or if they simply have a recommendation - what matters is that the issue is resolved. 

Not a lot of technical importance is placed on a great Help Desk, but in reality, it is one of the most important ways to maximize customer retention and maintain a great image for your business. Whether for simple customer service or a more in-depth ITSM Service Desk , having a customer support system in place is essential for long-term success. 

This is the key takeaway - establishing great customer service can set your company up for long-term success and ensure that your most dedicated customers have great things to say about you and understand that you care! While most companies establish this service very early on, it is crucial to have a great Help Desk in place before your business grows to a level where you can’t handle it all on your own. 

 

What is a Help Desk and Why Does Your Company Need One? 

 

At its simplest, A Help Desk is a tool that provides the first point of contact for tracking, prioritizing, and acting on any issues your customers and end-users have.

This is a big task for a single service! There is the potential to receive questions on a myriad of issues ranging from payment issues, profile issues, disputes, and much, much more. While this may sound like a very tall order, there are some very effective tools and strategies that you can employ to organize and effectively handle all of the issues that come your way. 

One study actually found that as a whole, companies in the US lose about $62B in revenue each year due to poor customer service. Even further, people who have bad experiences are much more likely to tell more friends about them than positive experiences. So as you can tell, a Help Desk is extremely necessary! 

 

Your Help Desk can do this and more:

  • Offer a single point of contact: When things don’t work, your customers need to know where to turn. Having a Help Desk means issues are organized and easily addressed. 
  • Quickly and intuitively answer questions: Help Desks should provide answers quickly either through a live agent, chatbot, or self-service.
  • Support your support team: A good Help Desk also makes it clear what your support team needs to do. It provides workflows and resources that help them do their job effectively.
  • Help you measure how you’re doing: Lastly, your Help Desk should give you opportunities to measure your support efforts and find out where you hit (or missed) the mark for customers.

How To Pick the Right Helpdesk For Your Company

Whether for ITSM, ITIL, or incident management, customer support services can help you to increase customer retention and improve overall company efficiency. 

What makes for a great Help Desk?

A great helpdesk, at its simplest, should be able to organize and address a large volume of requests daily. This requires an efficient workflow and some intelligent management and software to achieve. Some of the most common features of a great Help Desk include: 

  1. Email support: Storing, organizing, and prioritizing emails sent to your generic support address and converting them into tickets for your support reps to work through.
  2. FAQs: A resource filled with answers to common questions and best practices that can help to solve issues before they are brought to your attention. 
  3. Community Forums: Some companies create forums where users and agents can answer questions and create easily accessible content around specific issues .
  4. Live chat/Chatbots: Many new Help Desk companies are focused on giving “instant” support through on-page chat boxes. Obviously, the downside of offering instant support is that you need someone manning it 24/7 (or close to it), but chatbots can help to free up this load so your agents can focus on pressing issues. 

Try to outline your own support workflow and see what features you’ll need to maintain and streamline it. Think through the different kind of support requests you’ll get: bugs, questions, technical problems, feature requests, partnership requests, etc… For each scenario map out the process of dealing with them, 

If you are in the information technology (IT) space, it is important to build a system that aligns business and IT goals. Having an IT Service Management structure in place can be invaluable. IT Service Management (ITSM) is a set of policies, processes, and procedures for managing the implementation, improvement, and support of customer-oriented IT services. Unlike other IT management practices that focus on hardware, network, or systems, ITSM aims to consistently improve IT customer service in alignment with business goals. Having an ITIL framework established is a very popular method to ensure that businesses can pick and choose operational processes that are the most relevant to their goals

 

Creating a great support system isn’t simple. But with the right Help Desk, like BOSSDesk it doesn’t have to be a headache. 

Sign up for a free demo of BOSSDesk, our award winning Help Desk On the Cloud and On-Premise

Get Free BOSSDesk Demo

 

A Help Desk is one of those tools that everyone needs but not too many people outside of support think about. But they’re not just for answering basic questions or fielding feature requests. Your Help Desk is a great tool for user retention, research, and acquisition. It’s a direct line to your customers and a fantastic opportunity for everyone in your company to learn from them.

Read More

Don’t let your organization take Service Request Management for granted!

