How to Set up an Efficient Help Desk Workflow 

Help Desk

Read on to learn how you can set up a workflow for your business to make your help desk more efficient for better customer service.

When it comes to customer service, quality can make or break whether customers continue to use your services.  The unavoidable fact is that sometimes things go wrong, or the user experience is just not quite clicking with your customers. When this happens, coping with their problems efficiently is essential. 

While smaller businesses might be able to manage all complaints manually, as your company grows, employing help desk software are ml pipeline tools essential to customer service as a B2B SEO service to your marketing campaign. 

What is a help desk?

Help desk software is a platform that manages your customer and internal issues for you, enabling a more organized and integrated approach. It gathers the queries into a single location and allows you to prioritize, distribute, track, and resolve the requests efficiently. 

In other words, help desk software takes over the workload of managing an entire department for your business. Due to computers being generally unfailingly logical, they will likely do so in a much more organized and efficient fashion than any human could.  

What about a workflow for a help desk? 

A workflow describes a repeatable set process that you follow to complete a task and get from A to B. 

For example, we can look at an employee offboarding checklist template. When an employee leaves, HR requirements need to be fulfilled. The workflow starts with the letter of notice and is followed by the organization of payroll, holiday accrued, and the issuing of a pink slip. Without the workflow clearly understood, a company would be at risk of legal action being taken by the previous employee. 

When considering a workflow in the context of help desk software, a lot of this will be automated, with tasks being prioritized, labeled, and assigned appropriately as a result of your settings on the software. Having a clear understanding of what you need from your workflow is the first step to setting this up. 

Ask yourself some questions.

Before we start looking at the process of setting up a workflow to make your help desk more efficient, ask yourself some questions about your current customer call center solutions:

  • What are your most popular support channels? 
  • Is your current support team able to manage the queries? 
  • Do you need to be able to offer services in a variety of languages?
  • Will you need to provide support for multiple products?
  • How will you gauge customer satisfaction?  

Once you have established these questions, you can begin preparing your helpdesk. 

To set up a workflow, you’ll first need to start with the basics. They look like this:

  • Create a contact form to make a query. This could also look like a webchat with a bot asking basic questions to make a more personable experience. 
  • Once the ticket is made, assign labels and status , so it goes to the right place. 
  • Customize default email and other comms templates to make the response easier for your customer service team. 
  • Set up notifications. 
  • Determine working hours for support agents to be available.

Step 1 – Minimize employee workloads with self-service options.  

One of my favorite sayings is “work smarter, not harder”. This is exactly what you should apply to your help desk. Before even setting up, have a think about whether any of your queries seem particularly repetitive. If you find that your customers are often inquiring about the same issues time and time again, this could be a great opportunity to explore self-service options. 

This could look like creating an FAQ page, where you list all these queries and any initial simple fixes. This is probably the most basic method of encouraging self-service but can often lack the nuance needed for individual problems. It will reduce the workload for your employees, but probably not significant enough on its own. 

Another option is to create a customer knowledge base. This can enable customers to share the tit-bits of wisdom they have learned. Enabling customers to communicate with one another on this portal can take some of the workloads off your shoulders. 

Finally, possibly the most subtle and likely most effective form of self-service would be looking at the creation of automated customer service bots. Through the use of keywords and machine learning through various MLOPS platforms, bots can learn what problems the customer is struggling with by communicating via webchat. The bot will have automated responses to certain queries and can help solve the simplest problems without it ever having to reach a customer support agent. 

In circumstances where the bot is unable to satisfy the query, they can simply pass it on to the relevant employee to resolve. 

Step 3: Determine user roles 

On your customer service team, you no doubt have employees with different specialties and skillsets. Clearly defining their user role can simplify the workflow significantly, as everyone knows what they have to do. 

Alternatively, you could consider cross-training employees, so they are qualified to work in a variety of scenarios. This can be particularly useful during periods of high traffic, as other people will be able to jump in and help whenever necessary. 

Step 3: Organize tickets 

There are a variety of workflow templates that can be used when dealing with your help desk tickets. Let’s look at the best way to put these in order. 

Basic organization 

This is a very simple approach. It involves setting tickets to different priorities (high, low, or normal) so that customer service workers know which are more urgent. 

You can then add labels to separate or group tickets that are similar. If several customers have the same query, you may be able to use the same response quickly and efficiently. 

Finally, make sure that tickets have their status set – whether it is open, closed, or resolved.

Adding attachments and notes 

When responding to a ticket, it may be helpful to add additional information and attachments. These may be for the customer but can also be set to only show to the internal workers. This can help remind customer service workers what the correct process is to follow. 

Step 4: Create a template 

Sometimes, creating a visual template can be really helpful. For example, we can look at a pulse meeting template. A pulse meeting is an opportunity for the leadership team to review progress and resolve issues. 

Having a visual guide makes the workflow much simpler, as the team can turn to it to ensure that they are having productive conversations and reaching decisions over actions. 

The same applies to a help desk. A visual depiction of what happens with queries, where they can be escalated to, and how to know when an issue is resolved can all be drawn up, so if an employee is unsure what stage they have left a customer, they can simply refer to the template. 

Step 5: Apply SLAs

SLAs are Service Level Agreements. It is a documented agreement between the business and customers regarding what the business can provide – the services they offer and the quality guaranteed. 

This is helpful as it creates a clear standard to work to and helps set realistic goals on the part of both the business and the customer. This could look at how long it takes to resolve an issue, an explanation of the roles of different help desk members, a description of the ticket procedure, and a clear explanation of what happens in the case of serious incidents.

Step 6: Create and update an internal knowledge base

How knowledgeable are your customer service employees? 

Hopefully, very. Having a knowledge base available to employees in case they should forget the ins and outs of a procedure can be a great backup plan and avoid time wasted asking senior employees for advice. 

Offering a short training session to show employees how to use this knowledge base can quickly get everyone acquainted with the processes and can also be a great opportunity for feedback from your team. 

Regularly updating this as new issues become apparent or as procedures change is essential as otherwise, employees will leave more confused than when they started. 

Help Desk Workflow – Customize, customize, customize. 

Finally, no business is identical. As a result, you will want to customize your workflow appropriately. This may look like making custom email templates that suit your needs better than those pre-made, it may be making a ticket process completely your own, or it may be adding a touch of branding to your customer service process. 

In the end, a strong workflow is essential to the effectiveness of your help desk. Building it to correctly suit your needs can be a massive help to your business and improve the quality of your customer service.