SharePoint Help Desk FeaturesA good Help Desk solution can make all the difference to your organization. As mentioned in one of our recent articles, Six Features to Look for in a Help Desk System, a best-in-breed Help Desk can empower your company to take control of the customer interaction process while reducing the workload of your support personnel. One of the six items mentioned in that article is “Analysis” — the ability of your Help Desk to provide meaningful insights via reports and data visualizations. In this blog post we’ll explore the topic of Help Desk reporting in more detail and will introduce five key benefits that a robust reporting feature-set should offer.

Proof of Continuous Improvement

Being able to provide proof of a continuous cycle of service level improvement is key to establishing the credibility of your organization and its dedication to customer support. In today’s competitive environment, complacency leads to loss of market share. Customers need to know exactly how you are exceeding their expectations over the long-term. A comprehensive Help Desk system should have the capability to compare service level expectations with real-world results across multiple metrics (e.g., number and percentile of tickets resolved, time spent on ticket resolution, and so on). A robust reporting feature-set also enables your organization to find areas in need of improvement and discover bottlenecks that hinder ticket resolution progress. It’s no longer enough to simply do “enough” — discerning customers require you to continuously set the customer service bar higher and higher over time.

Employee Accountability

There are always situations when there is a misalignment between employer expectations and employee performance. Whether it’s due to a lack of training or other personal factors, it’s critical that employers have the ability to quickly view and compare employee performance metrics. This issue is important for three reasons:

  • Identify Problem Areas: Lower-than-expected performance metrics can highlight problem areas that need to be addressed. Certain employees may need additional training while other employees may work more effectively if minor changes are made (e.g., a change in work hours). Detailed reporting analytics enable you to discover these issues quickly before they turn into larger problems;
  • Impact on Team Metrics: A handful of negative reporting analytics can drag down the overall performance ratings for a support team as a whole. This compromises your organization’s ability to effectively market your products/services and could also undermine agreed-upon service level agreements;
  • Pinpoint Employee Efficiency: How many employees are working on open tickets? Are multiple employees working on the same ticket? Are tickets being documented thoroughly and accurately? All of these potential efficiency issues should be trackable and reportable for further analysis.
Transparency

In any Help Desk environment, credibility is of tantamount importance. Customers need to know that your support infrastructure is rock-solid and dependable. The standards don’t end at the customer level, however: senior level management also needs assurances that the support team/department is running smoothly. This means that mid-level managers, such as IT Managers and Support Team Leads, need a transparent system that demonstrates good communication and collaboration. A strong reporting system should be able to convey these standards in an open and objective manner. For example, reports demonstrating good communication could display visualizations showing the total time spent between ticket escalation requests (done by a Level 1 Support employee), resolution (Level 2 or 3), and management review/approval. If Help Desk technology is used for user access requests, then reports could compare time spent from initial user request to management approval (for escalated requests). A transparent system ensures that all actions are clearly presented for analysis by senior management, from mid-level management down.

Auditing

A powerful Help Desk system should track and save every action taken by users, with the express purpose of being able to report on that data when needed. This is critical for a few reasons. First, as mentioned above, all employees need to be held accountable for their actions (both positive and negative). Performance reports and investigatory reports can be used to determine cases when employees go above and beyond what is expected of them; conversely, such reports also help to determine mistakes made along the way, their scope, and how much of an effect those mistakes have on the organization. Secondly, the auditing of logs is often required in order to resolve disputes between customers and the company, and even for intra-company conflicts. Lastly, reporting on audited data is often required for regulatory or compliance purposes, such as for a governmental agency or for licensure/accreditation reasons.

Marketing Content

If your company has just surpassed its quarterly goals by a significant margin, then there is no better way to share it with potential customers than by showing them the proof. Creative report visualizations, such as bar graphs, line charts, pie charts, and tables all help to paint a meaningful picture of how your teams are performing. In addition to web content, this data can be integrated into brochures, press releases, whitepapers, data sheets, and any other relevant marketing collateral. This aspect is often overlooked, as reporting data is frequently relegated to internal analysis; if used correctly, though, it can help to promote your organization and its dedication to superior customer service and support.

Crow Canyon Systems has 18 years of experience assisting organizations in leveraging their existing infrastructure, rather than requiring new hardware & technologies. We specialize in building upon your collaboration platforms, such as SharePoint and Office 365, in order to give your Help Desk and Support Staff the tools they need to provide assistance without the need for additional infrastructure.

Want to learn more about how our solutions can transform your SharePoint experience? Give us a call at 1-925-478-3110 or contact us by e-mail at sales@crowcanyon.com

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