The often-taken-for-granted Service Request Management Practice

by Doug Tedder

Service Request Mgt Graphic3

Password reset.

Order a new laptop or smartphone.

Move a workspace to a new location.

Ask a question about the ERP solution in use within the organization.

These are all common, everyday interactions between a user and an IT organization, right?

These interactions are known within service management as “service requests”. ITIL® 4 defines[1] a service request as “a request from a user…that initiates a service action which has been agreed as a normal part of service delivery”.

The act of making a service request seems to be simple enough. It’s a call to the service desk. Or perhaps, it’s a click or two on a web portal. And soon, that service request has been registered and processed…and perhaps, depending on the nature of the request, it’s even been fulfilled within just a few minutes.

Those making a service request may not appreciate what happens behind the scenes. But that is what a well-planned, designed, and implemented service request management practice does for an organization, its service consumers, and its service providers. It makes requesting and managing service requests simple enough.

But the importance of an effective service request management (SRM) practice is often overlooked…even taken for granted.

Behind the scenes

The Service Request Management practice provides a standard way for users to make requests of a service provider to provide resources or take actions that are an agreed part of the normal delivery of a service. SRM is one of the most visible service management practices within an organization.

Service requests all follow the same basic structure. First, the requester’s identity is confirmed to ensure that only those that are permitted to make a service request can make a request. The specifics of the particular request are then analyzed. Some requests are quite simple and require minimal effort for fulfillment, while other requests may be more complex, requiring contributions from several teams or involving several systems. As part of that analysis, what the requester is entitled to request is confirmed, along with any needed authorization (from a security perspective) or approvals (from a budget perspective). Finally, the request is fulfilled.

For example, a service request involving software may have to confirm that there are sufficient unassigned licenses available for fulfilling the request, and if not, trigger procurement of additional licenses. A service request for hardware, like a laptop or smartphone, may involve third parties to fulfill the request. A request for system access requires that SRM confirm that the requester is in fact authorized to access that system, and if so, provide only the type of access to which the requester is entitled.

So, regardless of whether it’s asking for a new smartphone, resetting a password, or asking a question, the basic structure of a service request is always the same. But that’s just the basics. The fact is that not all service requests are the same.

How to make it look simple

There’s so much going on behind the scenes than what may meet the eye when it comes to service requests. Behind the scenes, even the simplest service requests often involve several steps. What is the key to making it look simple?

The answer is request models.

A request model is a pre-defined method for fulfilling a specific type of service request.   In other words, for any request, there should be a pre-defined and agreed approach, or model, for fulfillment. This means that a request model must:

  • Define the inputs and outputs of the model – What information is needed to fulfill the request? What outputs result from processing the request?
  • Define what information is needed from the requester – In addition to a name and userid, additional information may be required, such as location, manager name, or contact information.
  • Identify what individuals or teams are involved – Who takes the actions required for fulfilling the request?
  • Define the time frames for fulfilling the request – How much time is needed to fulfill the request? What should be done if it’s taking longer than defined for fulfilling the request?
  • Define and design how the request may impact other service management practices, such as supplier management, access management, change enablement, or others – No service management practice can be successful by existing in a vacuum. A service request may trigger an action to order a new laptop from a supplier or cause the execution of a standard change. Performance targets and expectations for SRM should be defined and agreed in Service Level Agreements (SLA). Recognizing how service requests interact with other service management practices prevents unanticipated delays with fulfilling requests.
  • Specifically define how the output will be delivered to the requester – Some outputs can be delivered electronically, like software. Other outputs require a physical installation. Some may require both.
  • Consider if automation can be used to fulfill the request – Many service requests can be fulfilled without direct human interaction.

     With BOSSDesk you can design forms and set up workflows to simplify and automate Service Request Management

A little planning and design goes a long way

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? The fact is that to deliver the outcomes from a SRM practice that seems simple for the user does require some planning and design. There are a number of benefits that result from planning and designing of request models.

