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 helpdesk software that perfectly (or almost perfectly) suits your company’s needs.

You passed through the meetings approving it, confirmed the budget with the financial director, your security department approved the usage of the cloud version or have 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

Setting up a help desk is a rare opportunity to change the processes and old habits of your support team but for it to run successfully some preparation work needs to be done.

What is a Help Desk Software

helpdesk center

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 allows to collect, prioritize, distribute, track and resolve requests in an organized way.

Among the core features of a help desk can be the following:

  • ticketing system;
  • single inbox;
  • smart automations;
  • self-service portal;
  • knowledge base;
  • live chat;
  • SLA management;
  • reporting and analytics.

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. Ask yourself a question about what truly matters to you, your team and your customers. Analyze your current customer support channels and common processes, join your support team for a day or at least a couple hours, be there, listen to customers, and see the processes from inside.

Before the actual set up think of the following questions:

  • What support channels are currently used, what channels could be added/eliminated.
  • What are your customer communication goals? How can you increase customer satisfaction?
  • 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? What user roles and permissions will you need?
  • How complex is your product? Do customers find it difficult to understand? Will customers be able to find answers themselves or would they need personal assistance of an agent?
  • Do you need several forums to support multiple products or offer support in different languages? Can agents cover multiple channels or are they specialized?
  • Do you need a channel for internal team communications? 
  • Think of the current positions of your company and plans for further development in the next couple of years.

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, chat messages, 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. Support Community or website widget.  

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, 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. 


Outline the Processes 

Think of typical workflows in your company and based on this, make a draft of internal knowledge base, where you will list all the rules and conditions you create not to get lost. 

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

Channels

Set up the 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;
  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, 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. Set up automation rules to send auto-replies in a chat, organize automatic notifications, subscriptions, assignments and much more using triggers;
  4. Customize default email templates.

Tickets Management

  1. Create custom Reports and Queues shared with the whole team or certain team members;
  2. Create Canned Responses your team can use in chat and messages
  3. Organize knowledge base with articles and FAQs for clients to cover the most popular questions.

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.

Team Management

  1. Add new support Agents and organize them into departments by their functional responsibilities, regions, supported products or other parameters;
  2. Import the list of current clients using the built-in import tool.
  3. Organize agents by Departments using Teams

Preparing for Launch

  1. Create Internal Knowledge Base for your Support Agents to explain the system rules  
  2. Train your team
  3. Perform testing of the system with your team 
  4. Launch 

Of course, the 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, help desk serves as a helpful tool, but not just remains as a record in the list of 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



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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