6 Essential Functions of an IT Help Desk

Female IT help desk provider speaking with a customer.

Providing real-time assistance to customers is the goal

Every IT help desk serves a dedicated purpose, supporting some software or platform for the people who use it. Some IT help desks are internal, helping employees of one or more companies keep their technology on-track for productive work days. Other IT help desks are customer-facing and help smooth the interface between customers and the technology product.

No matter what type of IT help desk you manage, the platform and tools used to provide IT help desk services are essential. Your tools define how well you can help clients, customers, and colleagues. With the right tools, the help-desk work done today can be used to improve service quality in the future both for the current client and your entire service population.

Let’s dive into six of the most essential features for an IT help desk to implement.

1. Ticket Managing System

First and foremost, no help desk is complete without software that provides ticket management. A ticket is a single service request from one of your clients or customers. The ticket usually connects to their customer account, email address, phone number, and a short summary of the problem. From there, IT help desk teams can take the tickets as assigned or claim tickets that their skills are best suited to solve.

The ticket system is essential to ensure that all clients’ problems are addressed quickly from beginning to end until the solution process. Tickets avoid the mistakes of lost requests and calls dropped during transfers because the ticket is not closed until the issue is resolved.

2. Customer Account Service Log

A basic help desk system handles one call at a time. But troubleshooting sometimes takes several calls to find the problem and patterns are essential in diagnosing technical malfunctions. This means that account tracking and service logs are an essential part of a good IT help desk system. When a customer calls, emails, or instant-messages, the ticket they create should be attached to their existing customer or client account. The next time that customer calls in, their previous service and solution should be visible to the rep who takes the ticket.

Tracking past service history can allow IT techs to see if the same problem recurs, if a cluster of problems might have the same root, or if one client just needs clockwork reminding on how to access and change their settings. In addition, it provides a continuity of service, so that reps are aware and can knowledgeably interact based on a customer’s full service experience.

3. Edit and Notate Customer Accounts for Future Services

Beyond creating service continuity with a simple log, an IT help desk also benefits from the ability to edit a customer’s account and leave notes for future service reps who find themselves handling an individual account. Techs can help each other and, as a result, the customer by leaving helpful notes in the right files.

For example, a tech might note that a customer’s home internet is slow, that they are running a legacy operating system, or that they prefer first names to formal address. These little notes serve as guideposts for techs in the future.

4. Email Alerts and Confirmations with Customers

Every IT help desk platform should also include email automation. Clients should get their first email when the ticket is creating, acknowledging their customer service request and letting them know that the solution is underway. If necessary, procedural emails may be used to trade information or share documents between the customer and their IT rep. Finally, customers should receive one confirmation email after their ticket has been resolved. This final email may include a link to provide service feedback.

5. Active Ticket Transfers to Specialist Reps

If a ticket cannot be completed by the rep who first accepts the call or chat, then a transfer may be necessary. A call may be transferred to the floor manager or to a specialist who has experience helping customers with specific needs. Transfers are also the most common error point in a customer service and IT help desk system. It is essential that customers not be lost or dropped during a transfer.

An active ticket system is put in place to keep track of tickets, even when they are handled by someone new. With notation, the new specialist on the case can even quickly skim the past conversation, notes left by the first rep, and jump right into helping the customer with accurate advice.

6. Ticket Resolution

Last but not least is appropriate ticket resolution. IT help desk tickets should never be lost or set aside without resolution. The finality of a ticket should be an email of success to the client. If a ticket is not closed, it will still need to be solved unless an admin formally closes the ticket and contacts the client to further address their concerns.

Looking to boost your IT help desk performance or find a remote help desk solution? We are ready to make it happen. Contact us today to consult on your company’s help desk needs.

Accelerate Your Business With IT Monthly Management Reports

Businessman giving a presentation of monthly business reports during a meeting.

IT monthly reporting provides insight into the help desk activities during the month

Wherever we look, we will find information technology because it is all around us. Information technology surrounds us in our personal lives and in our professional lives. Due to the importance of information technology, members of a workplace’s technology staff are key to the success of any business or organization.

Each month, the Chief Information Officer(CIO) should provide a detailed report that will accurately depict what is taking place relating to the technology services. Information technology reports are the eyes and ears you will need to help your business or organization to run more efficiently and cohesively.

