Before diving into the top IT help desk best practices, it’s useful to distinguish between a help desk and service desk.
A help desk is generally for application support and ticket support. For example, they’re adept at fixing problems related to the Microsoft suite such as Windows and Office. Help desks can also help with things like printing solutions. Hence they’re somewhat basic in their approach and mostly deal with break-fix issues.
A service desk, on the other hand, assist with additional consulting and other types of services such as strategic IT management. They’re going to have anything from strategy-related questions, project-related questions, workflow to support, and application support.
So when it comes to help desks vs. service desks, it’s a comparison between a tier one versus a tier three service. Help desks are a tier one service from an MSP lens — they help you only on the basics such as Windows and standard Microsoft apps. Service desks are an all-encompassing, umbrella tier teams capable of resolving any problem.
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Core Responsibilities of an IT Help Desk
IT help desks have a few key responsibilities. These are:
1. Improve support ticket turnaround time
The correspondence with the IT help desk is to resolve problems quickly and get customers or clients, resources, and staff back to work as soon as possible. One of the core KPIs for MSPs is to resolve issues within 30 mins or less and achieve an NPS score of 5/5.
2. Ensure a productive workforce
If you resolve your IT issues quickly, it leads to higher uptime for staff and a more productive and happy workforce.
What are the IT Help Desk Best Practices?
There are a few ways to achieve the core responsibilities of a help desk.
Portals that prioritize customer friendliness and support by making it easy to request for tickets
Automated ticket routing that eliminates a lot of manual labor and automates the process of directing certain types of tickets to certain types of support staff.
Create checklist templates for most common issues/tickets: A prerequisite checklist in your PSA tool or your CRM ensures that your techs don’t miss critical steps. With these checklists, you can’t close the ticket unless they’re all complete. This can reduce reopening tickets by 50% or more.
A necessary prerequisite is to document as much information as you can in the ticket to prevent follow-up questions.
In-depth knowledge base: A knowledge base is a library or storehouse of good content and documentation. They can help reduce tickets as it gets people to fix their issues and establishes procedures.
Use your helpdesk staff as an extension of your customer service platform: Technicians should always try to learn more about the client during a helpdesk issue and document that in their PSA record.