When we look at the calls our help desk receives, we see many of the same issues repeatedly. Some of the most common calls help desk agents receive involve issues like password resets, new hardware requests, and generating standard reports.
And when we examine our IT environments as a whole over the last decade or so, there has been a huge emphasis on automation. Why? We have learned that automation reduces risk, streamlines workflows, and makes everyone more productive.
The help desk is no exception and should be automated like everything else. This leads to not only a better customer experience but increased productivity and higher satisfaction for help desk and IT service agents.
How many times have you been frustrated as an IT user when you need something as simple as a password reset? I know I’ve been. We’re so used to the quick and easy access to technology we’ve gained in the last several years, and the help desk is no exception. If I can order a car to take me someplace from an app, why do I have to be put on hold and waste time for a simple help desk request?
This is where help desk automation really shines.
How Can You Automate a Help Desk?
Let’s dive into some must-know help desk automation tips.
Automate Response to Common Issues
When it comes to help desk automation, first look at the most common tickets your help desk receives. In most environments, the number one request your support team receives is password resets. Automating this one simple task is a great way to get a quick win while also saving time, effort, and costs associated with help desk support.
Next, continue to go through the most common issues in your environment and automate them. From the simple to the complex, everything is a candidate for automation with the right tools. With the tools we need in place, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished, from complex tasks like employee onboarding notifications to what we do every day.
Try Ticket Routing
Ticket routing can be a critical part of the ticketing process. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine where a ticket needs to go next or its prioritization, especially for an end user entering a ticket.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a ticketing system can automatically suggest where a ticket needs to go and send it on its way after it’s been entered. Automatic ticket assignment is a huge time saver and can help improve response times for this important aspect of your help desk operations.
Pay Special Attention to Hardware and Software Requests
Another common help desk ticket is for a hardware or software request. These requests need the proper ticket routing associated with them since they usually require approvals as part of the process.
It’s important for the software you’re using to be able to handle these common tasks, from procurement to keeping track of licenses—especially Microsoft licenses.
This is also a great candidate for automation because it can happen in real time, especially for software requests. Imagine the customer satisfaction when your user requests software, and it’s deployed to their machine within minutes.
Customize Alerting and Notifications
Some requests take longer than others. Think of hardware requests, for example. If it’s something that needs to go through the procurement process, it may take a while, and we don’t want a frustrated user. We also don’t want frustrated support agents responding to tickets about when a device will arrive.
This is where alerts and notifications come into play. During the process of ticket resolution, it’s important to keep everyone in the loop as key times so they can track progress but not experience alert overload. This is essential to a great end-user experience for customers. Automated alerting can also help teams manage service level agreement (SLA) breaches, so the right stakeholders know when expectations aren’t being met.
Don’t Neglect Common Workflows Like Escalation
Sometimes issues need to be escalated due to business requirements, even when there’s an automated help desk system doing all the heavy lifting. Escalation processes can be tricky, especially if a user doesn’t know whom to contact.
Escalation is also a process needing to be tracked to resolution. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had manual escalations fall apart and there’s no record of the request. Automation solutions not only make it easy for an escalation to be started but to track the ticket to resolution as well.
Create a Knowledge Base
A good knowledge base can go hand-in-hand with a help desk automation system. And there are many things end users can be empowered to do in a self-service manner using the knowledge base like resolving issues on their own, which can help descrease overall ticket volume.
Service requests can also be generated as part of a knowledge base visit by a customer, which is a good thing. Customers feel empowered by taking steps to resolve their issues as they’re entered into seamless, automated workflows.
Choose the Right Help Desk Software
The most important consideration when it comes to help desk automation is choosing the right software. It’s crucial to select software that’s easy to deploy and use for both the help desk agents and your customers. Features like automatic ticket routing, knowledge base support, and mobile app support can be huge differentiators for the customer experience.
Benefits of Service Desk Automation
Help desk automation can make your IT support staff more productive (and way happier) by automating common time-consuming tasks. It can also improve the end-user experience by streamlining the resolution of user issues. If you haven’t looked at help desk automation for your organization, now’s the time to get started.
Learn more about how SolarWinds® Service Desk is designed to makes it quick and easy to implement an automated help desk solution.
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