Help Desk Software

Bye Bye Robots!

24 de July de 2012 in Blog, How to

In Customer Service, is not only important to to say thanks to your customers, it’s more important to speak as human being.  Albert Mehrabian published two theses in 1967 where he summed up in one equation the whole communication problem in the world.The equation is: 7% -38% -55%.

Communication is made up of three parts:

– The words you use (7%),

– The tone of voice (38%),

– The body language corresponding the words (55%).

A robotic “Thank you” is only 7% of the impact when you connect with your customers. Beyond words, the ability to connect with customers depends on your  ability to communicate in a genuine tone and body language.

A well trained customer service professional is one that observes its own tone and body language, and changes it according to what needs to be communicated.

The customer service professionals are the true agents of the company’s marketing. They are able to influence the way customers perceive your company every day. So, enough of robots, customers want to be seen by humans!

Do you want your company to be perceived as a company formed by robots or humans?

The choice is yours.

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid!

23 de July de 2012 in Blog, How to, Satisfaction

Customer Service is about serving customers. Serve in a simple, rapid and objective way. It is the responsibility of the company to constantly review their procedures for customer service to keep them simple and objective. Personally speaking, I hate the telephone answering systems. As a customer, is extremely frustrating when I have to navigate through layers and layers of systems to get the company’s  help.

Complicated procedures that constantly put customers on hold, lower their standards of customer service. Simple procedures build relationships, complex procedures destroy relationships.

Simple procedures show that you take your customers’ opinions into account, and you have removed all unnecessary procedures for the company to serve customer better.

If the calls you receive from customers are really important to you and your company, prove  that you want to serve customers by serving customers directly instead of transferring them to automated systems.

“Your call is very important to us, please wait…” is one of the most ridiculous phrases that exists in the business world.

Do you agree?

5 Tips for Thinking Outside the Box at the Help Desk.

10 de July de 2012 in Blog, How to

Innovation and creativity are essential skills for anyone working in the Help Desk of a company. Besides implementing the basics, and making it up and running, you must innovate and think creatively to serve customers better. Besides that, it is important to encourage the creativity of employees because sooner or later you will need to be flexible to solve customer problems.

Check out five quick ideas to help you think outside the box.

(1) Take time off before and after business hours for strategic thinking.

(2) Select three meetings a week with colleagues from outside work to learn what they are thinking.

(3) Take the leaders of your company out for dinner regularly to hear their ideas and learn about their critical points. And do not forget the “beer list” – ideas for the future that are explored in the bar.

(4) Many Help Desk  Managers create Help Desk forums to encourage strategic thinking among Help Desk managers and in some cases, the entire staff of the Help Desk. It is interesting to include the ideas of strategic thinkers and include people with less than two years of experience in these workshops.

(5) Attend forums discussion meetings on Help Desk with great speakers and cultivate relationships with Help Desk Managers who have distinguished themselves by “strategic thinking”.

To wrap things up, remember:

First, adopt practices that fit your personality and your lifestyle. If the thought alone does not work for your outgoing personality, do not fight it.

Second, you can not have all the strategic responses. Recruit an extensive network of insiders and outsiders to provide new insights – and challenge their thinking.

Third, find ways to push yourself outside your comfort zone.

How to choose the right IT Help Desk software for your company.

24 de May de 2012 in Blog, How to

Choosing the right IT help desk software for your company is a very important decision. Choosing the wrong solution can bring additional problems for you, your employees, frustrated customers and even lose potential sales. It´s important to ensure that whatever solution you choose, it meets your present and future needs.

The basic features you need to look at any help desk solution are: identification and follow-up of the problem, knowledge base, and  communication.

Within the characteristic of “identification and follow-up,” you need to include: the type of information you want to keep within the system about the client with the problem, how do you identify the problem within the help desk system, how you show the different stages of the solution the problem and how you manage the resolution.

Ideally the help desk software allows you to present the information in a way that makes it easier to locate client related issues. It´s important that you can find and open unresolved issues, resolved issues, and be able to see the opening time of an incident of a specific client, and to follow up the information.