  • Improves coordination between teams – While many requests may be fulfilled by a single technician, some requests actually involve more than one team for fulfillment.
  • Delivers a better user experience – Users have confidence that they will get what they need in a timely, friction-free way.
  • Helps further identify opportunities for self-service and automation – This is a win-win for both the end-user and the fulfillment teams. The end-user gets her requests fulfilled on a near-real time basis. The providing organization, no longer needed to manually fulfill such requests, can devote more time to fulfilling requests that are more complex.
  • Provides measurability – One of the results of defining is that fulfilling such requests becomes consistently measurable. The ability to measure then opens possibilities for continual improvement, as well as the ability to set reasonable expectations regarding fulfillment – for both the end-user and fulfillment teams.

Don’t take service request management for granted!

It can be easy to take service request management for granted. But SRM is a way to illustrate the business value of the service provider. Here are some things to do to ensure that SRM isn’t being taken for granted, while continually improving the value of SRM.

  • Regularly publish performance reports – Illustrate just how much work is being done by SRM. Capture and publish agreed key performance indicators, or KPIs, such as the number of requests and the average time for fulfillment of requests being managed through the practice. By doing so, both the user community and the IT organization will have a shared understanding of the value that SRM provides.
  • Identify top 5 requests logged by service desk agents – This will help identify further opportunities for improvement and potentially automation.
  • Periodically audit current request models – Do existing request models accurately represent the current criteria for approvals and authorizations?

 BOSSDesk offers the capability to measure the utilization of Service Catalogs and feedback on services delivered for continuous improvement

 

Service Request Management may seem simple to the user and to the organization. But having a well-designed and effective SRM practice is not only critical for service management implementations, but it is also important for the performance of the overall organization. Don’t let your organization take SRM for granted!

Get Free BOSSDesk Demo

[1] ITIL Foundation, ITIL 4 Edition, p 195

About Doug Tedder: Doug Tedder is the principal consultant of Tedder Consulting LLC, a service management and IT governance consultancy. He is a recognized ITSM thought leader and holds numerous industry certifications ranging from ITIL®, COBIT®, Lean IT, DevOps, KCS™, VeriSM™, and Organizational Change Management. Doug is an author, blogger, and frequent speaker at local industry meetings and national conventions.  

Read More

How a Modern Service Desk  Dramatically Improves Efficiency and User Satisfaction

Help Desk Graphic 1

Deerfield Beach is a city in Broward County, Florida, just south of the Palm Beach County line. With a year-round population of over 50,000 the City of Deerfield Beach provides customer-oriented services, which create a quality of life that encourages residents and employers to enjoy South Florida and prosper in an ever-growing international economy.

The City of Deerfield Beach wanted to consolidate several older products with a modern Service Desk solution. They were looking to build a powerful Service Catalog that addressed specific departmental needs, improved efficiency and was more responsive to their user community. The City was also looking for a solution with an integrated Asset Management capability and support for other ITIL processes such as Change Management.

They came upon BOSSDesk an ITSM solution on the Cloud that perfectly fit their needs with the integrated service desk capability and incorporated a powerful Service Catalog and an award winning user-friendly interface. The City was impressed with support they received from the BOSS Solutions team during the selection and implementation process and were impressed by how easily the Service Catalog could be created to meet departmental needs. The City has seen dramatically improved efficiency and faster resolution resulting in improved user satisfaction.

 “The Service Catalog and workflow capability of BOSSDesk is excellent”. Ron McKenzie – CIO at the City of Deerfield Beach 

 

Deerfield Beach Service Catalog

 

 With BOSSDesk, the City of Deerfield Beach created an integrated Service Desk that addressed the various departmental needs, improved user satisfaction, while dramatically improving efficiency in several areas:

Information Technology: New hardware, software and support requests are managed, priority can be specified and response times improved. The ability to track and monitor incidents separately from requests provides the City far better controls to improve resolution time and efficiency. The ability to close multiple tickets associated with a specific problem was considered monumental in improving efficiency.

ITIL Best Practices: Using BOSSDesk the City was able to implement ITIL processes that included creating a CMDB, achieving better inventory control, implementing a knowledge base and a change management process.

Integrated Asset Management: With BOSSDesk the City is able to track in real time all inventory on the network. The software allows all devices to be identified via bar codes, can keep track of all software contract renewals and provide all details regarding the software vendors

Human Resources (HR) Onboarding: BOSSDesk enables the City to order and track all the service and equipment needed to support new employees. Workflows create tasks and required approvals to ensure the onboarding process is timely and efficient.

