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They are called by many names, be it help desk, customer service, support center or service department, but they basically exist for one thing, they serve as the last line of defense for the customer and even for the company. The question is, “How can we achieve an effective support for information users? ” One way to do so is to start by coming up with an effective physical layout that you would want to implement. In the physical sense, we are all in need and are deserving of a conducive work area, especially in the case of help desk personnel who has tough tasks to handle. To be able to perform their jobs well, it wouldn’t

help to have an irate customer at one end and a stressed and stretched-out employee on the other. More importantly, you must come up with a well – defined mission, identify your budget allocations and your service target to start with. You should know the answer to this questions to keep you on track. Sarci R. Pablo, Voice Services Manager at Globalreach eBusiness Networks, Inc. , was once quoted as saying, “Implement applications that will complement, and not complicate, your daily operations (cited in Bayan, 2003). ” Identifying the nature of work involved, how much the company is willing to shell out for the expenses and how to

efficiently and effectively work to reach the goal is the rule of the game. Work stations, chairs, headsets in place, you think you’re all set? There’s the human factor left. As a help desk personnel, you have to be able to define your goals. With this thing set, you can avail of the right training program and be the right person capable of taking a certain call at any given time. One must also have a thorough understanding on the type of customer he is catering to. Anthony Lye, President and CEO of ePeople suggests that help desk managers should be aided with the right tools to manage team performance and further added

that “by tracking service levels and skills development needs, managers can achieve service and satisfaction goals(cited in Bayan, 2003). ” One should bear in mind that though there exist a lot of job opportunities for help desk agent positions and one too many are more than willing to be hired as one, not everyone are cut out to do the job successfully as expected. That is why it is also important to source the appropriate talent to form your help desk crew. While it is hard to find the people with the right skills, motivation and work ethic, the search doesn’t end there.

With the right people must come the right attitude to go with it. Pablo has captured it most precisely when he said, “the Right People must have the Right Attitude to do the Job Right – in order to achieve the proper balance and provide the best service to the customer (Bayan, 2003). ” Then, look into the future and think of the kind of success story you would want to tell. How has it helped your customer to solve his problem and how has it helped your company improve its problem solving strategies. At the end of the day, you don’t just want a satisfied client, but an accomplished workforce and a esteemed company to boot.

In emphasis, three of the most important things that a company can do to ensure that its IT users get adequate technical support are that, it has a clear and feasible goal laid out before hand. It’s like having an answer come in handy before anyone else can think of it. It sure helps to be in the lead. Secondly, it’s got the right people for the job. Think having a shoe that doesn’t fit, it gets you nowhere. And finally, to get things going, a carefully planned out physical layout of the working space. This aspect is most commonly considered as least priority. It comes with a price, quite honestly, but it also serves to be

the setting where either a success or a failure is taking place. Moreover, we wouldn’t know what’s right when we don’t have any idea of what is wrong. One of the worsts things a person who wants to set up a help desk support service can do is to under staff it in the shadow of having a wrong assumption about the volume of calls the help desk can handle. In one way or the other, we know what it’s like to fit in to an average of 8 hours of work all the things we have to accomplish. How much more doing more than a person’s amount of work load and finish it all up in time. It certainly spells disaster. Establishing a help

desk support service is expensive in itself with all the softwares that needs to get the work done as well as the continuous expense in the provision of personnel training programs to cite a few. You wouldn’t want your investment to hit the rocks due to incompetencies. Kevin Clark, Autodesk’s help desk supervisor has this piece of advice: “don’t leave out the customer when planning help desk services. Don’t attempt to determine what’s best for the customer without consulting them. Don’t lose focus on meeting customer’s expectations – if you do, your help desk will not be successful (cited in Levine, 1998).

” Another mistake is letting oneself be carried away by technology. Peter McGarahan, executive director of the Help Desk Institute (HDI) has this to say, “technology is not a silver bullet – it is a combination of people, technology and organization that makes it work (cited in Levine, 1998). ” It is not wise to automate everything. It sure has its benefits but it doesn’t give a guarantee that it will always work to your advantage. Old school rules still rings true. Whatever, automation it is you are planning, test it out first manually and just proceed with the ones that have proven itself effective.

After all the planning and actual operations, two people do make a story of its own. The result of the communication between them has a lot do with all the things taken into consideration of before everything else took place. A help desk support service is a story of an employee and his customer. Unique in its own right. It is a give and take relationship, really, between the help desk personnel and the customer. On the personnel’s end, he is there to provide the help being called for and on the customer’s end, he who needs aid has to have patience. There exists an interconnectedness here, we are all in need of each other to

make our lives easier. In whichever end you are in, be grateful for a problem solved and an existence justified. A sound customer service solution it is. In which case, problem solved.

References

Banal, R. (23 December 2003). Setting up a successful help desk – physical considerations. Tech Republic. Retrieved November 13, 2007 from http://articles. techrepublic. com. com/5100-10878_11_5112459. html (6 January 2004). Try these efficiency strategies when setting up a successful help desk. Tech Republic. Retrieved November 13, 2007 from http://articles. techrepublic. com. com/5100-10878_11-5112468.html Filwood, D. (13 July 2004). Hiring Better Technical Support/Help Desk Agents – Every Time. Tech Republic. Retrieved November 13, 2007 from http://articles. techrepublic. com. com/5100-10878_11-5112459. html. Hoffman, R. (27 March 1997). Help is Only a Phone Call Away! The Animated Software Company. Retrieved November 13, 2007 from http://www. animatedsoftware. com/misc/stories/jobs/dbmmscntr. htm. Levine, R. (July 1998). So you’re planning a help desk? Sun World. Retrieved November 13, 2007 from sunsite. uakom. sk/sunworldonline/swol-07-1998/swol-07-helpdesk. html.

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