Customer satisfaction is something that no value-driven service provider organization should disregard. For IT departments, it acts as a sense check for how your IT help desk is delivering against end-user/customer needs, how your IT service management (ITSM) practices are performing, and how your customers are feeling. Here are ten tips for improving your IT help desk’s customer satisfaction.
Tip #1: Make customer satisfaction a priority
Set expectations early on that customer satisfaction is paramount – especially for new staff. You need all your people to be of the mindset that the customer experience is everything. You can have world-class processes and the best tools but if your people don’t have the correct customer service skills, then your customers will suffer and your satisfaction scores will drop.
Tip #2: Open up your channels
Always give people options. Some customers like to speak to a help desk agent on the phone and to be talked through the required steps because not everyone is super technical. Some like to use instant messaging or email. Some prefer self-service and self-help. And for many, it will depend on the situation. So, open up your help desk via a variety of access and communication channels such that your customers can access it in the way most appropriate to them and their situation.
Tip #3: Have daily help desk stand ups
Don’t let operational issues and ticket queues build up. Have daily stand ups with your help desk team and other support staff as needed so you can get a handle on any recurring issues, any aged tickets, or anything that’s causing the business pain such that you can prioritize accordingly.
Tip #4: Empower your end users
If you have self-service and self-help options, promote them so that your customers know how to use them. One way to incentivize the use of self-help options is to offer slightly faster turnaround times for tickets logged via the self-service route.
Tip #5: Empower your agents
Encourage knowledge-sharing practices such that your agents are both upskilled and empowered. Look at your most commonly-occurring incident and request types to see if you can get some helpful fixes documented for your most frequently-logged tickets.
Tip #6: Ask for feedback
If you don’t ask for regular end-user feedback, then it’s time to start. Look at using customer satisfaction surveys so that your end users can tell you what's working well and what needs more attention. If you don’t engage with your customers, then how can you know what their pain points really are?
Tip #7: Act on feedback
Respond to feedback such that your end users know that you care and that service and support quality is important. Make sure that any improvement actions are documented, prioritized, and acted upon if possible. If it’s not possible to work on them, perhaps due to time or resource constraints, then are there any workarounds or “next best thing” options available?
Tip #8: Improve first-time fix rates
Look for the quick wins. Things like password resets or clearing print queues should generally take minutes rather than hours. Continue the work you’ve done for tip #5 and work with problem management personnel to look at the next layer of frequently-logged calls and document workarounds and fixes for everyone. The quicker the issue is fixed the better it is for the customer, plus the help desk agent is freed up to take the next call.
Tip #9: Slowly do things that change the IT help desk culture
Aim to embed a customer satisfaction culture into your organization. Look at what you can do to continually improve. Ask your agents what one thing or what small improvements they would make and create a plan to implement them. Incremental improvements absolutely count – small things can have a big impact over time.
Tip #10: Schedule and undertake regular customer reviews
Consider running monthly service reviews with your main customers. By giving a regular recap of help desk performance and receiving aggregated customer feedback you can improve the relationship and get a real handle on business priorities.
So that’s our top ten tips for improving customer satisfaction on the IT help desk. What would you add to these? Please let us know in the comments.