With technology becoming the foundation of business operations across just about every industry, the functionality of a help desk is becoming essential. Help desks provide end users with a direct point of contact through which they can receive support for any and all IT issues they experience. The goal of any help desk operation is to provide fast and accurate first call resolution to reduce down time for the end user, thereby improving service levels. Adding IT process automation can help achieve this goal and exceed customer expectations, each and every time.
To be most effective, today’s service desk operations should adhere to the following best practices:
- Provide a single point of contact to report all IT incidents
- Staff help desk with skilled, knowledgeable support personnel
- Efficiently track all incoming notifications
- Implement appropriate escalation procedures
- Deliver fast and accurate problem resolution
So, what’s the best way to consistently achieve all of these best practices? The most efficient and successful help desk operations leverage software and technology to handle incoming incidents, both reactively, by more effectively managing incoming notifications, and, in ideal cases, proactively – addressing potential problems before they develop. IT process automation provides this added level of efficiency and helps to improve the satisfaction levels of help desk associates and the end user.
IT process automation can enhance help desk operations through:
- Real-time, end to end tracking of incidents
- Seamless notification and escalation process
- Improved accountability of incident owners
- Remote incident management
- Capability to combine automated response with human decision making
- Self-service options for improved end user experience
- In-depth reports on incident resolution performance and mean time to repair (MTTR)
IT process automation can also improve the internal functionality of a help desk operation. Typically, this department is comprised of personnel of differing levels of skill and expertise. Each level has different responsibilities and expectations. For instance, level 1 support personnel are the first point of contact for incoming incidents and may have the authority to provide support for more basic requests, such as Active Directory password resets and service restarts.
Should the first level support team be unable to solve the problem at hand, the issue is then escalated to the level 2 group, who are usually more knowledgeable, and possess the experience and IT skills to provide more advanced support. Finally, level 3 support is usually attained directly from the software or hardware providers as needed. Of course, the goal of all three levels is to restore functionality and get the end user up and running again as quickly as possible.
So, what if there was a way to alleviate some of the more basic functions of level 1 support, freeing these staff members up to be able to improve their skill levels and assist those at higher support levels? How much more efficiently would the help desk run in such a scenario? Or better yet, what if there was a way to manage IT incidents so that problems could be identified and resolved prior to an alert even coming in? With IT process automation, you can accomplish all of this and more.
By automating custom workflows and supplying end users with self-service options, level 1 support personnel are free to focus on more important business matters. This instantly optimizes your resources, allowing for an enhanced level of support without the need to bring in additional personnel, which, in turn, looks good for your bottom line. And, by automating and executing certain sets of checks and recovery procedures, incidents can be identified and addressed as soon as they occur, before a help desk call is even necessary.