Getting the right help desk
The keys to a great help desk include capturing every request, prioritizing them correctly, and responding quickly. Request capture is easiest for the customer when we can create tickets from a variety of input sources including email, monitoring systems, customer portal, text, phone, and even social media. There is some information that indicates meeting customers where they are greatly increases their satisfaction when dealing with your company. This includes being able to take service requests from their preferred mode of communication. Where you capture it is equally important. The system that captures requests and generates tickets must be able to prioritize those tickets and alert the appropriate resources accordingly.
The last key is response. Customers need a response to know that they have created a request properly. Until they receive a response, their mind will have an open loop. Once they receive the response, the loop will be closed with the customer knowing that their request has been acknowledged.
The last resort
All that is great, but what about the customers who continue to call your cell phone after you have put all of the right expectations, systems, and processes in place? Begin with enforcing the agreements. If you do not change your behavior how can you expect them to change theirs?
If you continue to answer your mobile phone every time a customer calls, you have no one to blame but yourself. If you put additional charges in place of emergency calls you must charge for them. Again, if you do not change your behavior, you cannot expect them to change theirs.
The next step is a little extreme but sometimes it is your last resort. Change your phone number. Port your existing number over so that it can be forwarded to your main business line and get a new number for your mobile.
Getting customers to use the proper channels for communicating and creating tickets can be a struggle for any size of IT service provider. Making your processes easy for the customer to follow, setting clear expectations, automating your initial acknowledgements, and enforcing your rules can help mitigate most of the issues with getting them to adapt to your process.
Eric Anthony is principal of customer experience at SolarWinds MSP. Before joining SolarWinds, Eric ran his own MSP business for over six years.
You can follow Eric on Twitter@EricAnthonyMSP
Download our free ebook "Building the Business Case for a Service Desk" and find out about the key components your service desk must do efficiently in order to ensure that the processes you, the business owner or manager, have put in place achieve your definition of success with your MSP business.