How do you really know your Help Desk agents are providing high quality customer service? As a good Help Desk Manager you have established customer contact handling procedures, regularly measure customer satisfaction, and have trained your staff on providing great customer service. Proactive Help Desk performance management is more than documenting procedures, measuring KPI metrics, and training staff. To truly find out how well your customer are being handled, Help Desk management team must have a Help Desk audit program to audit the calls and tickets on a regular schedule. That is where a Help Desk audit program can help you out.
Benefits of implementing a Help Desk audit program
Many believe that auditing Help Desk calls and tickets amount to big brother watching over the operations staff. That is far from the truth. Help Desk management typically does not want to micro manage staff but they do want to ensure the staff and processes are working correctly. Only by implementing a Help Desk audit program of listening to the agent’s interaction with the customer and reviewing the support ticket documentation, can you understand how well your staff is performing. There are many benefits in implementing a Help Desk audit program.
Help Desk Audit Program Benefits
- Incentive and bonus programs – Audit data can be used to validate Help Desk agent performance and reward positive behavior.
- Performance Management – Audit data can assist managers have meaningful weekly and monthly performance review sessions with the team and individuals.
- Annual reviews – The Help Desk activities can be easily tracked with metrics. Audit data is needed to ensure Help Desk Agents meet or exceed mid and annual reviews objectives.
- Training – Audit data can be analyzed to identify negative trends quickly. Once spotted, a manager can intervein with proper coaching and training as needed.
- Inappropriate behavior – By auditing the calls and tickets regularly can you uncover and correct inappropriate behavior before it causes serious damage to your company’s brand.
Help Desk call handling infrastructure
First of all you need to make sure that your Help Desk Agent support calls are recorded. All but the most basic Help Desks will have an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) and call recording service available. An ACD will handle incoming and outgoing calls to make sure they follow the call routing rules that you set up. Part of an ACD is usually a call recording and archiving system. Each of the calls handled will be recorded for future play back and review. If you do not have this service available, there are many hosted or onsite service options available. Check with your phone system engineer or vendor for call recording options available.
Establishing Help Desk audit program goals
Before you begin designing and implementing a Help Desk audit program, you need to set your goals of the program. The following are examples of Help Desk audit program goals that you may want to use.
- Help Desk agents must provide the customer a high-quality customer service experience.
- The Help Desk agents must positively represent the company, the Help Desk team, and the applications and service they support.
- The Help Desk agents must properly communicate with the customer as expected.
- The Help Desk agents must create, update, and handle support tickets as expected.
Defining specific and measurable Help Desk audit program criteria
Once you have determined your program goals for the Help Desk audit program, you then need to develop a scorecard with the specific and measurable criteria to measure performance. It is important to have specific criteria so expectations can be communicated, calls and tickets are evaluated fairly, and Help Desk Agents can be held accountable. The scorecard grading criteria will need to have point values assigned. We recommend at least a 100 point grading system with 50% of the points for the call evaluation and 50% of the points for the ticket evaluation. Below are examples of specific and measurable criteria to grade performance.
Call review Help Desk audit program criteria 50 points total
Greeting section – 15 points total
Help Desk Agent identified themselves by name to the caller – 5 points
Help Desk Agent identified their department as <Your company/team’s name> – 5 points
Help Desk Agent asked the caller for their name – 5 points
Support – 25 points total
Help Desk agents positively represent the company, the Help Desk team, and the applications and service supported. – 10 points
Help Desk Agent properly followed documented support procedures during the call. – 5 points
Help Desk Agent used acceptable language during the customer interaction. – 5 points
Help Desk Agent used the caller’s name during the support call in addition to the greeting – 5 points
Closing – 10 points
Help Desk Agent asked the caller if there is anything else with which they can assist. – 5 points
If the issue is not resolved on first contact, the Help Desk Agent provides the caller the ticket number created. – 5 points
Ticket review Help Desk audit program criteria – 50 point total
Ticket creation – 25 points
Help Desk Agent created a ticket for the support call. – 25 points
Ticket documentation – 20 points
Help Desk Agent documented an accurate ticket subject and description of the caller’s issue. – 5 points
Help Desk Agent classified the ticket with the correct ticket categories. – 5 points
Help Desk Agent documented the support steps provided correctly and accurately. – 5 points
The inputted ticket text is free from spelling and grammatical errors. – 5 points
Ticket follow up – 5 points
The Help Desk Agent properly followed up with the customer before closing. – 5 points
Inappropriate conduct exception for a Help Desk audit program
Your Help Desk audit program grading criteria should have an exemption for inappropriate conduct of a significant nature. Any inappropriate conduct displayed by the Help Desk Agent that is counter-productive to your business and the health, safety, and welfare of your employees should be subject to disciplinary action.
Help Desk audit program frequency
It is important that Help Desk quality review audits are performed on a consistent schedule to ensure performance is continuously meeting acceptable standards. A consistent schedule will also allow you to identify issues quickly. An example is to perform randomly selected reviews of at least three support calls and associated tickets per agent per month. The calls and tickets will be graded using the Help Desk audit program grading criteria.
On demand Help Desk audits
Does your Help Desk send customer surveys out to customers after receiving support? Are there times when a member of management or a customer reports that they received Help Desk support that did not meet their expectations? One way to follow up on surveys that have a poor score or reports of poor performance is to perform a Help Desk audit on the related call and ticket. By using the Help Desk audit program grading criteria, the review will be objective and unbiased. We suggest to perform an audit on any customer satisfaction survey less than 60%.
Help Desk audit program performance reviews
By setting up a Help Desk audit program, you will have useful information for each agent to use during training to the agent and can be part of their performance management review. At a minimum the results of the assessment will be reviewed with the employee program on a quarterly basis and during mid-year and year-end performance reviews.