Helpdesk Challenges

Employee helpdesk challenges.

Let’s look at some of the typical customer support challenges and what you can do to meet customer expectations.

Repetitive and time-wasting tasks: Customers often ask the same questions or raise the same types of incidents, prompting the support team to repeatedly provide the same answers. For example, a fairly common question is, “How do I reset my password?” This question may seem unintimidating , but it’s one of the biggest customer service challenges. If your organization doesn’t have a knowledge base, support may have to deal with it multiple times daily.

Instead, record FAQs and publish their answers in a knowledge base. It will help customers find quick answers to common questions, thereby freeing up your agents to deal with more challenging support issues. You can also do well by adding in-demand IT services to your self-service portal. That way, customers can quickly request the services they need and find all the relevant info online.

Recurring support issues: Just like the user who keeps asking the same questions, some technical problems may keep popping up. If your helpdesk doesn’t keep tabs on these types of systemic issues, they may not know what steps to follow to resolve them. So, they waste time troubleshooting the incident and solving the same problem repeatedly.

Efficient problem management can help you reverse this trend. Analyze incidents, and find common problems. Instead of spending time on the same issues, time and again, determine the root cause and fix it—once and for all. You’ll help to prevent future incidents, decrease the helpdesk’s workload, and increase customer satisfaction.

Too many customer phone calls: A typical day for support staff involves fielding calls from customers. But what happens when they receive a flurry of calls for simple issues that users could otherwise resolve themselves? The bevy of calls can easily overwhelm them, and they’ll be forced to waste much of their time and energy handling basic support issues.

Difficulty tracking assets in real-time: One of the biggest headaches for any support team is keeping track of users’ assets. 33% of helpdesks use obsolete or standalone tools, so they find it hard to generate accurate and up-to-date information on assets. If and when a user reports a missing gadget, the team is forced to dig through files, trying to locate relevant information such as a model number or service history. All this vital information should ideally be at their fingertips.

Customer support challenges.

When customers reach out to the helpdesk, they expect customer service representatives to resolve their cases or incidents promptly and correctly. This can be a tall order if your support team doesn’t have the proper tools for communication, such as a live chat system or a real-time incident management system.

Slow response and resolution times: Emails can get in the way of faster resolution of issues because it’s hard to use them to keep track of customer queries or tickets. As a result, issues might stall or even get lost. This, unfortunately, is an industry-wide problem. The best way to avoid this all-too-common pitfall is to utilize an incident management system to track and resolve matters.

With such a system, when a customer opens a ticket via the customer-facing self-service portal, it’s sure to be directed to the relevant department. The system not only keeps a log of the incident and its status, it notifies your personnel when their input is required or when an issue is awaiting closure.

Lack of documentation: Sometimes, companies give their helpdesk personnel a bit too much free reign with regards to what they can do and how they resolve issues facing their customers. Such an approach is likely to backfire, as the support team may feel overwhelmed by the volume of tickets and the scope of support they’re expected to offer. Without proper documentation of clear guidelines or standard operating procedures (SOPs), customers will eventually receive degraded support. Inconsistency in service delivery will only result in angry customers, who may resort to leaving inflammatory reviews on various outlets.

It might be useful to integrate your knowledge base with the customer support portal to reduce the number of tickets that come their way.

If your employees are receiving more calls than they can answer, create a self-service portal so that customers can find answers to their questions online. No customer wants to wait for hours to have their case resolved. To reduce the wait time and ensure no incident stalls, deploy an incident management system to track issues in real-time, and continually monitor the progress of the support team.

For the problems that keep cropping up, it’s best to identify, track, and resolve the issue with an efficient problem management system. Don’t let repetitive tasks get in the way of service delivery. Integrate a helpdesk and a knowledge base into the self-service portal. Finally, use asset tracking to keep your helpdesk abreast of user assets.

Building out your helpdesk and support team.

When it comes to setting up your helpdesk, it’s imperative to configure your the platform so that most of its output is focused on helping your end-users. Consider taking the following actions:

  • Have a clear idea of what you want to measure.
  • Create a list of all the questions you normally receive.
  • Create a list of responses.
  • Test all integrations, and remove those you no longer need.
  • Create a knowledge base
  • Set up email forwarding
  • Configure helpdesk categories (Sales, support, marketing?)
  • Update your help documents.
  • Create filters
  • Create workflows
  • Automate repetitive tasks
  • Create email templates for a variety of outgoing messages.
  • Personalize your helpdesk

How you ultimately decide to build the helpdesk support team is dependent upon how your organization plans to leverage the new system. This is where you’ll want to align the helpdesk with your organizational goals. Once you have a clear picture, you can determine your ideal support experience. Here are a few questions to answer:

  1. Do you want a traditional helpdesk that is designed to react to questions while resolving specific issues?
  2. Would you prefer a more holistic helpdesk that offers a knowledge base, centralizes visitor data, and manages workflows for your business?
  3. Would you like your helpdesk to act as a central hub for both internal and external processes?

For a smaller business, you might hire a team of generalists to help with specific questions. Although, as your business grows, there will be a need for more specialization. Another option would be to create tiers of teams based on experience or expertise.

What’s most important is that you build your support team sooner than later. You can then configure a set of processes that can be followed from any support tier.

However you decide to proceed, you’ll need to hire the right people. Here are some questions to ponder to find the right team members:

  1. What makes for a superb support personality?
  2. What skill sets should they have?
  3. How will you integrate your support staff into your current team?
  4. How do you keep them engaged in their work and the organization’s mission?

If you have a support team ready, the next step would be to ensure they have the right customer service skills. They’re also known as “soft skills.” The following are a handful of valuable customer service skills:

  1. Active listening
  2. Empathy
  3. Patience
  4. Effective communication
  5. Technical knowledge
  6. Quick thinking
  7. Conflict resolution
  8. Creativity
  9. Good decision-making
  10. Knowledge of the products and services
  11. Dependability

When you find the right candidate, start by letting them try out the helpdesk for themselves. An adept response to its interface and features will ensure they are able to perform their duties accordingly. Then, practice with real-life customer support scenarios.

Onboarding your support team should be a thoughtful process. A great support team won’t happen overnight. It takes time and training.