The tickets (incidents) of your help desk will probably be stored in specific categories. If your product requires a login and password to use, then you will probably create a category called “Forgot login,” and another called “Forgot password” to accompany these tickets.

Customers’ problems do not remain at the same stage from start to finish. You need a way to identify the stages of the tickets for different issues. Some examples might be “Pending”, “Waiting for Customer Response”, “Resolved” or “Closed.”

An important aspect of problem solving is the ability to get you into your current knowledge base for answers to frequently asked questions by customers, or similar solutions already resolved. Instead of wasting time solving an issue that someone has already solved in your company, you must be able to smartly search for opened and closed tickets in your help desk to find solutions and apply them to your current ticket.

The help desk software should contain a built-in communication tool. With the possibility of using sophisticated tools such as integration with calls via Smartphone or video conferencing, even something as simple as turning the information contained in the help desk e-mail marketing with just one click.

Stay away from help desk solutions that you need to copy information from a ticket and paste into a separate email. Integration with e-mail should be a basic function for any decent software help desk.

A good help desk software must also provide a way to allow one or more professional support team technician to help in finding a solution. There must be some ways for a person to document information on a ticket, and pass the ticket to another person who can help find a better solution.

Liked it?

Do you have any additional suggestions to help a person to choose the right help desk software?

Participate with your ideas!

What is Incident Management?

08 de May de 2012 in Blog, How to

An incident is a disruption of a normal technology service that affects the user and the business. The goal of Incident Management is to restore IT services to the normal state as quickly as possible with the solutions necessary to ensure that the incident will not affect business.

The incident is an event that is not part of the normal pattern of operation, is an event you do not want to happen but it happens eventually. In a nutshell, the Incident Management is a process of managing disruptions in critical IT services and restore them as quickly as possible.

I imagine this explanation makes you believe that the incident management process will be a super laborious and complicated, however, the Incident Management tells you how to implement a Help Desk that understands and works to meet business priorities.

The Incident Management shows the need of a process for restoring service. The function of a Service Desk is the glue that binds the support service modules with a Single Point of Contact with the user and ensures that IT services remain focused on the business.

Check now the basic information that an Incident Management should include:

  • Record basic details of the user.
  • The user is reporting an outage or requesting further services.
  • If the client is asking for new services, open a new Service Request:
    • Train your Helpdesk Analysts to return to the user who asked for a new service.
    • Train the Helpdesk to record the details of the request with urgency and priority.
    • Train the helpdesk staff to look for the terms of settlement.
    • Train staff to look for answers in the FAQs.
  • If the customer is reporting a service disruption:
    • Determine whether or not it is an incident with a basic diagnosis of the situation.
    • Check if you can help with a solution of the knowledge base.
    • Assign the incident to a Specialist Support Group.
    • Work closely with the Specialist Support Group to provide resolution to the user.
    • Close the incident with user confirmation.

Do you agree?

How do you manage your incident management?

The 5 pillars of success in the Help Desk.

29 de March de 2012 in Blog, How to, Productivity

You should ask yourself, what is needed to have a fantastic technical support department, right? The best technical support departments emphasize the focus on the following factors to ensure user satisfaction, reputation for excellent customer service, and agents motivated and available.

1st. People. The best support departments hire the right people . They hire staff with technical expertise and a friendly attitude with the customers. While technical knowledge can be provided for an agent with skill, it’s almost impossible to reprogram a negative attitude.

2nd. Practices. An efficient and effective support technician has fantastic and thoughtful ways to meet the customer’s needs. By following the best practices that the department stipulates, the team sets the standard for services and strategies needed to deliver a fantastic technical support.

3rd. Tools. The most efficient and effective technical support staff uses appropriate tools and technologies to meet customers’ needs on the help desk. The more focused the software and hardware used to meet the needs of support, more productive support team will be. A robust software package is valuable when used in its entirety. The purchased hardware to support the software is valuable when their features enable user productivity.

4th. Management. The best technical support managers are not necessarily the best technical people to handle customer calls. The best managers are those who can do “coaching” with the agents, providing feedback that helps them grow as professionals. Besides increasing the productivity of the help desk, the most successful managers of technical support teams are those able to represent and negotiate the issues raised by end users with the company’s board.

