Help Desk Software

Some tricks to create an effective knowledge base in your help desk.

03 de December de 2015 in Blog, Productivity

No company ca survive over the long term if doesn’t provide technical support first class. In fact customers and users increasingly expect a service available 24 hours per day.

A more economical alternative than ever have operators available at the help desk is the creation of a knowledge base. An efficient knowledge base allows you to offer your customers or users what they want most, solutions to problems that may arise.

Here are four simple tricks that will help you create a knowledge base that is truly useful and easy to use.

Either too large or too small.

One of the keys to creating a useful knowledge base is to provide the right amount of information. If it contains too much information, that is, the solution to all the problems that may arise, users will feel overwhelmed with all the choices and should get lost among many items and possibilities.

If, however, the knowledge base is very short, for example, only the five most common questions are answered, many users are frustrated by the fact that they do not find the solution to their problem.

The rule of thumb is that the knowledge base includes answers to the 20 most common problems you get in your help desk and in most cases, should not exceed 50.

Have the information to be easy to find.

If your knowledge base has the proper information, but it’s hard to find, then this information will be useless. So that your customers can find solutions to problems is a matter of drawing a fitting and appropriate terminology.

Your customers do not want to read a long list of titles that are not relevant to your problem and that take time and attention. Ideally, articles and resolutions should be presented in hierarchical groups, ranging from general classifications, to more specific topics. A hierarchical classification is especially important when you have an extensive knowledge base.

The documentation should be clear and complete.

There is nothing more frustrating for a customer that after spending several minutes trying to find a solution to a problem, this solution turns out to be much too generic or specific to it. The steps that are included in the knowledge base must be explicit and written for non-technical people. Should not be assumed any prior knowledge, even popular, start at the beginning and list every step of the process to be followed to solve that problem.

Besides, the resolutions and the following steps should be tested and must be proved that actually work or users show their dissatisfaction you have made them waste time.

Contact with the second-level support.

A good knowledge base should allow customers to solve problems that may arise, period. However, even the best knowledge base cannot solve every problem for every customer.

It is good practice, add phones and links that direct customers to the second-level support (eg, email, chat or online support) if you cannot resolve the issue. You can also allow guests to leave their ideas linked recommending or suggesting new solutions to the problems they had.

Try now: http://www.milldesk.com/trial/

Be more productive: Myths about productivity to be overturned.

08 de October de 2015 in Blog, How to, Productivity

For the professionals of all sectors is important to know what habits will give you what you need to have a day more productive, this state is almost magic that leads us to complete the task in time and without distractions.

Let’s look at some of the most recurrent myths about productivity that can be responsible for the opposite effect.

Separate complex projects into smaller tasks don’t work out.

Program each pending from beginning to end can cause wear, and productive people are more comfortable with the certainty in the short term than with the long-term uncertainty when it comes to managing tasks.

Try to separate the big projects in two or three jobs at once.

Is a matter to get used to, but more realistic approach to complex projects will provide a broader range of ideas, the ability to overcome obstacles and have better point of view from which to make good decisions.

The fact is you don’t know which challenges or opportunities will come across at some point and needs to be flexible enough to handle them.

Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

Use a time line for organize your work, doesn’t matter how many you have on your list.

Productive people are always reviewing what they have to do in the next few weeks, because they know it is a marathon that takes time.

Trying to do everything in the same day can be frustrating and you may be disappointed with the result rushed, so it’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve.

Look for your list and try to put the same number of pending issues every day. The key words on this case are: essentiality and priority.

Reprogram again and again until it’s over.

Do you think that reschedule pendency will not prejudice you?

Think again, there is a big emotional cost that comes with reprogramming.

Productive people know how to eliminate things that are not so important to remain focused and not have the worry of having to do something.

Do commit yourself only what you know you can finish and what you can spend your time during the day. It’s not just about finishing things, but about finishing them well.

After all, the productivity is a personal quest.

What works for some may not work as well for others as not all have the same success settings.

About it, pay attention to your habits and ask yourself what works for you.

Perhaps the most important rule is that professionals more productive create their own “truths” on the road.

Problem management and continuous improvement

06 de October de 2015 in Blog, Productivity

Problem management is the only process that provides specific tools for continuous improvement. But if any organization wants to improve why it’s so difficult implement it?

The Problem Management process is themost specific to the continuous improvement of ITIL processes proposed. It is a resource that is associated with many others, such as Incident Management, Capacity Management and Change Management. It is a key step that formalizes the system of identifying actual or potential failures and materializes them into opportunities for improvement.

The reason why is difficult to implement, is that relates to the range of procedures that must interact. For example:

  •  The analysis of reactive history of incidents can identify repeating patterns that suggest the creation of a problem record to undo this repetition.
  •  Proactive analysis of the evolution of the resources needed to provide a service from the data, it is possible to identify trends which, if not corrected or taken into account will end causing incidents, which also suggests the creation of a registry problem.
  • The revisions after implementation of changes are also another entry point for the process. What could have been done better in managing change to be more effective?

