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The Makings of a Stellar Service Desk: Top Characteristics to Look For

The main role of your service desk is to guarantee the safety, security, and user-ability of your company’s IT operation. The task list ranges from navigating issues and resolving tickets to installing software and managing licensing. Your technicians maneuver stressful situations, while exhibiting poise and delivering professionalism to the world around them.  

What would you do if your server went down, or you had a data breach? What if one of your employees opened ‘that’ email, sending a virus throughout your system? If your IT infrastructure was bruised, would your business be able to continue generating revenue and supporting employees? Could your current team help you recover from such an event? These are just some of the questions to review when considering the best alignment for your IT presence. 

Service Desk Basics

It is the combination of knowledge, rapport, and communication adopted by a service desk that impacts the functionality and balance of its support tiers. This functionality spreads across several channels – including end-users, core operations, future planning, security measures, software and hardware updates, and metrics. It is vital to have a solid system in place. If your infrastructure isn’t working well, neither are your employees or your business.  

Whether you have an in-house team or an external partner, the best service desk practices include: 

  • Utilization of a ticketing or logging system  
  • Allocation of service desk tiers, allowing for appropriate alignment of talent and resources  
  • Furnishment of ongoing training for your techs 
  • Support to manage 24/7/365 issues across multiple time zones 
  • Metrics to monitor and gauge what is working well and what requires improvement 
  • Implementation of a Service Level Agreement (SLA)  
  • Review of operational costs and return on investment (ROI) 

Keeping Track

An effective ticketing or logging system is essential in managing and tracking support requests. Through this process, your business is provided with the ability to track issues that end-users and systems are experiencing. Preventive measures are discovered by noting trends and patterns, leading to resolving issues before they escalate. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that provide a vast amount of knowledge about your technicians, business patterns, end-user productivity, and customer satisfaction. Metrics help recognize and improve present and future performance. Some of these measures include:  

  • Length of service call 
  • Nature of service call 
  • Amount of time to resolve or escalate the issue 
  • Resolution capabilities  
  • Frequency of issues with systems or programs  

A good ticketing system provides businesses with beneficial capabilities and information such as: 

  • Real-time reporting – performance can be reviewed as it happens
  • Historical data – identifies areas of improvement and success 
  • Standardized metrics - response time, customer satisfaction, and many other data points serve as a tool for review and measurement 
  • Tracking capabilities – the ability to track a request from onset to completion is vital in gaining metrics and statistics on technician abilities, timeliness, and engagement. 
  • System integration – ticketing systems are often made to interact with other systems, expanding the ability to monitor the efficacy of the IT structure and delivery 

For more information about the KPIs and metrics measured in the realm of IT service desk support, check out our blog.

Talent in the Tiers

It is important to make sure that your business is allocating its technical talent in the right ways. A corporate executive wouldn’t perform the role of the mail clerk, much like a tier three technician wouldn’t manage issues at the first-tier level. Each role is designed for a particular skillset and employing the right professionals within the appropriate tiers is pivotal to service desk success.  

It is vital for technicians to have industry savviness, multi-tasking abilities, initiative, and understanding while being empathetic. They need to have a well-rounded knowledge base and the attentiveness and sensitivity to accommodate the end-user perspective. The ability to work under pressure using good communication and trouble-shooting skills impacts your IT presence both within your company and beyond.  

Job interruptions must be minimized. For example, holding technicians responsible for taking part in additional, non-IT responsibilities is distracting and decreases productivity. To boost performance and employee engagement, involve your techs in regular training sessions to develop their skill levels and increase motivation. Employ metrics and tracking for performance measures and review them regularly.  

Remote IT Services

The landscape of IT is ever-changing and as it does, it gains in complexity and intricacy. This constant evolution often leaves businesses uncomfortable and unsure regarding the value of their service desk. When IT isn’t the core function of a business, remote providers are often enlisted to eliminate in-house constraints and create options and fluidity within the digital space. Remote IT services provide: 

  1. Scalability – A remote presence gives your company the flexibility to grow and adapt or refine and remove. Flexibility is a main component and attraction of remote services. 
  2. Expertise – Enlisting in remote technology services, gives businesses access to skilled and experienced technicians that are adept at handling a wide range and complexity of IT issues and initiatives.  
  3. Security – Cyber threats are gaining traction and it is imperative that businesses have the defense to thwart threats and build resilience. Remote IT assures a constant eye on security updates, firewalls, antivirus software, and other measures within monitoring and security. 
  4. Financial savings – IT providers of today are able to offer service desk resources at a fraction of the cost of in-house teams. Overhead, licensure, equipment, and talent are expensive. Outsourcing makes it affordable. 
  5. Reliability – A solid outsourced partner provides support and monitoring 24/7/365, spanning continents and time zones. 
  6. Constant presence – With remote services, your IT infrastructure is under continuous monitoring and scrutiny. Through such practices, potential issues are identified before they cause problems. Stable attention also means issues are found and remedied promptly, allowing your system to run smoothly and without costly downtime. 
  7. Collaboration – Along with the technicians that staff an outsourced IT partnership comes expertise from the business partner itself. The knowledge of cyber experts, cloud technicians, and other IT professionals is available as part of an outsourced solution.  

A Trickle Effect

The service desk component of your business encompasses several avenues that must be considered when contemplating or revising your IT approach. A healthy, effective service desk is one that provides a blend of behind-the-scenes talent and user-facing comfort. Timely resolution of issues yields a higher rate of satisfaction. Tier balance is vital as imbalance is costly. Performance indicators and metrics provide a view that takes you to the center of your business operations.  

Your IT team plays a pivotal role and has a daily impact on your company’s culture and productivity. Make sure they are operating at an exceptional level. 

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