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IT's All That: Help Desk Edition

02/27/2012 by: The SunView Team

As far as I know IT guys aren't into romantic comedies. Most would rather watch Star Wars AGAIN rather than check out the latest Katherine Heigl movie. But is there something that these movies can teach a help desk? Maybe not directly... but with a little help from the ITSM Lens, we hope you can say your help desk "is all that."

For those of you who haven't seen the movie or need a quick refresher, the premise of the movie is that Freddie Prinze Jr. is dumped, and then accepts a bet that he can't make the dorkiest girl in school, played by Rachel Leigh Cook, into the prom queen. Now in reality the girl was always attractive and "cool" she just needed a little help for people to notice. We think that most help desks have the talent, and means to be successful, they just need a little help to really shine through. We give you five changes to make your business think the help desk "all that".

1. Attractiveness - Service Catalog
The face of the help desk cannot be overlooked. A pretty face goes a long way. If users are looking for answers, they need an interface that modern, intuitive, and to the standards of IT, attractive. Think of it this way; Unless a customer portal or service catalog is eye pleasing, users will be more likely go straight to asking questions rather than finding the answer on their own. Make sure your service catalog lists popular services, includes easy links to submitting tickets, and office information. Organization is going to make a big difference.
2. Intelligence - Knowledge Base
In "She's All That," the girl was smart, one of the reasons she did not run with the popular crowd. For the help desk, if you have the knowledge to handle service and incident requests, you have the knowledge to write knowledge base article. This is the equivalent of putting your best foot forward. Of course, the Knowledge base will need to have the most up-to-date info. Nothing changes the way people view your intelligence, than having outdated solutions for current problems.
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3. Conversation - Improve Communication & Reporting

Many people claim that their number one most important feature in a mate is personality. In a sense you want someone you can carry on a great conversation with. That means an exchange of pertinent information when and where necessary. So, it is safe to say the most effective service desks have great conversation skills. The main reasons behind that are communication and reporting. Communication within your help desk and with customers makes all the difference. If romantic comedy characters just talked everything out from the beginning, we wouldn't be sitting there two hours later yelling "just kiss already" at our TV screen. Effective reporting is an ongoing process of realizing how well the help desk is running. Imagine how well a relationship would work if you had concrete metrics.
4. Style - Custom Forms
Let's face it, in She's All That and all movies like it, the girl just takes off her glasses and puts on a cocktail dress and she's a totally "new" person. That might not be as easy with your current ITSM tool. However, with a solution like ChangeGear, you get a modern, intuitive interface right from the start. If you want to take it to the next level, you can customize your forms to reduce unnecessary information. The end result is a subconsciously happier.

5. Empathy - Know your Customer
The help/service desk is just as much about providing great customer service as it is about using technology. Unfortunately, many people need the typical obvious "Rom Com" (romantic comedy) revelation. You know, that point where the person that helped make the transformation realizes how great that transformed individual was all along. Right at that moment, they've crossed a threshold. The same happens to Help Desk employees that deal with customers everyday. Much like the "friends" in romantic comedy, they realize they love each other. That comes from understanding what they've been through - we call that crossing the empathetic barrier. Now, I am not asking you to love ALL of your customers. Rather, just realize that a little extra effort to show you care goes a long way. Plus it doesn't ever hurt to put yourself in their shoes.