Public Affairs and Marketing: Users can make requests to post announcements on social media or through press releases, propose changes and additions to the website, and request videos.

The City of Deerfield Beach was also very impressed with how open the BOSS team was to new product enhancement requests and the speed at which these requests were implemented. Ron and his team members are pleased with the capabilities of BOSSDesk and how well it meets their specific needs.

Read More

How Integrated Service Management can Improve Client Service

The global consulting company Pink Elephant has determined that 2018 is the “Year of Integrated Service Management” and highlighted the opportunity for real synergy between best practices, well configured tools and properly organized and motivated people. BOSS Solutions agrees with this direction. Our company specializes in integrated service management solutions, incorporates best practices, and provides customers the best level of support to achieve business value.

Forward thinking IT organizations have adopted this strategy to provide their clients with an exceptional level of service and process improvements. If your IT organization is struggling with fragmented insights, silos of automation or broken processes , Integrated Service Management solutions can help address these issues across the entire organization.

 

 BOSSDesk Integrated Service Management

Intergrated solutions wheel graphic 1-1.png

 

One way that this can be easily accomplished is by creating service catalogs that are integrated with other system resources. Services and requests can be automated and offered selectively from a single portal and no coding skills are needed to construct workflows; be they simple or complex. Service Catalogs can be integrated with routing rules, calendars, schedulers and other available resources to provide users with improved workflows.  

Many IT organizations provide their client departments with process improvements across a wide range of applications from providing Onboarding applications for Human Resources to simplifying Equipment Return requests for Operations, and scheduling Facility Requests for Public Service departments. These enhancements have generated proven results for the client organizations by reducing the time and cost of delivering services while greatly improving the user experience.

BOSS Solutions offers such integrated service management capability with BOSSDesk an ITIL Service Desk on the cloud. 

Read More

BOSS Solutions Named as Top 20 Most User-Friendly Help Desk System by Capterra

BOSS Solutions is excited to announce that we have been named as a Top 20 Most User-Friendly Help Desk by Capterra, an affiliate of Gartner. The report provides a look at the most user-friendly help desk systems based on their usability, customer services provided, and customer reviews View Report .

BOSS_capterra-UF-help-desk.png

Earlier in the year Capterra also named BOSS Solutions as a Top 20 Most Affordable ITSM Software provider.

Help Desk /Service Desk ITSM software is a must for any IT team handling service requests for an organization. The requests may range from simple ones like resetting passwords to managing critical issues like major server outages that may end up paralyzing the operations.

The Help Desk evaluation was scored on the following criteria and BOSS Solutions scored in the top group in every category.

Read More

Unapologetic Luxury at The Breakers Enhanced by BOSS Solutions

 

The Breakers located in Palm Beach Florida is a luxury Resort & Hotel offering unapologetic luxury, seaside glamour and world-class service.The Breakers is a 5 star Resort & Hotel that also has four sets of High End Apartments .The Breakers has been a customer of BOSS Solutions for many years.

 

the_breakers_home_hero2.jpg

Their IT department has been using BOSS Support Central our fully integrated on premise ITSM solution to manage and track incidents and requests at the Hotel. The BOSS Support Central suite includes modules for IT Service Desk, Asset Management and Lifecycle Management.

 The Breakers Apartments are owned by high end clientele and can also be rented out by the month or year.  This section of The Breakers is called Breakers Row.  There are four separate buildings that each contain around 20 apartments each.  The Breakers employees take care of all the maintenance, landscaping and security for this section.  All these years, Security and Maintenance employees at the Breakers Row were using manual time consuming pen and paper processes to record all their tasks. They were hand writing all work orders to track what was being done inside each apartment.  However tracking information manually was very difficult and getting a report was impossible. They contacted the Breakers Technology Department for suggestions on how they could better handle their work orders and asked if they would be able to use BOSS Support Central in some form to help them.

Read More

The Birth of BOSS811

Forsyth County, with the help of BOSS Solutions, has implemented a cloud based 811 ticketing solution BOSS811 to replace a costly web-based service for managing utility service marking/location requests.

