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6 Tips for Building an Excellent Internal Help Desk Department

Help desk departments are necessary for any medium to large organization. Unfortunately, help desk support teams in many companies don’t always perform as well as they should. There are many reasons why this may happen. Here’s a look at the things you need to do to create a help desk department that meets and exceeds your organization’s goals.


Create a Clear Unambiguous Service Level Agreement (SLA)



The help desk department provides a service to the rest of the organization. An SLA helps establish a formal, documented and referable set of expectations that reduces the likelihood of disappointment, confusion and internal conflict.

The SLA should cover among others, how soon a user can expect to be contacted after raising a support ticket, how long it should take a ticket to be resolved, and escalation timelines for issues requiring more specialized support.


Develop a Positive Proactive Help Desk Culture



Like every other department within the organization, the help desk unit has to work within a budget. But while minimizing costs and sticking to expense plans is vital for the company’s overall success, it shouldn’t get in the way of providing a top-notch service to end users.

If the help desk staff focuses too much on minimizing expenses, they will be distracted from giving their all toward resolving user issues. By emphasizing that problem resolution has higher priority than cost cutting (within reasonable limits of course), your help desk team will be energized to proactively resolve problems conclusively.


Hire Good Competent Employees



The success of a help desk department is a team effort. The team is only as strong as its weakest link. When a team member drops the ball too often, they increase the load on the rest of the unit. This is bad for team morale and reduces the likelihood that your best employees will stick around for long.

Ergo, hiring good employees reduces turnover, allows team members to sharpen their skills over time and ensures institutional memory.


Develop a Workflow



Sometimes the reason for end user dissatisfaction is poor communication and an opaque process. You’ll be surprised by how much you can improve the efficiency of your help desk by simply creating a workflow for it. The transparency reduces anxiety and frustration for everyone.

First, it allows both end users and help desk staff to see the status of a support ticket at a glance. Second, it makes it easier for help desk management to notice and keep track of tickets that have remained open for longer than they should. Third, a help desk staffer can take over an open ticket from a colleague who is no longer available.


Help Desk as a Partner



Unfortunately, some employees treat the help desk as a janitor. They expect help desk personnel to resolve every system crash and mop up every computer-related mistake even when it’s of their own making. Instead, the entire organization should be sensitized on the need to see the help desk unit as a partner whose time and effort is to be sought only when needed.

As opposed to dumping every little tech problem on the help desk department, every non-IT employee should remember that having a problem-free work environment is ultimately everyone’s responsibility and in the organization’s overall best interest.


Remote Support



In large multinational organizations, help desk teams are often stretched and may sometimes even be tasked with handling both in-country and cross-border support tickets. Remote support software allows help desk staff to save on time that they would otherwise lose when moving from location to location.

End users do not always articulate their problems well so remote control software provides an avenue for help desk staff to examine the problem for themselves and therefore identify to the solution faster.


It’s easy for help desk departments to be overwhelmed, misunderstood and burdened with unrealistic expectations. These tips can help you build a help desk department that satisfies the organization’s goals.

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