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Help Desk Automation - Self Help
Self-help solutions provide significant benefits for both customers and for company help desks. Consumers appreciate the opportunity to solve their own problems and answer their own questions online without having to call back several times or be put on hold. At the same time, help desk operators can be freed from many of the most mundane tasks and repeat questions in order to focus their efforts on answering more complex inquiries.

Almost 30 percent of all the calls that come into all the help desks across the country can be attributed to one problem - people who have forgotten their passwords to a system or to an application. Help desk technicians are plagued by password calls which become frustrating to answer repeatedly and, because they take up a chunk of the technicians time, they are also costly. It has been estimated that each call to a help desk technician costs the company anywhere from $50 to up to $200. Its not hard to see why companies would prefer not to have their employees chasing down passwords when there are other more important questions that could occupy their time. The problem does not just lie with forgetful customers either. Company employees also frequently forget their own passwords and have to reset them. Many companies are discouraging their employees from either calling or emailing the company help desk when that situation occurs.

The solution is self-service systems, that allow people to reset their own passwords remotely. Calculations show that the cost of a self-service password reset tool can generally be recouped in about six months.

In fact, all of the service requests that consist of frequently asked questions with straightforward answers and be more readily and cheaply answered with self-service technology than by a human operator. Several companies build specific applications that contain the solutions to the most frequently asked questions regarding various software products. Companies can use those vendors to provide self service solutions for customers and employees, leaving their help desk personnel free to answer more difficult questions and keep them from being plagued with oft-repeated trivialities.

Live chat is also cheaper than telephone help desk applications. Many solutions websites have a live chat button that visitors to the site can use to chat with a help desk technician. It is expected that the benefits of live chat will become more valuable for internal help desks in time. One of the primary advantages is that live chat is a parallel activity - technicians can handle several conversation streams at once. On the other hand, telephone is serial - a technician can only talk to one person at a time. Having four or five chats going at once and being able to answer questions in that manner is time and money saving. In some instances, technicians are even able to take remote control of an employees computer and demonstrate an activity or search out and resolve problems.

There are a number of tools on the market that can decrease the workload on a help desk and simultaneously get either employees or customers the answers they need. Self-service solutions and lve chat are finding wider acceptance in the help desk world because they are valuable for both operators and customers, not to mention company employees.

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