Why Is IT Reporting Needed?

When creating a business strategy for your IT department, it is important for you to have a clear vision and a clear understanding of your goals. Information technology reports should be used to help you reveal where you are at each stage, the type of progress you are making, and what steps you need to take in order to succeed. The IT reports should also detail the impact you are having on the progress or lack of progress you are making.

These are some of the reasons why it is important to ensure your reports are correct. If the details included in your reports do not align with your business objectives and goals, your IT department can begin to drift further apart from the other departments in your business or organization. Poor reporting can also lead to financial troubles, especially if what you are reporting does not align with your budget.

What Are The Benefits of IT Reporting?

Over the years, IT reporting has proven to offer a variety of benefits. IT reporting will allow you to accurately do the following:

  • Assess your current state of affairs
  • Determine what is happening and where it is happening
  • Obtain the proof you need about your IT activities

With the proper data and analytics software, you will be able to obtain every piece of data in a comprehensive system. With this data on your side, you will be able to analyze everything and take the information you have obtained to create IT dashboards that you can use to better your business or organization.

When you use IT dashboards, you will be able to view your data in real-time. You will no longer have to worry about refreshing or synchronizing in order to obtain the information you need.

View Your Data In Real Time

As mentioned previously, IT reports that are viewed on a professional platform will give you a better view into what is taking place. An IT report will give you a play-by-play into what is happening in your IT department and throughout your business or organization. IT reports have proven to be a highly efficient and effective communication tool that can be used to showcase your IT team’s performance. IT reports can also be used to improve collaboration with others in the workplace.

Improve Your Decision Making

The visual nature of your IT reports will help you improve your decision-making strategies. With clear IT reports, you will be able to make informed decisions that will impact your entire business or organization. When you have the IT reports you need within your business or organization, team members will become more engaged, and this will result in them feeling more empowered.

We understand that running an IT department is not something that everyone can do because it is not an easy feat. There is a long list of things that you will need to consider on a daily basis, plus there are long-term goals you will need to focus on. With the right IT reports, you can take control of your data and analytics.

Do you need help with creating your IT monthly management reports? Contact us today.

5 Advantages of 24/7 IT Support Services

Female call center agent working late in the office and providing IT support services to customers.

Benefits of 24/7 IT support for companies and other agencies that operate around the clock

Almost all businesses today have an online component. This is how the majority of people seek access to services and products. So having an online presence is very important if you want to be successful. Therefore, there is a definite need for an IT help desk that is always attentive.

Not only does this give a business a sense of security and calm, but it also has objective benefits. These include reducing costs, improving efficiency, and improving response times to cyber-attacks. Here are the 5 advantages of 24/7 technical assistance.

1. Remote assistance

Remote assistance is a big advantage that most businesses enjoy today. Fortunately, there are tools integrated into business systems by IT that allow remote problem-solving. These include network connection issues, basic errors, and even compatibility issues. In addition, thanks to cloud computing, it is possible for IT teams to improve and update systems without any lull during work. So a business can continue working and submit assignments while systems are updated in the background.

2. 24-hour support

Round-the-clock IT services were a dream before remote connectivity became a reality. This would allow a business to be vulnerable to hackers and cyber-attacks outside of working hours. There would hardly be a technical support person on call at that time to resolve the problem. Even with the best security systems in place, hackers would do some damage back then.

Today the scenario is quite different. Thanks to the brilliant technological advances of our time, it is quite possible. 24-hour technical support can help resolve issues remotely at any time. In addition, technical support has now installed systems within companies to improve their response time.

When hacks or intrusions occur within a system, it is wired to respond instantly. It alerts the right person or begins a process of backing up information and shutting down systems against intrusions. All of this would never be possible without a competent IT support services team.

3. Quick problem-solving

Having an IT team on duty all the time helps reduce response time to major problems. These could be small mistakes that have happened or attacks that are happening now. Without a large IT team, this wouldn’t be possible.

The presence of an individual capable of solving these problems is a huge relief for a business. They can provide on-site assistance if necessary or guide you in the event of a problem. Plus, if there’s a minor problem with a quick fix, having an IT team there helps increase efficiency. It will get rid of any delays or major issues and will not affect the workflow.

