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Automating Your Help Desk Workflow
Do you know you can open, answer, close and report help desk information without human intervention?
Automation is a powerful feature provided by most enterprise level help desk products; however, most organizations rarely take advantage of these features. Based on a survey conducted by RightStar Systems, only 5% of the help desk managers interviewed were using automation to its fullest capacity. Most use it to some degree while others do not use it at all. Tom Jud, Emerging Growth Manager for BMC Software, has observed "?that the Business Rules Engine provided by the Magic Help Desk product, is the key feature that organizations should leverage to drive support efficiency and cost savings." He explains that the two main reasons for organizations not deploying workflow automation are 1) the perceived level of difficulty in implementing these functions and 2) The lack of workflow planning used in developing the helpdesk program. Once organizations learn the importance of workflow automation and the benefit gained, they embrace the feature and drive added value from their help desk product.
After having conducted over 600 site visits and product demonstrations, I have identified 4-main focus areas where organizations can benefit from deploying workflow automation.
? Enforcing best practices through automation.
Companies looking to provided better and less expensive support services have adopted any number of help desk "best practices" guidelines. Automating workflow to enforce a help desk's best practices deployment can drive even more value and efficiency. By pairing certain best practice areas with automated workflow, a help desk can provide a consistent and predictable level of support.
? Improving incident response time through automation.
Incident response time is how most service support organizations are judged. According to Beverly Wells, Help Desk and Groupwise Manager for CarMax, "Of all the statistics gathered by the CarMax Help Desk, the one area reviewed with the most scrutiny, is how fast we responded to and resolve calls." Workflow automation can drastically improve incident response, problem resolution, and change requests, by incorporating predetermined "if, then" capabilities. For example, if a call for a printer problem is received at the help desk, workflow automation can determine the type of call and direct that call to the right person or provide an automated answer to the requestor. In other words, "if" you receive a request like this, "then" do this specific task.
? Increase Reporting Accuracy
Automating workflow provides the ability to capture accurate help desk statistics by removing the various inconsistencies injected through human error. I know help desk managers that spend hours each month collecting, editing and refining help desk statistical reports. They spend most of there time correcting errors and adjusting the numbers that tell the real story of the help desk. Automating workflow is one primary way to assist help desk managers prepare and create accurate reporting.
? Create Consistency while Reducing Call Volume
Have you ever called a help desk and received two or three different answers for the same problem, or worse, no answer at all? It's frustrating and it reflects poorly on the help desk. Several help desk tools provide the capability to deliver answers on various issues in a consistent automated manner. This provides the requestor with confidence that they received the right answer while taking the guesswork away from the help desk analyst when answering questions. In many cases, the answer can be provided without human intervention. There are various ways of deploying these capabilities; collectively they can provide a tremendous reduction in call volume and a higher degree of customer satisfaction.
Incorporating automation in your help desk workflow provides many benefits. As with any undertaking, it takes forethought and planning, but with the right help desk tool and the desire to provide timely, accurate answers with little or no human intervention, the effort will off-load pressure from the help desk staff and integrate an atmosphere of help desk brilliance.
Dan Wilson currently works for RightStar Systems, a leader in Help Desk Service and Supprot Consulting; including problem, asset, change and desktop management.
Dan has over 15 years of experience in support consulting.
You can reach Dan at dan.wilson@rightstarsystems
Customer Service - Google News
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Dissatisfied or Rude Customers Can Be Satisfied Customers
On a recent airline flight I was an upset customer. I was arriving on a late inbound flight and connecting with the last flight out on the same airline, but the connecting flight left without me! At first, I was furious when told to wait in a line of 300 people to resolve my problem.
Why Communication Skills Dont Work In Customer Service
Every time my firm conducts communication skills training, we know someone is going to object."That doesn't work.
The Death of the Loyal Customer
One of my classes in management focused on the repeat customer. The course stressed the importance of the repeat customer to the financial welfare of the business.
