“Managing the productivity pressures of the I.T. service desk is a walk in the park! It’s never presented even the most remote challenges,” said no I.T. manager ever!
Ask around and what you’re likely to hear is something along the lines of, “ITSD productivity challenges are like a pressure cooker, full of testing and taxing daily activities.” These daily activities are ever increasing, change contantly, and require doing more with fewer resources. All the while, you must continue to efficiently ensure an exceptional experience for demanding customers. Managers are held increasingly accountable to stakeholders to deliver the expected results on-time and on-budget.
With the increasing pressures on an I.T. manager, the results are often an unproductive help desk with a frazzled and inefficient staff who is not delivering the results needed. They’re “spinning their wheels” and wasting their effort, their talent and everyone’s time.
Getting Help for the Help Desk
Of all the uncertainties facing the technology sector, one thing’s for certain, your service desk is a face of your company and frequently one of the first encounters for your customers when looking for information, answers, troubleshooting and general help.
To that end, an organization’s customer service is often judged on the customers’ interactions with the help desk support team. So keeping the team cool, calm, collected, and confident when dealing with help desk pressures is essential for retaining current customers and attracting new ones.
So how can you help your help desk staff remain calm in the face of mounting pressures, while also enhancing their productivity, improving efficiency and providing your customers a superior experience? The answer may be simpler than you might think!
Small Changes. Big Impact.
There are endless software solutions and tools out there that can help enhance the software and tools your staff currently uses and that can also streamline business processes. You can spend month’s vetting a few, but have you tried something as simple as just making life a little better for your team?
Let’s take a look at some basic changes you can make that can have help relieve some help desk pressures, increase staff productivity, and get you the results you need.
Enhance Autonomy—Loosening the reigns on help desk staff can increase productivity as the more autonomous your staff, the more often they are capable of effectively handling the needs of customers by being flexible and responsive. As a result, staff confidence and morale is boosted and decreases the likelihood of the need for managerial support, meaning a more streamlined call center workflow and as a result, a boost in productivity.
Allow Frequent and Short Breaks—As help desk pressures rise, productivity and job satisfaction can quickly fall. To remedy the situation, allow staff to take a “breather.” By giving them the flexibility to take breaks as they feel are needed, you’re empowering them with a greater sense of control to handle personal pressures and the resulting stress—and more control means more productivity.
Enhance the Work Environment—The layout of the help desk environment can have a significant impact on productivity. Make the work environment as open as possible with little to no individual offices and you’ll reap the productivity benefits associated with higher retention rates and a motivated and empowered staff.
Increase Awareness of Impact—Raising your staff’s awareness of their impact on customers is another way to increase productivity, as shown by a study conducted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. To that end, have staff share positive customer experiences and stories with each other and you’ll create a more unified team that is motivated by each other’s success and determined to be more productive.
Reward Accomplishments—Creating an incentive and rewards program, not only will motivate your staff to perform at optimal levels, it will also help keep your most talented employees just where you need them—on board.
It's been proven again and again that happy employees make happy customers! Increasing help desk productivity doesn't mean you have to ramp up the workload of your service desk staff or require them to work over weekends. In fact, doing so can actually decrease productivity by bringing about more pressures and stress. Treat your staff as you would want them to treat your customers is how you go about it. Your customers are invaluable and so is your help desk staff. And the more invaluable you make them feel, the more they’ll help you boost the value of your organization—Winning!