This large number of interfaces with other processes is one reason for the difficulty in implementing the management problems, since there are usually many participants in all these processes and, therefore, the responsibility ultimately becomes diluted.

For this reason, it is essential to establish specific capabilities for problem management to assume responsibility and leadership in search of quality and continuous improvement.

The second big problem is that the resources allocated to the management of problems usually are shared with others processes. For example: technicians investigating the root cause of a problem usually second or third technique line incident management.

However, when the short term is pressing, as other example, for the high load of existing incidents, the medium term seems postponed indefinitely. The urgent (resolving incidents) leaves no room for what matters: the resolution of the problems.

The only way possible at this point is try to attribute properly resources to the management of problem that are not shared, at least in the majority with other processes.

While you can’t rely on this resources devoted to management of problems without especially answer tasks for the Management of incidents the deployment will fail and not achieve its goals. Think about it!

Learn about the 10 commandments of the quality of IT services and sin no more.

30 de September de 2015 in Blog, Productivity

tips - for itsm

  1. You must know your offer of services, your catalog, written in business language
  2. You have to have clear about limitations and capabilities that the services of your catalog can provide.
  3. Must know who your customers are and who are the users; they are not the same in all cases.
  4. Do not assume anything. You’re always identifying continuously the quality requirements of your customers.
  5. All the requirements of quality must be unambiguously defined, implementable, achievable, measurable and possibly upgradeable.
  6. As far as possible, you will me making service agreements, SLA, with yours customers. When you are unable to do, make sure you always perceive and understand what they want
  7. Your internal drive/IT sector should be aware of any agreement of service and quality that you do, and be ready to meet.
  8. You will have control over their external provides, especially when depends of them some parameter of quality you provide to your users.
  9. Meet in a periodically way with your customers to build a long-term business relationship. They will appreciate your approximation/feedback more than all the statistics of fulfillment that they delivered.
  10. If you archive the SLA in your office as a secret document, not updating constantly or let it without divulgation to the users, technical support… you’ll face days of confusion between your team and the users.

 

Above all, you must understand that quality of service is a process to improve relations and not a static document.

 

 

(Source: iberosys)

What is the importance of having a knowledge base in IT

18 de February de 2014 in Blog, How to, ITIL, Productivity, Satisfaction

PrintKnowledge base is where you store all relevant information about your work done in your company, so you can access it later. But how to create an effective knowledge base in your company?

 

First, to build your knowledge base you need to keep in mind your goal, because the term is too wide and everything eventually may become a knowledge base. For example, if the average time for solving problems in your Help Desk is high, you need a base to streamline this process. That needs to be started for each incident. In this case, a set of records of incidents can be the foundation of knowledge you need , with known errors and technical workarounds that can be found easily. On the other hand, a database where are stored all manuals and operating procedures of a particular technical support is also a knowledge base.

 

But the question is: how to make this efficient knowledge base ? How to relate all this information to quickly find the answers I seek? To have a base of knowledge organized and effective, you need planning and control. One way to optimize your base is the indexing of the content that needs to be registered on the basis of criteria to facilitate your search, such as the due date for questions and model registration ( title , problem , cause and solution ). Hold people responsible for base and to measure their use to achieve constantly make improvements.

 

Owning a knowledge base will help you establish a pattern of response to the calls , increase the solution at the first level, the possibility of direct technical support Level 2 for more complex jobs that generate more value for the business , plus shorten troubleshooting and enable service 24 × 7.

 

The pros and cons of adopting BYOD

18 de January de 2013 in Blog, Productivity

By measuring the pros and cons of adopting BYOD, is that 66% of companies highlight worker productivity. On the negative side, 41% say that the trend affects the cost management for mobile devices, 36% reported increase in support and 33% consider an increase in help desk costs.

However, only half of the companies measures the specific impact achieved by BYOD separately from other types of business processes. Among the items examined, 60% measure the costs of software licensing, 53% evaluate the reimbursement for the devices of employees and 51% consider the cost of replacement devices.

But overall, a survey found 15% reduction in the cost of replacement devices and 12% increase in employee productivity among companies that adopt BYOD. Also, found 8% reduction in reimbursements for expenses of employee data and 5% fall in the cost of training and courses.

The study’s estimate is 7% growth in the cost of managing mobile devices, up 3% on the cost of security of business-critical data, 3% increase in spending on servers and 2% increase in spending for regulatory compliances.

“The lack of strategy in addressing the consumerization creates security risks, financial exposure and a management nightmare for IT,” concludes Armbruster (vice president of Trend Micro in Brazil.) For him to embrace the trend, there is a need “strategic approach, flexible policies, appropriate security and management tools. “

Attitudes to achieve professional goals in 2013!

