Maximizing First Call Issue Resolution on an IT HelpDesk

IT Helpdesk software and first call resolution

First call resolution is a key target for an IT help desk. Productivity is maximized for both the end-user and for the support team. Personal skills and support team attitudes play a big part in the course of an issue’s resolution, but skill levels vary and every team will include its mix of stars and supporting cast. To maximize first call resolution it is important to provide support analysts with as many tools as possible. Providing this support, in the form of IT helpdesk software capabilities, also demonstrates commitment to the team and is a strong motivating factor. A reputation for first call resolution is also an important factor in persuading end-users to contact the helpdesk, rather than struggling to resolve a problem themselves or consulting the nearest self-styled ‘expert’.

IT HelpDesk access to PC configuration data

Asking an end-user to provide technical detail about their PC can be challenging. It is far more user-friendly, effective and confidence building if the support analyst can talk knowledgeably to the end user from the start of the dialog about the user’s PC, its configuration and the software installed on it. The support analyst should be able to see immediately which version of Word a user is struggling with, or how much memory it has. Whether a PC is identified via the name of its user, or directly through a user-visible tag, it should be possible for a help desk system to interrogate an IT asset database, usually through SQL, and provide the support analyst with rich configuration information.

IT HelpDesk software integration with remote control

IT help desks are almost always equipped with remote control of their users’ PCs, but the level of integration can vary. The Master console of Vector’s PC-Duo Express and PC-Duo Enterprise ® remote control product runs as a standalone Windows application, but can also be accessed through an ActiveX component embedded in the HelpDesk console. Establishing a remote control connection is as simple as clicking the Remote Control button in the Issue Tracking UI. With PC-Duo Enterprise, all sessions are centrally logged and can include records of the session activity – a great tool for reviewing support team performance and providing an audit trail for any concerns over security.

IT Helpdesk Knowledgebase, Issue Routing and Team Working

As a support team scales, and the number of supported applications and configurations increases, it becomes impractical to expect any one analyst to have sufficient breadth of knowledge to consistently provide first call resolution. The three help desk features listed above are some of the most important in dealing with increased scale and variety of incoming issues. Knowledgebase is one of the simplest concepts but can require time and effort to establish and maintain. Ready-made knowledgebases can be purchased for many mainstream applications. Organizations will usually also have custom and specialized applications and operational procedures which will generate their own problems, and for which the local knowledgebase must be built. It can be quicker in the short term to establish areas of specialization, such that each person can belong to any number of specialist teams. Where support issues are received by email, it can be possible to set up rules that route the emails directly to the appropriate specialist team, depending on Subject line content. The issue will be picked up by the first analyst available with the specialist knowledge.

For more detail of these and other important help desk features, see the functionality available in Vector’s core web-based Issue Tracking engine.

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