Help Desk Support: How to Offer Just the Right Level

One of the biggest challenges you could face as a business owner is providing the right level of help desk support.

Having too few help desk members could reduce your organization’s profitability and efficiency, while too many will drive up your business’s costs.

To achieve the best level of help desk support, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider, and we discuss those things here.




Find the Ideal Ratio of Employees per Help Desk Professional

For the majority of companies that have a single operating system, a ratio of 70 employees for each help desk professional is standard. If you decrease this ratio, you’ll need a bigger team, which will push up your IT costs.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard ratio that will work for every company, as technology research company Gartner found. They did, however, come up with a formula that can help. Start with a Mean Index Value, and subtract from or add to ratios from there. For example, you could use a ratio as high as 135:1 or one as low as 7:1. Remember, though, that the smaller ratio would be incredibly costly.

Elements that affect this ratio include where users are located and how much administrative control each user has. You’ll also need to consider how many tickets come through each month, how many tickets each help desk staffer can deal with, and how much time each ticket takes to resolve.


Support Your Help Desk Team

It will also be important to support your team of help desk agents as your business grows. Below are some suggestions.


Introduce the Right Technology

First of all, make sure your agents aren’t overwhelmed with tickets. And give them the right tools, right at their fingertips. This will help them provide the best customer service possible.

Additionally, take pressure off your help desk staff by automating and streamlining processes. This will allow you to increase the ratio without decreasing the level of service. For example, help desk software allows you to integrate a number of solutions that enhance end users’ experience while making your agents’ lives much easier.


Create a Knowledge Base for End Users

Complete with all of the most frequently asked questions end users ask, a knowledge base allows users to search for answers on their own. This not only reduces the number of tickets your agents have to deal with but also saves end users’ time. Besides, many end users prefer to resolve issues on their own.


Offer Remote Support

Remote support can be another way to speed up service. Your team members will no longer have to travel as often, as they can instead provide the support end users need by way of remote access.

Remote support increases your company’s efficiency, offers end users fast solutions, and provides everyone with more flexibility. As if that weren’t enough, it’s environmentally friendly, too.


Provide a Live Chat Feature

Live chat is another useful tool that makes life easier for everyone. Offering a happy medium between remote support and your knowledge base, live chat enables users to get in touch with help desk agents quickly to try and resolve their problems. What’s more, it allows both agents and end users the option of multitasking while an issue is being resolved.

Live chat cuts down on staffing expenses. That’s because your team members won’t be spending all their time on the phone with one customer. Instead, they will be dealing with multiple inquiries at once, without detracting from the quality of service.


Cover All the Bases

As you can see, there are a number of strategies you can use to enhance end user support. Include them all and give end users the option to choose from a number of different channels when they need help resolving an IT issue.

In today’s world, many end users switch from one channel to another to get the solution they need. So make it easy for end users to switch across these different channels. Also be sure to supply your team with the right automated technology so they can gather a customer’s information quickly, pulling together their records to assist them.


Measure, Coach, and Monitor Your Team

Offering all these different methods of communication is great. However, in order to continuously improve your help desk team, it’s crucial to monitor them as well. Monitor the conversations that take place among your staff members and their clients. Additionally, note how effective each method of communication is.

For example, if you use live chat, measure how effective it is and keep track of improvements. In this way, you’ll be able to see where your staff needs additional training.

Continuously monitor each avenue of communication. This will allow you to maximize your agents’ time while consistently improving the service they’re providing.



A Final Word

In order to have a help desk team that gives the very best possible service to end users, create a ratio of agents to users that works well both for your company as a whole and your team. Then put the right methods in place. Make sure your help desk professionals have all the tools they need, and monitor each avenue for efficiency and effectiveness. In time, your continuous adjustments will ensure that your help desk team is operating efficiently, and your end users will be getting the stellar service they need.