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a bad help desk experience gets blogged about

It’s so important to have good help desk interactions with your customers. Why? Because the bad ones get blogged about. Alan has a typical post about a poor experience with his corporate help desk.

Many of the frustrating aspects of his experience are directly related to his organizations help desk software. Let’s break it down point by point and see how HelpSpot handles these situations.

  1. No part of the customer facing help desk should have any “weird” requirements that may interfere with the customer experience. In this case odd javascript which prevented him from entering his request from a Mac. I would also say there was a second problem here because the reason for the javascript is to do an LDAP lookup and fill in the rest of the users information. None of that system integration should be on the customer facing end of the software. Simply ask for a name and email or an employee id if available. That’s it! You can do additional lookups later if necessary behind the scenes.

HelpSpot makes it easy to enter requests via the web or by integrating with one or multiple email accounts. All your customers need to do is email in a support request and a ticket is created automatically.

  1. If you need to ask for browser information ask it in a drop down select list of browser types, don’t get fancy and try to figure it out by the browser the user is currently using. Maybe they’re using a different computer, perhaps the error is with their main browser, in any event don’t try and guess just ask.

Provide a good user interface for the user. They are reporting their problems here, having a tiny little text box implies that you don’t care and you just want them to keep it short.

HelpSpot lets you create custom fields so you can ask any type of information you need to that’s specific to your desk. We’ve spent countless hours working on our user interface to make sure your customers don’t feel frustrated with the experience.

  1. Make a special category for security issues and have them route directly to the person who needs to know. The user shouldn’t have to know who this is and go out of their way to notify them.

HelpSpot lets you automatically assign incoming requests for a category to a particular user so that it’s routed to them as fast as possible without even stopping at the help desk.

  1. OK this is good! The user should get an email with the ticket number and in HelpSpot’s case they’ll also get a one time use, unique password they can use to check the status of their request on the web.

Look for a future article I’m writing about how we handle customer access to request information

5,6,7,8. Here we have the standard breakdown in communication. Most likely the help desk didn’t know the right person to contact or had to work outside the help desk software to contact them. Since that puts the help desk out of the loop nobody follows up with the customer and frustration sets in.

*HelpSpot addresses this issue by encouraging every “level 2” support person to be part of the system. Licenses in HelpSpot for level 2 support people will be cheap so their’s no excuse not to include every user who needs to be in the system, in the system.

In a HelpSpot installation the request should go something like this:

  1. Customer fills out simple web based form or sends an email to [email protected]

  2. If the category of inquiry has a user assigned to it the request gets assigned directly to them (skip down to #4) if not the request goes into the help desk queue.

  3. A help desk team member assigns the request to the correct level 2 user. In this case someone who can change the Unix permissions.

  4. That user is notified automatically by the system since they have an account in HelpSpot.

  5. The level 2 user sees the request come in and makes the change in 2 minutes. Marks the request as resolved and closed and the customer is notified.