26 de December de 2012 in Blog, How to, Productivity

If we are to achieve our promises for the new year, we need to make them specific. Compose a cast of operations that are short and long term, such as:

1. Look at the “IT” as a source of information. Focus more on understanding the data value instead of technology. Don’t waste data that the company holds about customers, products, processes and projects. All information sources are ideas.

2. Start to read more. Reading newspapers and magazines related to business issues is a good way to be better prepared for meetings with the board and gives you more strategic looks on the operation.

3. Presenting solutions for the business and not technological tools. A global project will capture the attention of the CEO, unlike what happens if you approach him talking about IT technicalities.

4. Incorporate routine innovation exercises. It means looking at all aspects of your life in a more questioning, thinking of ways to improve the day-to-day issues. Thus the concept of innovation will begin to demystify.

5. Make meetings with your peers more often. Admit it, you don’t listen to your peers as much as it should. Grab your calendar and allow more time for that.

6. Finding time to blog and tweet. They are the most effective way to make conversation with employees, customers and partners. You’ll be amazed at what you will learn (and what you have to offer).

The IT Indicators

19 de December de 2012 in Blog, Productivity, Satisfaction

Not taking measurements and indicators not only postpones problems, but gives us a false sense of what is happening. We have four reasons to monitor and measure what is done in the corporate world. They are: Validate Justify, Target and Intervene. This is one of the guidelines that are part of the library of best practices called ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library). This process helps measure the very process of defining goals and objectives, being operational, tactical or strategic.

Measuring what? For example, an indicator of the financial situation of the subareas of IT or the IT field as a whole, indicator of the status of employee satisfaction with the company, the atmosphere in the workplace, etc..

Defining what? The frequency measurement indicator, setting targets to improve the indicator, the time to validate the indicator to allow time to make a preventive intervention, the process of verifying the effectiveness of the indicators, the definition of other sources of comparison that will be used.

Have a list of services that are provided, even including services that are not normally in an informal list. As is the case of services for solving questions of users concerning the use of systems or infrastructure, etc… It is therefore very important to have documented the complete service catalog provided by the IT. This brings a vision that helps a lot in the management of the area as a whole, and the service catalog is the list of important documents in the certification process.

Having the list, choose what priority or start by what is easiest to measure because having a low cost and not wasting effort, already helps to show that the information will help more than hinder. Do not worry at first with the tool but with what to measure and how to measure. After validating whether you need a tool, or first make a simple follow ups on a worksheet in Excel, no longer gives a better sense of what really needs to be automated and prioritized to be accompanied.

Some indicators that are widely used such as: satisfaction regarding attendance, number of types of service performed, number of visits made outside the time limit set, the amount of incidents that are pending from one week to another or from a month to another, more common types of incidents, amount of change in output per week amount of incidents generated by these changes, etc. Or budgeted vs. actual value of IT expenses, amount of resources x amount of calls, amounts of deliveries in the month, the average cost of projects, indicator of assertiveness term projects, amount of changes in scope of projects, etc..

Source: IT Experts

Learn to delegate!

18 de December de 2012 in Blog, Productivity

With constant updating and modernization of management processes, new Management techniques emerge and other techniques are improved every day.

To pass any activity to someone, we first must have knowledge about the subject and know the possible scenarios which are still pending, such as risks. While we don’t have control, we cannot under any circumstances want someone to come do the work because there isn’t enough maturity and knowledge.

How to solve this? Training leaders with a focus on people, management and self-knowledge. When the “manager” knows in detail his/her work, customer needs and has strategic alignment with the company, the manager is ready for the second big step in his career: know your weaknesses, your qualities and how much you can and should collaborate with your team to meet your goals. If you look at a chart, a good leader stands at the bottom and not the top. It is a reference to the team, knows everything, knows and answers everything, has charisma and trust of his/her’s subordinates, leaders, and network.

The obvious problem solving

14 de December de 2012 in Blog, How to, Productivity

When facing problems start with the obvious, even if it looks like an amateurish attitude. Imagine that the user opens an incident saying they have no access to the internet and much less to systems and shared networks, it reports a problem with the network drive, the technician cannot, without first analyzing the situation, remove and reinstall drive, start begin with the obvious, “Is the network cable connected?.

This situation occurs in many professions, the professional’s obligation is to provide an conducive environment to work and if troubleshooting is required, apply it in the most objective manner possible, analyzing the situation and starting with the obvious, thus avoiding ‘circumventing ‘ the problem with complex and sometimes  ineffective solutions.

A ‘troubleshooter’ should be trained to offer the best solutions to problems, but often not even a trained professional is able to quickly solve certain challenges that arise, so it is important to have parsimony to analyze the situation and always start with the obvious.

Reference: Gestão em TI

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