Help Desk Tips For Working With Internal Customers

By on January 19, 2013

As an internal help desk team, the relationship between you and your customers is significantly different than an outsourced provider that services hundreds of different companies that may be in different states or even different countries. Because you will be working closely with each other, you have to establish a certain relationship and understanding to ensure that things flow smoothly. With that said, here are some tips that will help you and your internal customers become much more efficient and productive.

1: Make a service level agreement

A service level agreement (SLA) is a document that outlines the expectations of both the help desk and the customer. Having a well written SLA will help eliminate many of the common issues that occur between help desks and customers such as unrealistic expectations or poor customer service. If there are ever any problems or issues that arise, both parties can refer to the SLA to assess who was at fault and what went wrong.

2: Seek to educate

Simply going in and fixing problems as they arise is part of the equation, but you should also aim to educate your customers at the same time to avoid having to fix the same issue repeatedly. Since you will be working rather closely with your customers as an in house help desk, you have more of an opportunity to show your customers how to avoid running into the same problems over and over again. Inform customers of how you’re fixing their problem and things they can do to prevent it from happening again. You may be surprised at how receptive some employees will be to your help.

3: Work with, not for

You should think about your position as an integral part of the team. You may have different titles and perform different duties, but you are a part of their team and should function as such. What’s the difference between working with your customers instead of for them?

When you’re working for internal customers, their priorities end up becoming your priorities. You may end up putting the things that you need to do aside in order to meet their needs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it becomes the “norm” then it can become an issue. When you’re working with the customer however, you both have an understanding that you have the same goals in mind and are mindful of each other’s priorities. Instead of “Bob I need you to fix X for me now”, it becomes “Bob, can you look into X for me? It was giving me an issue earlier.”

4: Establish mutual respect

Continuing on from the previous tip, it is extremely important that there is a certain level of respect between both parties. This mutual respect will help ensure that neither the help desk nor the internal customer crosses any boundaries. These boundaries should be set in your SLA. When there is no respect between you and the customer, the working environment can become uncomfortable and you may end up resenting them.

5: Provide excellent service

If it’s acceptable within the company, send out an email with some helpful tips that employees can use. For instance, if you notice several of the employees are getting viruses on their computers, send out a friendly email with tips everyone can use to decrease the likelihood of getting a virus as well. Also, most help desk softwares come with all sort of features that allow you to communicate with your internal customers in an efficient and friendly manner. Take advantage of this and establish relationships with your clients so you can relate in a human level.

If you’re working as an internal help desk, these tips will certainly come in handy for establishing a positive work environment. You might even consider utilizing some software to handle all customer support issues.

Ilan Hertz is the Online Marketing Manager for Sysaid Technologies, a leading provider of IT Service Management solutions, deployed at over 100,000 companies around the world.

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