3 Ways Your Help Desk Technicians Can Increase Customer Satisfaction in the Age of COVID

The Covid-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for firms, and nowhere is this more true than when it comes to help desks. Even the most efficient helpdesk systems have struggled to deal with a huge spike in requests for remote support, and have been inundated with new types of requests that are the direct consequence of the pandemic.

The organizations that have met this challenge well are those that took the time to analyze the flood of new requests, and to adapt the way in which their help desk operates in the light of this analysis. In some cases, this means leaning on the VOIP services that advanced helpdesk software offers. In others, it has required that firms deploy customer service bots to an unprecedented degree.

In this article, we'll show you three key ways that you can recharge your helpdesk in the age of Covid-19.

Reassess Your Priorities and Routing

The most fundamental part of any helpdesk system is the structure through which support tickets are assessed and routed. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, your organizations might need to look again at the way in which you do this.

One key challenge here is that the move to remote working which has accompanied the pandemic means that previously obscure types of help requests are now arriving in hugely inflated numbers.

Staff who have never worked from home before will likely need hardware assistance, and requests for account resets will spike as they attempt to log in to unfamiliar remote working solutions. For many standard support ticket triage systems, this will present a huge problem, because all of these tickets will be tagged at the same level of priority.

An effective way of combating this issue is to set up a designated "pandemic task force", who are charged with handling all requests generated by the move to home working. Alongside training your employees on how to fill out help desk tickets, this can help to limit the business impact of huge numbers of similar requests.

Lean on Remote Tools

A second key approach in managing helpdesk systems during the pandemic has been making the best use of remote communication and management tools, including those that can help process customer payments and receipts, invoice requests, and connect to your help desk systems so you are alerted to any customer payment issues,

Recent research by Zendesk indicates that agile companies are solving tickets more efficiently than anyone else by rolling out new channels or quickly scaling existing ones to align with customer needs.

This research found that the companies that maintained stable resolution times during the crisis were those that rapidly added messaging and live channels to better support their customers. Adoption of messaging in this group jumped 24 percent since the crisis started, with phone and chat adoption (up 9 percent) also on the rise.

Spending extra time engaging with staff via VOIP or direct messaging may seem counterintuitive for help desks that are currently rushing to respond to increased support ticket volumes. In reality, however, direct communication of this type can often reduce the burden of support in the long term.

It allows staff to casually raise smaller concerns and questions that will eventually generate further support tickets if left unaddressed. It also allows support staff to address cyber security risks that arise from unfamiliar software and new ways of working, ultimately reducing your threat profile while keeping your network and devices protected.


Finally, ensure that you have automated as many of your systems as possible such as payroll, payments, and invoicing. In the context of the pandemic, the primary value of automation in one perfect package is related to a point I've made above – that a sudden move to remote working will generate many similar support tickets. This is exactly the kind of situation that AI support bots were designed to help with, and you should use them wherever possible.

Recent research supports this idea. The research by Zendesk that I've mentioned above found that of those companies who have performed well during the pandemic, 60 percent have added automation to their help centers since late February, and half of those using Answer Bot have ramped up their use by solving 10 percent or more requests via AI.

Just one word of warning, though. Staff forced to move to remote work will likely feel lonely and disconnected from their colleagues, and an over-eager use of support bots is not going to help that. While using automated systems to triage requests can be an extremely effective way of reducing the workload for human operatives, you should remember that AI should complement humans and not replace them. In other words, always provide an option for staff to talk to a human helpdesk agent.

Upgrade Your Platform

The way in which you achieve these recommendations will depend on which helpdesk platform you are using. The best help desk platforms will allow you to reroute support tickets easily, integrate VOIP and direct messaging, and deploy customer service bots. If your platform doesn't have these capabilities, it's time to read our tips for choosing helpdesk software, and upgrading your capabilities.
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