It’s common for clients to be frustrated by the time they click on ‘help desk tickets’ on a website, which makes it even more important to know some key tips to improve help desk support functions. Ultimately, help desk support is in the business of building on relationships between a person who has a problem, and a person who very well may have a solution. Here are a few customer-service tips that will help improve help desk support and keep end-users satisfied.
Help desk tickets aren’t just numbers; they are people. It can be easy to forget that the end-users on the other side are actual human beings and not another ticket number with an issue to be solved. As mentioned above, by the time end users send in help desk tickets, they have already had a likely frustrating experience that led them to seek outside assistance in the first place. So the number one thing help desk support technicians can do is remember that numbers are not the ones being served, but actual humans with feelings.
Good help desk support means practicing the art of active listening. Active listening differs from hearing in that it is an intentional act that requires an open mind, building trust, paraphrasing to show understanding, and waiting for the user to pause before asking questions for clarification. It’s definitely something that requires practice and is something that is always in the process of improvement. However, if help desk support workers practice active listening, problems will be resolved more quickly and accurately.
Apologize, don’t get defensive.
Not only can end users become frustrated when trying to get their problem solved, but it’s also normal for help desk support employees to experience periods of frustration or anger. However, it’s really important that instead of getting defensive, to diffuse any tension by apologizing for the IT problem, whether or not it is a user error. It can be helpful in these situations to remember that ultimately both help desk support technicians and end-users have the same goal in mind: to have the issue resolved.
Flexibility is key. Help desk support often comes with scripts to follow when it comes to customer and technician dialogue. However, not all complaints lodged by an end-user can be solved by a pre-written answer on a script. Help desk support should practice at least some degree of flexibility when speaking with end-users, including an understanding that each problem is unique and the person bringing the problem to the help desk is even more so. This is really an extension of tip number one: remember that end users are not just ticket numbers but are actual humans. It’s also okay for a help desk support employee to admit they do not know the answer to a problem, so long as a solution is still figured out. End users will respect an honest person who admits they do not know everything; it’s a good reminder to the client that the person trying to help them is also human.
A smile, even over the phone or on a keyboard, goes a long way. Research has shown that simply smiling in stressful situations (think sitting in traffic) can work to not only put you in a better mood but may even reduce cortisol levels and heart rates. Managing and addressing problems every day is undoubtedly a stressful job sometimes, so it’s a good thing to keep in mind that a smile can work wonders for putting a stressed employee in a better mood. Additionally, just like a person can hear whether or not another person on the other end of the phone is smiling, tone comes across in online communication, too, whether it’s chat boxes or email. Smiling while working can boost the overall morale of help desk support workers, as well as better ensure a congenial tone is maintained for the end-user.
Improving customer service is critical to improving help desk support in general. These five tips are a sure way to create and maintain happy clients, as well as improving the work environment for help desk support employees.