5th. Training. To be motivated and well prepared, the technical support  service agents must receive continuous training to stay current on technical issues and best practices on customer service. Best attendants get mad when they realize that they are not having learning opportunities to upgrade their skills as attendants. The training offered by the company can be in person or online, it does not matter, the important thing is to establish a procedure of training for attendants.

4 tips to reduce the number of help desk tickets.

19 de March de 2012 in Blog

Companies have been immersed in daily help desk problems. It turns out that many of the problems that fall in the lap of help desk staff could be avoided.

The best way to reduce the number of the help desk incidents is to eliminate the problems. Actually this is the only way to maintain order and not lose control.

Otherwise nothing will change and the incidents will get out of control.

In addition to eliminating problems, it´s also necessary to avoid problems due to open incidents or end-users waiting for service.

If you don´t pay much attention to the “problem” within the problem, it ends up taking up unnecessary time of all the help desk staff.

Therefore, we made a compilation of tips to eliminate the problems and reduce the number of calls to your help desk.

# 1. Learn how to realistically estimate the service time. If the incident takes forty-five minutes to be resolved, don’t say that it will be resolved in twenty-five minutes.

This is because there are many unexpected factors that can increase the time to close a ticket.

If we add additional urgent calls, delays in testing, compatibility issues, etc.., a problem that would take twenty minutes to be solved can take more than an hour.

So learn to estimate the time correctly.

If the service takes twenty minutes in normal conditions, calculate the unexpected problems, the additional incidents and say it will take about 70 or 80 minutes to close the ticket.

This makes it easier because they decrease the chances of the user who opened the ticket to be angry at the lack of punctuality that often ends up spinning out of the technician’s control.

Sincerity is the best tool that a help desk technician could use to their advantage.

# 2. Strive to understand what the most common support problems are and what you can do to avoid them.

The best person to say how we should solve a problem is the person who works to solve the problems.

So stay alert to the incidents that could be avoided, prevented or even solved by the end-users.

Make a list and a short tutorial for the most common and easy to be solved problems. Create a section called “Do it yourself” in your site so that users can solve their own problems without the help from the help desk.

This will let users at least try to solve the problem before resorting to the help desk guys. This certainly reduces the recurrence of “easier” problems to be opened.

# 3. Follow the service priorities. Follow the calls by priority. Solve incidents by the urgency and established need.

Obviously what has a higher priority is more urgent, and if not resolved quickly enough, it could turn an incident into a bomb ready to explode.

The faster you close the high priority and emergency tickets, the users will be more and more satisfied.

# 4. Keep a cycle of gradual improvements. What can´t be measured can´t be improved.

So start by creating metrics to evaluate the performance of help desk staff.

You need to create metrics that measure and thereby improve customer service for the problems efficiency of service and does happen, then the incdents start to fall and return to control.

Milldesk is sure that with these four points, the efficiency of your service desk will increase, unnecessary problems and certainly the number of incidents that clog the help desk will be eliminated.

5 tips to generate value for your internal team of Help Desk

18 de October de 2011 in Blog, Satisfaction

Unfortunately IT is not always well seen among some users, department heads and even managers. In meetings that I used to participate, a long time ago, IT was massacred by the other department heads and directors. “The technology does not work when we need it”, “IT takes a long time to solve problems”, “IT is a black hole” among other things said in meetings.

In the last several years I am increasingly pleased to know that this state of mind about technology is changing, the businesses are needing technology more and more to be competitive and perpetuate themselves over time. Despite this improved awareness, I would like to present tips that serve as factors that generate value for both you, the manager, and for your support team.

1. User Satisfaction Report: Your internal team works hard to keep the business stable, meeting numerous requests daily, but not always getting feedback from the users. If you have access to satisfaction reports with flashy and very easy to understand graphics, I strongly recommend using the murals available in your organization (the coffee room, cafeteria, etc…) to show that your IT department is concerned with maintaining quality in the services provided. Users will realize this, and more value will be generated both by users and by other managers in the organization.