811_One_Call_graphic_small.png

The state of Georgia has a central service where citizens can call 811 to have utility services lines marked before doing any construction or digging. The state office determines the local agencies responsible for providing those utility services and notifies that local agency about the utility marking request.

Forsyth County used a web-based vendor to track these service requests and to transmit status updates back to the state agency. The county paid the vendor for each service request posted on the vendor’s website, and there are 100-200 service requests each week. This web-based service was very limited, had no reporting functions and had no workflow to monitor/manage service requests.

BOSS Solutions worked closely with Forsyth County to replace the existing service request listing website with web services to receive an XML data feed from the Georgia state agency and turn that into Support Central tickets. Forsyth County water utility service crews use Support Central in the field to manage service requests. They have dashboard reports to list any emergency service requests and to show service requests inestimated completion date order. When service requests are completed, the Support Central web services transmit updates back to the Georgia state agency. We call the new BOSS Solutions application “BOSS811”.

The new BOSS811 service provides all of the functionality of the website listingservice and more. Support Central has workflow to monitor ticket status and escalate unassigned tickets. Timesheets can be used to track the time spent on each service request. Service crew workload can be tracked as tickets are assigned to crew members.

Read More

You know you've been in trouble a lot when you and the cop know each other by first names. True?

Dashboard Support Central.png

 

Not with BOSS Solutions and the Lexington County Sheriff's Office!

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, SC a BOSS customer implemented BOSS Support Central to improve efficiency and save time and effort in accomplishing day to day tasks. Whereas all their tasks earlier involved verbal and written communication, with BOSS Support Central they are now extremely organized and a ticket is raised for every task however big or small. It is then assigned to the people in charge and can be tracked and acted upon every step of the way.
Due to the flexibility of the BOSS solution they were able to put it to multiple uses such as submitting and tracking financial requests, equipment orders, travel requests, office supplies requests, keeping track of ID cards and Jail maintenance issues.
All this was taken care of manually earlier and requests sometimes were
lost, delayed or fell through the cracks.
With the BOSS solution, they can now log in and instantly verify the action
taken on the request. With 400 users, they are dependent on the BOSS
solution for their day to day functioning .They love that the tickets can be
accessed using their smart phones as they are always on the go. They do
not have to go back to their desks to resolve issues and can just click on the
phone# on the ticket and take care of the issue wherever they are. They are
finding new uses for the BOSS solution by fine tuning it in innovative ways
to cater to their needs.

Read More

Addressing the pains of systems migrations and infrastructure changes - Part 3

Blog_part_3.pngIn part one of this series, we examined the increasing security risks faced by organizations running outdated operating systems. While many businesses still rely on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 environments, the implications of unsupported architecture can have a major impact on business operations. In part two of the series, we explored the system requirements and configurations that should be considered as you to prepare your environment for operating system migrations.

In this final installment of the series, we will delve into the best practice considerations that should be applied to assist with the smooth and successful completion of operating system migrations.

As any IT professional or service desk technician knows, with changes to an organizations IT infrastructure, be it a new phone system, a new network or in this particular case new operating systems, comes the inevitable end user issues. To be fair this needs to be expected as these users have for the last few years been using systems they are familiar with navigating on a day to day basis. Then, the introduction of the new operating system that they are expected to use, with its increased functionality and alternative interfaces that many of these users have never worked with before now.

However, before the flood gates open of helpdesk tickets from end users requiring assistance with the new operating system, a proactive stance can easily lessen the burden on your IT department by providing training on the new systems before the upgrade. Often the simplest approach leading up to the new software roll out is to schedule a series of dedicated training sessions that are conducted by the IT team, where end users can learn about the new operating system and become familiar navigating the new interface of the product. Coordinating such training sessions in conjunction with your HR department will also assist in staff participation and reinforce the importance of the training.

Read More

I have enough money to live comfortably the rest of my life-if I die next Tuesday:)

You are not alone! The Government is facing the crunch too - with shrinking IT budgets and pressure to do more with less. Here's how some Government agencies made it work with a little help from BOSS.

Read More

Recent Posts

Categories

Like BOSS on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

BOSS

(800) 317-6639
M-F 9am to 5pm EST