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Why great IT support service means more than just a helpdesk

Regardless of the service you provide, the helpdesk remains the core of IT support – but it’s no longer enough by itself. The helpdesk model relies on the outdated concept of IT support being no more than a reactive service that deals with problems when they’ve already arisen. True IT support means being proactive: identifying problems before they impact service delivery and developing a solution before your customers have a chance to realise there’s a problem.

By the time a customer contacts your helpdesk, they’ve already experienced enough stress, disruption and frustration to provoke them to reach out for help. Consequently, proactive IT support is essential in keeping customers happy and delivering on your brand’s promises. In this blog, we’ll look at the importance of good IT support and why it should go far beyond a helpdesk solution.

Customers expect fast, effective and helpful service.

It’s difficult to overstate the extent to which our culture of 24/7 connectivity has changed people’s expectations. Years ago, customers might have been surprised when their problems were solved quickly and simply, but the same can’t be said of today. Today, you might get some credit for having friendly and polite helpdesk operators, but fixing the problem itself is simply the least that customers expect. To create a lasting, positive impression, you’ll need to go above and beyond – which means proactively addressing issues before they grow out of control, understanding your customer’s needs and frustrations, and ensuring you’re doing all you can to deal with these before they impact core business functions.

Proactive support takes a holistic view of your service

Proactive IT support incorporates a range of methods. For example, researching the most common problems that customers can solve themselves, then putting this information into FAQs and manuals that are accessible via a customer help portal. It can also mean more thorough monitoring of your systems to spot problems that may arise in the future or are already an issue, such as unusually high numbers of people abandoning your website at a purchase or checkout page. You could then have your site display a help message or even launch a live chat if a customer appears to be having problems. For example, if they spend a long time on a purchase page without proceeding, it might be worth sending them an instant chat message to ask if they need assistance, or an email reminding them about an incomplete purchase and asking if they need assistance.

Another approach is to proactively identify problems that customers or staff are experiencing before your helpdesk is inundated with support calls. This is a powerful way to address your customers’ frustrations before they impact you, but it requires a deep understanding of the places your customers interact and the ability to respond to issues proactively.

Communicating with your customers is a key part of delivering great support

Solving a problem is only one part of a comprehensive IT support set-up. If there’s a big problem such as your ecommerce system being down, fixing the technical issue isn’t enough: you also need to handle the customers in the meantime. Simply waiting for them to call in and then having your helpdesk staff repeat the same message over and over again is a waste of your resources. Instead, you should be actively contacting customers, either via email, social media, a message on the website, or multiple methods combined. Keeping customers up-to-date on the estimated time-frame for a fix and providing temporary workarounds will make them feel informed and reduce needless calls to your helpdesk.

Comprehensive IT support isn’t always simple, so it’s worth considering outside help and expertise. PowerNet is able to work alongside your IT staff or provide a complete outsourced solution, whether full-time or as a boost during your busy periods. If you want to know more about the health of your IT systems, take our commitment-free IT health check at the link below.

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