Part 3: Perfect IT Helpdesk Golden Rules and Development
Perhaps you were a customer of a Helpdesk at a law firm. Perhaps you were a Helpdesk person, assisting your customers every day. Perhaps you were a Helpdesk Manager/Supervisor. You may have often wondered, what would the Perfect Helpdesk experience be? It is only natural to compare between various companies, methodologies and theories, but the truth is that everyone can learn and benefit and improve their IT Helpdesk operation. Right…?
I would like to address it from several sides, mayhap state the obvious sometimes, also to elicit feedback and provoke a creative discussion about it.
- SMILE AND BE FRIENDLY Make sure your Helpdesk staff has sufficient soft skills and stays approachable, friendly and smiling with their customers. Relaxed interactions inspire more honest and helpful incident reports — “Hey James, how are you doing? How is your new shiny Yoga working out for you?”
- FEEL THEIR PAIN Make sure your Helpdesk staff is attentive and listens carefully to customers with attention, so they know they are heard and understood well and that Helpdesk person is on their side – “Oh, man, you lost all the changes that you have been putting in the client agreement? That is bad! You must be very upset! Let me quickly remote into your laptop to see if I can retrieve those!”
- THANK YOU Make sure your Helpdesk staff always say thank you to your customers, even if they bring bad news and new bugs or negative feedback. It is all valuable in the end and customers should be thanked for that – “Thanks for bringing it up. You are the first one to mention that error. We will do our best to find a solution asap!”
- FOLLOW-UP Make sure that any open incident or even a conversation over coffee in the office kitchen where an attorney mentioned an IT issue is followed-up on in a timely manner, never forgotten – “Now, James, about that iPhone setting you mentioned to me in the kitchen a few hours ago…”
- KNOWLEDGE BASE Make sure to have a working, robust and easy-to-use Knowledge Base that Helpdesk team can enjoy using and contributing to with tried and proven solutions – “Yes, James, I heard about this problem, give me just a few seconds to get you an answer…. right, now, please go to Start…”
- VALUE YOUR HELPDESK STAFF Helpdesk staff is the lifeblood of the firm. And that is not an exaggeration. Complement, praise and reward them! – “Tom, you have done very well! You solved James’ problem quickly and efficiently! He mentioned that during Partners’ Meeting! Well done!”
- SOLID USER-FRIENDLY SYSTEMS Choose and implement such systems, software, hardware and support solutions (solid, simple, efficient, user-friendly and easy-to-use) and train attorneys/staff accordingly so they do not really have to call Helpdesk very often (it takes a lot of time and effort but yes, it’s possible!) – “Our IT systems have been so simple and easy to use I don’t really have to call Helpdesk guys anymore! But I can sometimes drop by their room and chat with them about new things they are testing to implement soon!”
- PROACTIVE SOLUTIONS Implement solutions that enable you to track down crashes, freezing and other anomalies so that you can proactively track and address them before attorneys (also working remotely) call you that something does not work – “Hey James, we have noticed that your Outlook crashed several times last week. We have a fix that should address that. Can we apply it to your machine so you can enjoy a seamless operation?”
- WORKING PARTNERS Let your daily operation, official communications, training sessions, unofficial chats and everything else work towards the model where attorneys are seeing you as working partners – “Everyone around is implementing AI in their law firms – let’s invite the IT Manager to our Partners’ Meeting and ask his opinion, involve him in the process”
- DEVELOPMENT Always look for new and better ways of supporting your customers. Follow news and trends, attend webinars, check new software platforms. Walk the floors, talk to the attorneys, hear what they have to say. And act accordingly – “I have seen several new timekeeping products that allow attorneys to enter time on their iPhones and iPads and which track all their activities thus allowing them to find and bill more time. Let’s test those and suggest implementing the best solution for this!”
- CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT Constantly improve your procedures, routines and operations, innovate, adapt to changes and circumstances –
“Since attorneys are so busy and usually don’t have time to come for training or Lunch&Learn sessions, all the more now since most work remotely, let’s start sending them short and attractive Tips&Tricks to help make their work simpler and more effective”;
“Since we mostly work remotely now and can’t walk the floors and talk to attorneys in person, let’s do whatever we can to maintain good working relationships with attorneys and support staff – while attorneys call in with a specific problem and they seem willing to talk, let’s ask about others things, like whether they are happy with their laptop, smartphone, whether everything works correctly; let’s send very short and attractive electronic questionnaires, trying to elicit feedback, preferences and possible bugs/errors”