Just because you’ve built support options, doesn’t mean they are right for customers. William Culbert of Bomgar explains what you should be checking to ensure your helpdesk customer service is performing.

The age-old saying ‘the customer is always right’ is just as relevant now as when it was coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of Selfridges, in the late 1800s. Although a seemingly simple concept, the customer journey, and the resulting customer satisfaction, is becoming increasingly more difficult to achieve in today’s digital age. As this continues to become more business critical, support providers should ensure they are keeping the customer journey front of mind at all times, and work to address the challenges raised by legacy technologies, and ever-changing user demands.

First and foremost, helpdesk and support providers should look at the tools and software they can adopt to make this journey easier, in turn improving customer retention rates and overall satisfaction. To achieve this, here are some simple best practices that service desk managers can employ.

Enabling end-users to contact the helpdesk
A website is often the first point of contact for end-users when it comes to contacting a helpdesk technician. To avoid drop-off, businesses and support companies alike need to make sure that websites are simple to navigate, and that the relevant information is featured plainly for the user to see.

William Culbert, Bomgar

William Culbert, Bomgar

For example, burying the live chat option within countless web pages is not user-friendly and impedes overall productivity. If you’re acting as a third-party support agent for the users of a company, the best and easiest method of connecting an agent needs to be displayed clearly in an easy to find location on their website. If you’re an internal helpdesk, links to support should be hosted on the relevant intranet pages to make sure that employees know how to get in touch quickly and easily.

This doesn’t just end at promoting how to contact the helpdesk on websites and intranets.  Directions on how to get in touch with support agents should be pushed out through various channels that are distributed internally to ensure that the journey from seeking help to finding a solution is as smooth as possible.

Automating processes
We’ve all been there; you’re either in a live chat with the support team trying to solve an issue, or waiting patiently to regain control as a remote session is taking place. As the issue is escalated you have to frustratingly supply your personal information multiple times to the series of helpdesk agents that you’re passed onto. This naturally has a negative impact on the user experience and is both frustrating and inefficient, while storing user data in multiple locations, granting cyber criminals more entry points for attack and increasing their chances of success.

To address this challenge, service desks should explore software and tools that make their support sessions as automated as possible, cutting out the need for end-users to fill out multiple forms, ensuring the technician has as much information as possible before they start the session.

Don’t sacrifice efficiency
A big annoyance when it comes to using helpdesks is how support technicians have the potential to hinder end-user efficiency and productivity with remote sessions.  Users often have no access to their computer during these sessions and cannot get on with work until the issue is resolved. Helpdesks should look out for tools that allow anyone that has a technical problem to continue working while the support technician fixes their computer in the background, eliminating the need to stop what they’re doing while someone else has control of their desktop.

Collaboration tools also play a big part in this. By bringing together multiple helpdesk experts in one session, the end-user can benefit from a range of specialties to ensure that their issue is resolved first time. Without this, end-users are forced to go in and out of sessions with separate agents, wasting valuable time.

Keeping security in mind
The modern-day end-user is acutely aware of security and data privacy issues and are increasingly reluctant to share all their details online. To keep up with tech-savvy users and incoming GDPR regulations, helpdesk technicians need to be properly trained on security practices and be able to address any challenges that might arise.

They need to understand that remote access to end-user machines is a primary attack vector for cybercriminals and a very real threat to organisations. Using unsecure tools to gain access to other systems and devices opens up vulnerabilities in an organisation’s network which can easily be exploited. As such, helpdesk providers should make sure they are looking for tools that encrypt the connection, eliminating the need for VPN or firewall changes.

They should also record every session in order to capture a detailed audit log. Not only does this protect against potential attacks, but it means that if there is a breach of customer data, the source is easily traceable and fully audited, ensuring that the reputation of the helpdesk remains intact.

The customer journey will always be wrought with challenges as technology continues to change. However, with the above steps in mind, support agents can ensure that their services continue to match the needs of the modern end-user, who are increasingly demanding more from their IT services.

Remember, in the words of Mr Selfridge, “get the confidence of the public, and you will have no difficulty in getting their patronage”.

William Culbert is Director of Solutions Engineering for Bomgar.


Author Bio:
James West

James West

Editor, SITS Insight

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