4. Employee training

Another great benefit of having 24-hour IT support is employee training. Employees working in the technical field need to know the quick fixes to errors or know how to react to intrusions. Thus, an IT team can train them for this purpose. This not only improves efficiency, but also prevents hacks or intrusions.

If employees are taught to react to problems, learn quick solutions to problems, etc. they can improve their efficiency. However, if they are also trained to recognize suspicious emails and files or to report suspicious behavior, they can save a business money.

For example, the more employees are trained to recognize phishing attempts, the more secure their business can be. The more they are trained to follow protocol or to feel at home with security measures, the more they can adapt. Employee onboarding using two-factor authentication techniques and biometric authentication, etc. can improve security.

IT teams can implement this process more effectively to speed it up and make it more efficient.

5. Cost reduction

As noted above, one of the most objective and exciting benefits of technical assistance is cost reduction.

It’s a financially and economically sound decision to receive technical assistance. Solving small errors and preventing big hacks are good economic benefits from every point of view. Additionally, an IT team can help improve the hardware and software configuration in a business. This can lead to greater efficiency, better return on investment, and therefore greater profits.

24/7 IT support services are great for all businesses today. Not only do they help improve the already existing cloud architecture, but they help employees on board and improve safety. Need professional IT networking solutions for your business? Contact us soon as possible to talk about it!

Debunking 7 Myths About Managed IT Services – Part 2

Team of diverse IT services employees working in an office with different computers.

Providing quality customer service is just one feature a managed service company brings to the table

Welcome back and thanks for joining us for part two of our segment on the seven myths of managed IT Services.  If you missed the first part, please check out myths 1 through 3 posted last week by clicking here

Myth 4: Managed IT Teams Won’t Work with In-House IT

A darker version of the same myth is the idea that an MSP will refuse to work with in-house or even insist that you fire any in-house IT on your team. This is patently ridiculous.  Managed IT teams often rely on teamwork with in-house in order to fully understand and manage their part of the company’s technical tasks. They’re often our favorite people in the company because we work together so often and collaborate to most practically split up the mountain of technical management, service provision, and upgrades that take place inside a modern business.

Myth 5: A Managed IT Team Can’t Care About Your System Like In-House Will

Another myth floating around is that a managed IT team will be indifferent to the needs of our company. The idea is that outsourced outsiders just don’t have the same passion or investment in your business systems, so they won’t put their heart into the work. The reality is that passion is an individual factor, but professionalism is a powerful force. A managed IT team stakes their reputation and future client trust on their dedication to each system they work on. If there was really a lack of passion for strong security and well-built systems, then there would be no successful manage IT businesses from which to outsource.

Managed IT teams often care deeply about the integrity of the servers, networks, and tech-stacks they work with.  While your in-house team may also be dedicated don’t underestimate the passion for good systems that an MSP team can bring to the table.

Myth 6: Working with Managed IT Can Compromise Your Cybersecurity

Many businesses  worry about protecting their servers and cybersecurity. This is a good worry to have in a hacker-rich environment. However, sharing your server’s credentials and hiring a managed IT team to take care of your tech is the exact opposite of bad for cybersecurity. Your device, network, and cloud security are about to get a major tune-up, one that in-house IT may have been unable to take care of with work piling up.

Remember again that a managed IT business goes in with their reputation on the line. If any team became associated with compromised security, they would have a hard time keeping other business clients. Therefore, your MSP will naturally be dedicated to both providing great cybersecurity integrations to your software and absolutely ensuring that they are not the cause of any security weakness.

Myth 7: All Managed IT Teams are the Same

Last but certainly not least is the myth that every managed IT and MSP business provides the same services at similar prices for comparable results. Just like any industry, managed IT service teams are hardly identical from business to business. One team may specialize in web servers, another may have a crack team of cybersecurity specialists. As we mentioned earlier, some MSPs focus on big enterprise services while most provide a variety of helpful and cost-effective technical services for small to medium sized businesses.

No two managed IT service teams are completely alike, even if they do offer similar services to the same types of businesses. It’s always worth your while to compare your options before choosing a managed IT provider for your business.

There are myths and false rumors floating around about every industry, and the truth is just as easy to find. These myths come from anecdotes, misunderstandings, and often from baseless conjecture around the water cooler. To find out more truths about managed IT services or to discover the benefits for yourself, contact us today!