5. OUTCOME FOCUSED
The final component to the help desk experience is always staying focused on the outcome, and producing results that will enhance the overall help desk service for end-users. Here are three main ways to be outcome focused:
Strive for first-call resolution.
No matter who is on the other end, customers want an answer to their question right away. Make it a priority for the help desk agents to try and resolve the problem as quickly as possible, because a high first-call resolution rate is directly associated with high caller satisfaction. Sometimes the initial agent just doesn’t have the knowledge or tools to solve a customer’s inquiry. In these cases, be sure to have higher level agents available immediately rather than creating a ticket for follow up. It’s also important to record when a first-call resolution happens, as the Ascent Group reported that 44 percent of companies that recorded first-call resolution results for a year or longer had considerable improvement in their performance rates.
Reduce response times.
In order to boost satisfaction, work on cutting down the response time for calls, emails, or social media. Speed isn’t the most important goal, an extraordinary experience is, but it certainly factors into how the customer views an organization. There are a few ways that help desk agents can respond quickly to the customers to let them know that their problem is being handled, such as assigning a help ticket (this could be an automated response) and then providing an estimated resolution time for that case number or ticket. Phone calls are a different situation since the caller will be on hold waiting for an agent to
pick up the phone. According to Harris Interactive, 75 percent of callers think that it takes too long to talk to an agent. It is important to have a very clear understanding of typical call volume, arrival pattern,s and the length in order to optimize the staffing plans in advance. Sometimes things won't go according to plan, but they will be more open if a plan is in place. When there's a higher call volume than normal, and there's not enough staff to get to all the calls, consider implementing a hold message that gives the caller an estimated wait time. If customers know what to expect and how long until their call is answered, they will be more understanding of high call volume wait times.
Surveys are a great way to get an accurate picture of the help desk experience. Some questions to ask in a help desk survey would be:
- Did the help desk resolve your problem?
- Was the help desk prompt and professional in responding to your problem?
- Were you happy with the help desk service you received?
Measure the survey on a five-point scale and instead of looking at average survey score only, measure it in terms of "top two boxes" and "bottom box." That is to say, measure the percentage of respondents that rated their experience as exceptional or very good and the percentage of respondents that rated the experience as poor. There are various thoughts on this, but a typical best practice is to expect more than 85 percent to fall in the top two boxes and less than 4 percent to fall into the bottom box.
Also, be sure to follow up on every single bottom box rating. Determine if there is an action item to correct a potentially systemic issue and decide if there is additional follow-up required for that specific customer.
Each of these outcome-focused points are important to improving the overall help desk experience and seeing where changes may need to be made.