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Tech Talk Live Blog

5 Tips to Make Your Help Desk More Efficient for the Start of the New School Year

Jessica Diller


It’s that time of the year again. . . THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. For most IT departments this means an increase in help desk tickets, walk-ups, and phone calls.  While most schools use the summer months to get caught up with projects, updates, and upgrades, it is also important to take some time to plan how your first line of support can be more efficient while still providing exceptional customer service. Below are 5 quick tips to make the start of the school year run smoothly.

  1. Create a Hotline: Make support phone calls go directly to a hotline staffed by someone that is not on your desktop support team. Train this person to be able to do quick fixes such as password resets. If it is something that needs to be escalated, then a ticket is entered and moved up to desktop support.  This will free your desktop support to answer more elevated tickets. Tip: Don’t have the funds to pay for a hotline staff member? Rotate your desktop support to have one person on hotline duty daily, instead of all your team getting interrupted during the day. If you only have one desktop support member, have the greeting on the phone point the user to enter a ticket in the system for better service.
  2. Prepare an Image: Desktop support can spend quite a bit of time trying to troubleshoot different computer issues.  Train your staff to back up the computer and reimage it for any tickets that take longer than 10 minutes to fix.  They can move on to the next ticket while the computer is imaging and save a lot of time. Tip: Set up a few image workstations to make this process go even faster.
  3. Use a Ticket System: Ticket systems can transform how efficiently your desktop support team can work. Invest in a great ticket system, and learn the system to use all its capacity.  It will pay back dividends with response time reductions and employee satisfaction.  With the analytics tools you can track ticket response times; number of tickets in a day, week, or month; and work load distribution between your team.  Tickets systems are great for ticket escalation.  You can start at your Tier 1 support instead of everything reaching your Tier 2 or 3 support directly.
  4. Invest in a Remote Desktop Support Solution: With staff members in different locations and usually not enough desktop support hands to go around, investing in a remote desktop solution can be a life saver. It allows your desktop team to see the issue the staff member is experiencing without leaving their seats.  While this solution might not be ideal for every situation, the technological advances in some of these solutions can make your desktop support team’s lives much easier.  Happier employees are usually more productive and loyal. Tip: Don’t have the funds to purchase one this year, try products like TeamViewer that offer free versions.
  5. Write How-tos: During the slower summer months, have your desktop support team craft well written instructions for common issues and post them where all staff members can obtain them. Send these out during the beginning of the school year, and encourage staff by pointing them to the posted how-tos when they call or place tickets. Tip: If your staff does not have time to write these, have them provide links to instructions/information already posted on the internet.

By preparing for the busy start of the school year, your team will be positioned for success. Make your team feel supported by equipping them with the necessary tools they need to do their jobs well. Please post below any tips you may have to improve efficiencies within the Tech Department. Good luck with the beginning of the school year.

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