How Many Channels Should Your IT Help Desk Have?

IT help desk customer support agents using email, phone, screen sharing, and live chat

What is your preferred method for working with your managed service provider?

Running the IT help desk for your business is about more than just churning tickets and resolving problems. Communication is one of the biggest concerns of a help desk because each person who needs help will seek it in a different way. From the people you’re dealing with to the nature of the problems you’re solving, it’s important to include a variety of communication channels in your IT help desk infrastructure.

The more channels through which employees or customers can reach out for IT help when they need it and benefit from your assistance. More problems will be solved and the reputation of your IT help desk will skyrocket as users are delighted to find that you will connect in the ways that work best for them.

But which channels should you incorporate? Where should you start? Let’s take a look at the four leading channels that your IT help desk should incorporate.

Email

Email is the leading channel for IT help desks. Even if you connect over the phone, email is an essential element because so much more can be done through email than most other channels. Email is asynchronous communication, meaning that you and your users don’t have to be online at the same time to exchange information and work toward a solution. Email also allows for the trading of files and to carefully put together your responses with all the information, even if that takes some time per message.

In the business world, many people are most comfortable communicating through email. If your IT help desk makes email outreach available and responds promptly, this is essential for many of your users.

Phone

Phone is the other half of classic help desk communication. There are still people who are most comfortable getting in touch over the phone and will have the easiest time solving their problems by explaining over voice. The phone allows users to reach out with 100% certainty that they are dealing with a real human being ready to help with their problem. Those who don’t type confidently or who don’t know how to explain their situation will have an easier time over the phone, as well as older generation’s habitual preference for phone calls over text conversations.

Live Chat

The latest in help desk communication is live chat. Live chat comes in many forms and can be extremely versatile when implemented correctly. Live chat works through web browsers, mobile apps, and any other interface with a keyboard and internet access. The most appealing thing about live chat is that it is right in the middle between email and phone support.

Like phone support, live chat is real-time which means users get the answers they need immediately instead of waiting for a return email. But at the same time, it’s text communication where each message can be carefully put together and files can be shared as part of the problem-solving process. Live chat is quick, convenient, and you can easily send a transcript of your conversation over to a client so they can refer back to your help in the future.

Screen Sharing

Finally, no matter what conversational communication you choose, make sure that screen sharing is possible for your IT help desk. Screen sharing is most often paired with live chat or video calls. Most importantly, screen sharing allows technicians to take a look at user desktops to more deeply understand what is going wrong.

Often, clients don’t actually know how to explain what’s wrong with their computers or programs. They don’t have the industry vocabulary or understanding to accurately describe the problem. Screen sharing makes it possible for your team to get the info they need from the primary source without having to guess based on the words chosen from a customer. Reverse screen sharing can also give your technicians the ability to show clients exactly what to do by sharing their own desktops and demonstrating the fix step-by-step.

Does your IT help desk need an upgrade? Contact us today to find out more about how to improve the performance and versatility of your IT help desk.

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