Building a Help Desk from scratch or redesigning an existing Help Desk requires thoughtful planning and efficient execution. There are many core and secondary components that make up an award winning Help Desk that at times it will seem like you are juggling tasks. However each of the components we will be discussing will have inter-dependencies with other components and will have to be considered when building a Help Desk from scratch.
Help Desk structure
Determine your Help Desk structure and where it will be located when you are building a Help Desk from scratch. It can be centralized in one office, decentralized into multiple offices with all Help Desk Agents logging into one call system, or it can follow the sun with offices around the world directing the calls to the office under daytime hours.
Help Desk contact channels
The Help Desk contact channels need to be identified, documented, and eventually publicized when you are building a Help Desk from scratch. The primary contact channels will typically be phone and email. Additional contact channels should be considered once the Help Desk matures such as web portal, event monitoring, chat, and project tasks from the Project Management Office (PMO). Avaya, Cisco, Lucent, and Nortel are just a few examples of companies that provide excellent communication and collaboration systems.
Help Desk issue tracking
Active and historical tracking of contacts and issues raised to the Help Desk is critical for the Help Desk to stay organized, efficient, and to maintain an audit trail. An investment into a Help Desk ticketing system is crucial for issue tracking. Please avoid using a spreadsheet or internally developed database. Help Desk ticketing systems have matured over the years and will provide instant work efficiencies. There are also many options such as a hosted web based platform where you can avoid large initial capital investments if you so choose. Zendesk, Spiceworks, Cherwell, Track-it, and BMC Remedy ARS are just a few of the mainstream Help Desk ticketing systems available to choose from.
Help Desk knowledge base system
Typically a Help Desk Agent can be described as a jack of all trades with great communication and customer service skills. However just because your new Help Desk staff is knowledgeable does not mean you don’t need a knowledge base or knowledge management system. A knowledge management system will store support solutions so Help Desk Agents will have available repeatable solutions and customers will receive support consistency from any and all of your Help Desk agents. Most Help Desk ticketing systems will offer a knowledge management module. There are also stand alone systems available.