How to Setup a Functional Help Desk | The Ultimate Checklist

After the long process of feature comparison and checking trials you have picked up the help desk software that perfectly (or almost perfectly) suits all your company’s needs.

You’ve passed through all the meetings approving it, confirmed the budget with the financial director, your security department approved the usage of cloud version or set up the server for self-hosted one, and finally, all the agreements are signed, and you are ready to go. 

Setting up help desk

Before we begin, we’d like to admit, that setting up a help desk is a rare opportunity to change the customer support and service processes and old habits of your support team, but for it to run successfully some preparation work needs to be done.

Why Use Help Desk Software

Help Desk Software is a platform that allows the company to keep and manage all the internal and external queries across multiple channels in one single place. Help desk software helps to collect, prioritize, distribute, track, and resolve requests in an organized and manageable way.

Setting Up a Help Desk. How To Begin?

No matter if your company has never used a help desk before or you are migrating from one system to another, first of all, you need to make up a list of problems you are trying to solve and make up a list of goals to achieve. Analyze your current customer support channels and common processes, join your support team for a day or at least a couple hours, be there,see the processes from inside, learn the pain points of your support.

Before the actual set up you should think of the following questions:

  1. What support channels are currently used, what channels could be added/eliminated.
  2. How big is your support team? How many agents do you need? Do you want to differentiate agents by granting some of them extra rights and functions? Do you need to break them into departments?
  3. Does your team manage the load of phone calls? What is the average waiting time?
  4. How many repetitive questions do you get? How can you organize self-service? Will customers be able to find the answers themselves, how often to they need personal assistance of an agent?
  5. Do you need several forums to support multiple products or offer support in different languages? Can agents cover multiple channels or are they specialized?
  6. Do you need a channel for internal team communications
  7. What software currently used by your company should be integrated with the new help desk tool?
  8. At what stages of the customer journey do you need to measure customer satisfaction?

If your service desk is set up and running properly, your team will be able to operate more productively and reduce your overheads, so analyzing your current processes is an essential part of the setup.

Plan Help Desk Deployment 

Define Communication Channels

Think of current support processes in your company, what are your most popular support channels. These can be emails, web forms, online chat, social media, community forums, messengers or some other channels. Make a list of channels you currently have and think of support channels you might want to add, like e.g. allow users contact you via messengers they are used to like WhatsApp or other.  

Determine User Roles

By default, help desks include such roles as Admin, Agent and User. Besides these roles, Admin of the Help desk can create custom roles.

In order to automate the processes, you can organize agents into Teams by their functional responsibilities, departments, regions, supported products, or other parameters. This way you can send notifications and reports to certain user groups, or automate the workflow of passing tickets from one department to another. 

Organize Self-Service Options

  • Think of the most popular questions your customers are asking, what phrases and words are they using? Prepare a list of predefined answers. Work on developing extensive FAQs and Knowledge base documentation in order to eliminate the number of questions asked and empower self-service.
  • Create chatbots to cover the most common customer request scenarios and offer proactive customer service.
  • Another great option to organize self-service for companies with large user bases is to create Community Portal. This way, you will be able to create the knowledge base of Q&A organically, eliminate repeated questions asked, and enable peer-to-peer collaboration.


Outline and Document the Processes 

Think of typical workflows in your company and based on this, make a draft of the internal knowledge base, where you will list all the rules and conditions you create. 

Make sure to state how to understand the statuses and priorities of the tickets, what tags to use and when, possible email templates and predefined responses created, workflow of re-assigning tickets to another department, and other rules. Think of the processes of ticket validation and verification and determine the rules. Outline the SLA rules.

Checklist of the Help Desk Setup

We help businesses set up help desks for their needs almost every day, and have come up with a list of important settings and hints that can save you from further headaches. Check out our helpdesk software setting up checklist not to miss a thing!

Communication Channels

Set up the communication channels your customers may use to contact your support team:

  1. Mailboxes – connect your support mailbox used for creating tickets, sending notifications in the system, and posting replies to tickets;
  2. Service Portal – set up a dedicated web source where customers may fill out the contact form or find the answers on their own in your online documentation, personalize your portal;
  3. Live Chat – integrate chat widget code to your web site to deliver instant support and connect the most popular messengers in chat;
  4. Other channels such as contact form widgets, social networks, app reviews, API, etc.

Basic Settings and Workflow

  1. Build contact form with additional fields;
  2. Determine tickets approval and verification workflows using a predefined list of statuses or adding custom ones;
  3. Customize default email templates and set up email forwarding.

Tickets Management

  1. Create custom Reports and Queues shared with the whole team or certain team members;
  2. Organize Knowledge Base with articles and FAQs for clients to cover the most popular questions.

Automations

  1. Set up Automation rules to send auto-replies in chat, organize automatic notifications, subscriptions, assignments, and much more using triggers and macros;
  2. Create Canned Responses your team can use as templates in chats and messages;
  3. Create Chatbot scenarios for most typical scenarios of requests.

Advanced Settings

  1. Configure Single Sign-On to integrate your web site or app login form;
  2. Enable and configure Business Hours;
  3. Determine SLA rules;
  4. Enable Customer Satisfaction Rating to identify whether your clients are satisfied with the ticket resolution;
  5. Integrate help desk software with other 3d-party applications and test the connections.

Team Management

  1. Add Support Agents;
  2. Import the list of current clients using the built-in import tool;
  3. Organize agents by Departments using Teams (Sales, Support, Marketing, etc.)

Preparing for Launch

  1. Create Internal Knowledge Base (company wiki) for your Support Agents to explain the system rules and  
  2. Onboard and Train your team
  3. Perform testing of the system with your team 
  4. Check integrations
  5. Launch 

Of course, the service desk setup process can vary depending on a custom use case, but overall these are the most common steps that work for any type of company.

See Help Desk Software in Action

If configured the right way, the help desk serves as a helpful tool, but not just remains as a record in the list of the company’s software expenses. 

If you need assistance in setting up your help desk, or want a quick guide on how the system works, please send your request to support@useresponse.com

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Anna Kuzma

Anna Kuzma is Marketing Manager at UseResponse, company specialized in the development of Customer Support and Feedback software. Writes about customer experience and satisfaction, Help Desk and Feedback Software.

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