Ten Ways To
Improve User Utilization of Your Help Desk:
Help desks should
constantly strive to improve their methods of client
interaction. Users must feel comfortable with the help desk
and know they will receive prompt, courteous, and effective
support. Here are ten practices your help desk can use to
strengthen user relations and improve client utilization.
Don't wait for a problem to occur before you meet the
users--get out there and introduce yourself and the team.
In touring the building, you may find ways to improve the
way users work. You may be able to show them easier ways
to work, shortcuts, better software, and so on.
Have a help desk
open house. This get-together is a great way of receiving
feedback on your work and learning exactly what the users
want. Everything you teach the user is one less problem to
log later. It also shows the user that you want to improve
communication, breaking down that "us and them"
Make contacts in
each department of the company. Forge links with these
power users and authorize them to handle routine problems.
When necessary, these contacts can report more serious
issues and training deficiencies relevant to their
monthly newsletter. You can offer hints and tips
related to the most commonly asked questions, as well
as getting your face known around the company.
Set up an
intranet page for the help desk. You could have a
short biographical piece on each team member,
detailing hobbies, interests, and special areas of
expertise, as well as an online form for reporting
problems during off hours.
piece of supported equipment. While you are designing
the tags, why not include the help desk number? You
could also include useful information like reminding
the caller to make a note of any error messages, to
call from a phone that is adjacent to the equipment,
to have the equipment running when they call--all
those annoying things that often waste time.
the help desk. Get some posters up that show the
hours of operation, what you can help with, and what
the help desk's phone number is. You would be amazed
how many people do not know the help desk number and
call via the switchboard.
user a laminated help desk tips card. On one side,
list the help desk's phone number, e-mail address,
and hours of operation. On the other, print helpful
tips, such as noting error messages, calling from
the room where the equipment sits, and remembering
what they were doing when the error occurred.
yourself out of a job. Make your users the best
trained, best supported, and most efficient in the
world. In the highly unlikely event that you make
the entire help desk redundant, your bonus and
promotion package should be out of this world!
important of all, enjoy yourself. Have a joke with
your colleagues and, where appropriate, with the
callers. Some help desks I have visited are so
serious that you wonder whether it can be any fun at
all to work there. When the users start to include
you on their e-mail distribution lists for jokes,
you know you have reached them in a way that means
that true communication has been achieved.