The 3 Rs of Customer Service
What I am about to tell you may seem very obvious - you may even say DUH!!! but the fact is, - many company's forget the 3 R's of good customer service- Respect your Customer, Take Responsibility for Your Actions and Products and give your Customers a Full REFUND when it just isn't right. I promise you that if you follow these 3 simple rules you will never have to run after the same customer again!Respect the customer! Just about as plain as the nose on your face Right? Wrong!How many times have you been greeted in a less than courteous manner or worse yet- not at all!! Never lose the opportunity to make a great first impression- very rarely do you have a second chance to undo the damage done by that first encounter.
Loyal customers are the foundation of almost every business. Going the extra mile to provide outstanding customer service is the first step to customer loyalty.
How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch!
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Human Tech Tips -- Tip #1. How do we take your customer service and kick it up a notch?This is a big question so where do we begin?As an overview, it's a given that the answer is three-fold: People, Process, and Technology.
Making Customer Satisfaction Surveys Work
Why bother? Good customer service is the life blood of any business. Although new customers are important good customer service will help generate customer loyalty and repeat business.
Customer Service - How Good Are YOU?
At 8.30 am a wealthy client (on his way to make a presentation to the local council at 9 am) walked into a store that sells photocopiers.
Retail Store U-Scan Machines: Self-Serve or Voluntary Part Time Job?
Do many of us realize that we are working an unpaid part time job for the grocery stores and some home appliance stores? We are ringing up our own goods, are not getting any price discount for doing so and are saving these retailers money.Each self-serve lane contains two to three self-serve scanners.
Cheap To Keep
You've heard it all before when it comes to stats about customer retention. Acquiring a customer costs five to 10 times more than retaining one.
4 Myths about Customer Value
The purpose of business is to create and retain a customer.Much has been written about customer orientation, customer relationship management (CRM), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) metrics, Customer Centric organization models, customer retention, customer care-add any high sounding word with -customer- preceding or succeeding that word and you have a new model, a new theory.
Stay - Say - Pay
Would you like to have customers that stay with you anddon't buy from your competitors?Customers that say nice things about your business to otherpeople; pay you on time and accept the fact that you might be a bit more expensive thenother suppliers?Of course you do but how do we perform this miracle? It'sdead easy really; you only have to consider two factors: be Reliable and be Likeable.It almost goes without saying that it's vital to have areliable product or service.
It's just a simple thing - I bought a new set of shelves for my office. It wasn't a real problem, but when I got the shelves home, I found dents on the front of the shelves where the package had been leaned up on some other object, the shelves had been removed from the original box and put into another box.
How CRM Software Works -- Creating Customer Satisfaction with a Click
When people ask, "What is CRM?" the literal answer is, "Customer Relationship Management," but that doesn't really convey much in terms of what all CRM does for a business. This CRM definition is too narrow to really explain everything the system does if it is working to its fullest potential and is user-friendly enough to expand and grow as a customer-client relationship changes and grows.
E-Business's Best Friend: eCRM
From Ebay to the smallest home-operated start-up, e-businesses of all sizes struggle to accurately answer a common question: who are my customers? If you can't answer that question, chances are you're also in the dark about the following questions. What customer demand trends can I expect in the future? How can I improve customer retention? What can I do to build long-term relationships of trust with customers? Knowing the answer to these questions can mean the difference between long-term growth and profitability and crashing and burning.
Boomerang Customers- What You Might NOT Think Brings Them Back!
With all of the calendars and PDA's and lists I make I recently did a really dumb thing. I forgot my best friend's birthday and her anniversary.
Customer Service Has Moved Toward Customer Care
As I waited for an answer to my VCR inquiry from a stereo company, the recording stated a "customer care" representative would be available shortly. At that moment, I realized it's finally catching on everywhere.
What You Need to Know About CRM
1. It's all about the customer.
Identify Your Silent Customer Service Message
With the growing number of people in every business sector,doing business requires creativity and ingenuity. Theentrepreneur that understands the importance of thinkingdifferently is the entrepreneur that sees their businessesgrowing.
Are You Giving Your Customers Enough Reasons To Return To Your Business?
Good customer service just isn't enough anymore in the marketplace in which we live. Times are changing and business owners are learning that they need to create such an awesome customer loyalty program that they are always at the forefront of their customers' minds on a regular basis.
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