An important note: If your help desk has a bad satisfaction average from the users, I recommend that the satisfaction reports shouldn’t be available in the organization. In this case it’s time to look within your team and observe the reasons that led to a low a satisfaction rate.

2. Activity report in each department: Many department heads and board members do not even know what their support staff is actually given and what are the real difficulties of its users. An activity report run by the technical staff that portrays the services executed in each department won’t leave any doubts about what was demanded and what was done.

3. SLA Report of each department: The idea here is that the same as the user satisfaction report, the SLA report will show that the SLA incidents are being met within the agreed standards, avoiding frustrating the user. Use the murals available in your organization to show it. Take the reports to department meetings or SLA data board for each department. Remember the famous saying: “Against facts, there are no arguments.”

4th. Incident Evolution: It would be very interesting if the quantification of incidents would be shown, either monthly or yearly. It shows that the progress of your team is essential. It allows interesting analysis of your growth.

5th. How-to incidents: It’s interesting that the help desk supervisors submit to an overview of the “How to” incidents where the difficulties of users in each department and obvious need for training are highlighted./

It’s time to revolutionize your Help Desk!

What is a ITIL service catalog?

17 de May de 2011 in Blog, ITIL, Productivity

The service catalog is a document that is the description of services previously discussed, agreed and offered to their users and customers.

The model defines an ITIL Service Catalog – as a “written statement of all available IT services, supply levels and patterns of their options,” in which a service is defined as “one or more IT systems that enable a business process.”

Several authors make the analogy of the service catalog with a restaurant menu. In a restaurant menu, you will notice that the organization is provided by the establishment. You will notice that there is a section of beverages, meats, pasta and desserts. Within each section, there will be various items, prices and other conditions that define the supply and delivery of the service to be “bought”. Thus it avoids unpleasant surprises regarding the service chosen, either on the user / client side or service provider, since “supply conditions” are clearly defined.

There are a number of advantages when implementing a service catalog (I’ll talk about the advantages and how to create the service catalog in coming posts). The service catalog can be a printed document, a shared spreadsheet network, help desk software with this feature, a web page, among others. More important than the form of display of your service catalog is the adaptation to the challenges and needs of your organization enabling the management level of services.

The service catalog is not a final document, static or unchanging. It is a document that should be reviewed periodically and modified according to the characteristics of your business. There are a number of models of service catalogs found in the internet, some more complex and more simple. Which is the best? The best is the one that is more cohesive and more easily adapts to your business.

For companies that want to implement service level management according to ITIL best practices, I recommend the use of catalog services.

What is SLA and why use it?

12 de May de 2011 in Blog

The service level agreement (SLA) is part of the service contract between two or more entities in which the level of service provision is formally defined. In practice, the term is used in the context of time to provide a service or a particular task.

For example, if company “A” hires a delivery service level of 95% in less than 24 hours from Company “B, 95% of the services have to be made in less than 24 hours.

The SLA’s history dates back to the early 1980s, with the telephone operators.

A SLA contract includes information about: establishing services, performance, problem management, accountability of both parties, guarantees, emergency measures, alternative plans, plans for temporary applications, monitoring reports, security, confidentiality and cancellation of the contract .

A service level agreement may include, among other terms, specifications for:

Availability. Ex: During a year, the system may be unavailable at most for 8.7 hours (99.9% availability). This item will be divided into planned stops (for periodic maintenance) and unplanned (errors, problems, etc.).

Incidence of errors. Ex for a year, the system shall not register more than one error per 1,000,000 processed transactions.

Performance. Ex: The system should process the payroll for a maximum of 2 seconds every 10 servers processed.

Priorities. Ex requests classified as “urgent” should be resolved within 8 hours, “important” requests will be resolved within 24 hours, and “routine” requests will be resolved within 72 hours.

SLA and indicators

The compliance of an SLA is linked to indicators for automated collection and monitoring of the contract items. These indicators should include means of security and audit that add reliability to the indicator. These indicators should be available for both the client and the supplier of the contract, although the mechanisms of monitoring indicators can be deployed in the client and in the supplier.

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