Front line support: Help desks

Typically this will be a telephone service available during working days for all users of the system

Many problems can be solved simply and quickly

Other problems may have to be referred to the hardware or software supplier

It is important to have a single contact point to turn to, regardless of the nature of the problem

Front line support: Help desks

Question: Suggest some metrics that measure how good the help desk is

Are these OK? Time to respond, # calls resolved, # calls outstanding




Front line support: Help desks

Question: A help desk diligently responds to all calls, and takes initial action (at least) within half an hour. Do they need to improve what they are doing. If so, what?

It's not in their interest to reduce simple queries




Simon Scarrott, head of consulting for analysts Compass:
"While many organisations are introducing formal measurements of service, they haven't defined what they want to achieve.

"They're often still measuring call volumes rather than the actual level of service to the customer."

"Counting fixes encourages help desks to cross off the easy problems, when it might be better to eliminate an underlying problem, for example through better training."

(Classe, 1998)

Front line support: Help desks

Noel Bruton wrote about those who see their role only as reacting to calls from users, what he calls reactivity

Question: How can a help desk be pro-active in improving service?

See the next bit!




Front line support: User training

Many problems referred to the help desk could be avoided by good training

A pro-active help desk will either provide the training, or monitor those who provide it

If the help desk maintains a log of calls received, they could analyse it and

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