A special guest blog posting from Donna Earl – A.K.A. “The Help Desk Coach”
Nothing creates more anxiety with service desk agents than supporting a conversion event. Perhaps it’s a migration to a new email system, benefits tool, or even operating system.
Whatever the conversion event is, the looming surge in contact volumes and increased user frustration creates stress in anticipation. However, this can be an opportunity to focus on improved agent performance and workflow.
Preparing your help desk to support users effectively during this transition requires planning and investment in the help desk. The support function plays a crucial role in success of any conversion, yet rarely do the agents receive the investment they deserve and need.
Here are 7 tips for supporting your service desk in handing a conversion:
- Provide technical training so your support agents are familiar with the new technology. This is a “no-brainer” and is typically a given.
- Provide handling, soft skills, and customer service skills training to boost and refresh agent skills to handle calls efficiently and manage end user frustrations. Providing this training in advance of any transition and asking agents to make their contacts more efficient (say, by 10%) can set them up for well handled, efficient contacts once call volumes surge.
- Set up a robust knowledge base and self-service portals that can be accessed by support staff and users. Within the call handling/customer service training, providing a module on techniques for migrating end users to self-support is vital. Alternatively, a standalone training module to equip staff with best strategies for courteously encouraging user self-support is a recommended strategy For more tips on migrating users to self-support, see http://www.helpdeskcoach.com/articles/migrating-users-to-self-help/
- Provide templates for email and chat addressing FAQs, which can be quickly customized to ensure targeted resolution and customer satisfaction.
- Consider using contractors or triage admins to respond to the easiest and most frequent issues (password resets, new login information, user documentation, etc).
- Provide an outgoing message while callers are in queue, with recorded solutions for ‘easy fix’ issues. Point callers to a self-support portal ‘while they’re waiting’ to encourage self-service. This will aid in call deflection and help to maximize help desk agent resources.
- Implement a stress management strategy for your help desk agents. This can be as simple as including a toy box in their break room (with lots of fun toys and gadgets) to actual stress management exercises.
Remember, your support desk is your most valuable asset in helping your user base benefit from a conversion. Do create a strategy to invest in your help desk team.
© Donna Earl 2015.