What is an Automated Help Desk Anyway?
"Not again!" the IT specialist exclaims. "This printer
keeps jamming when I try to print this document on legal paper. I better call the Help Desk and see how we can fix this again."
Whether you call it a help desk, technical support, the
problem management center, or even the customer support center, chances are your company has a place
to contact when you have a problem or issue that needs solved.
The Incoming Calls Management Institute says that a help desk is "a term
that generally refers to a call center set up to handle queries about product installation, usage or problems. The term is most often
used in the context of computer software and hardware support centers."
So, if we apply this further, an "automated help desk" is a
call center that employs some type of help desk software to keep records on the calls and enable one person to access an
electronic journal for common "fixes" for a selected problem. But an automated help desk or problem management software
can do much, much more. Here, take a look at what some help desk software products can do:
- Record an issue and all of its particulars, such as
contact name, date and time of problem, person to be assigned, etc.
- Create graphs on types of calls, customers,
and assigned people--very handy for trending analysis
- Forward an issue, via email, to the person assigned
to resolve the issue
- Email not quick enough? Some software will
let you page the specialist without wasting any time
- Audit a user's PC with a specialized software routine
- And, as mentioned previously, keep a database
of problems and solutions--some call it a knowledge base
As you can see, an automated help desk can wear many
different hats, ones you haven't even pondered. If you have a help desk or support center, it
may be time for you to consider automation. But then you have to decide what questions you need
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