The MSP help desk is a support service for customers to report issues or call if they have questions.
The purpose of the help desk is fundamental to the MSP as it provides a way to notify the MSP of issues that require immediate attention. Additionally, the help desk filters requests so that the MSP owner or team is not too overwhelmed. The most effective help desk is available 24 hours daily, covering standard business hours at the very least.
Overall, the help desk should provide clear instructions and procedures that customers need for their issues. One’s help desk can allow the filtering of email requests as well as phone calls.
How to Create an Efficient MSP Help Desk
- Design the help desk goals and procedures
Before one opens one’s help desk, one must define the goals and processes that drive it. This includes determining the scope of support work to be provided (whether to fix all IT issues or limit help desk work to specific domains) and a workflow that allows customers to raise and respond to requests.
Defining this information upfront will allow one to implement one’s help desk efficiently and purposefully. It would be a mistake to set up the help desk first and then try to define the processes later.
- Hire support technicians
One needs an IT support engineer on the help desk. The number of technicians assigned to the help desk depends on business hours. Start small and scale up as the entire MSP business grows.
- Train the technicians
Even if the help desk staff hired are experienced IT engineers, they need to be trained in the procedures defined for running the help desk. It can also take some time to get used to the software tools used in help desk operations.
Be prepared to retrain the technicians if the business offerings are changed or help desk operations are updated.
- Create a Schedule
To keep one’s help desk running as efficiently as possible, one must coordinate the schedule with the customers’ needs. Do your best to identify the times (and days of the week) when it is most likely that support requests will be received, and make sure that the help desk is busiest during those times.
Generally, one can expect most inquiries to come in during normal business hours. Still, depending on the customer’s business and unique schedule patterns, this may not always be the case.
If one doesn’t yet know when the peak demand will be, one can start collecting support requests, analyze the data to identify trends in when requests are received and reschedule once one is aware of them.
- Create a ticketing system
A ticket system helps track customer support requests. A ticket is created when a request is received and is used to store information about the request and the team’s response. If the issue is resolved, the ticket will be closed.
There are various MSP ticketing systems (both open-source and commercial) that can be implemented.
- Implement a knowledge base system
To spread the individual team member’s knowledge and troubleshooting experience across the team, the support engineer will store knowledge base articles on all the various issues related to all products for future reference.
- Monitor progress
Collect metrics about help desk operations and continuously analyze them to track progress and find opportunities for improvement. Key metrics tracked include the number of requests received in a day or week, the average time tickets remain open, and the average agent time spent responding to requests. Asset tracking software would be quite useful at this stage. Customer surveys are another way to gain valuable insight into help desk performance.
- Identify opportunities for improvement.
Even if one is happy with one’s current performance, always strive to improve performance for both the customers (by improving metrics like response time) and the business (by optimizing the time it takes the agents to help).
Continuous improvement of the help desk keeps it efficient and streamlined as the MSP business grows.
And that’s a wrap! Following these steps would greatly help in an efficient MSP help desk for businesses.