Managing a help desk is an important function in many different types of organizations. Businesses, college and universities, and even municipalities all make use of help desks to assist clients and others with a variety of questions and concerns. In order to engage in effective help desk management, managers must set the example when it comes to good communication, engendering respect for everyone involved, and making sure that all help desk personnel are properly trained and up-to-date in terms of information and procedures.
One of the first things to keep in mind with help desk management is the need to promote effective communication at every level of the desk operation. This means that managers and support personnel must be able to communicate in ways that are succinct and clear, which helps to minimize the potential for misunderstandings that could undermine the function of the desk and have a negative impact on the ability of the desk to provide competent assistant to others. Here, the manager must lead in terms of using solid communication strategies that keep personnel informed and equipped to help anyone who seeks assistance.
Along with solid internal communications, help desk management also involves aiding help desk personnel in developing skills that make it easier to communicate with customers. This means actively training personnel not only in terms of the type of information to dispense but also how to convey that information using verbiage that customers can understand. At the same time, making sure personnel are trained in how to listen effectively to customers, ask clarifying questions and generally work with customers to identify exactly what is needed before attempting to respond is very important. The end result is a client who feels heard, an element that can go a long way to defuse a negative situation and keep the relationship with the customer positive.
Help desk management involves taking the time to do performance evaluations with employees on a regular basis. When used to best effect, this is a time to for both the manager and the employee to identify areas of strength as well as areas where improvement could be made that in turn helps to make the help desk more effective. The focus of the evaluations is not just on the skill set of the employee but also an opportunity for employees to make suggestions about how to improve help desk function. While employees should always feel free to suggest new ideas to managers, incorporating this opportunity into the end of the evaluation can often yield some effective ideas and also reinforce to the employee that he or she is an important part of the team.
Support to the team is also an important aspect of help desk management. Personnel must feel confident that the manager will be there to offer assistance in the event something occurs that is beyond the scope of the employee’s training or experience. When employees have trust and confidence in the ability of the manager to support them through anything, the sense of being a team is enhanced, and ultimately serves everyone to best advantage.
Effective help desk management also involves making sure that everyone connected with the desk is treated with respect. Managing personnel in a manner that recognizes their contributions while also working with them to make the desk operate more efficiently is of primary importance. By recognizing the worth of all help desk personnel, making sure everyone is up-to-date on policies and procedures, and being prepared to assist employees with difficult situations, the process of help desk management will proceed smoothly, benefiting everyone involved.