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Determining And Understanding Help Desk ROI

Mar 23, 2008
Help desk ROI or return of investment is highly associated with customer satisfaction for both internal and external customers. With high help desk effectiveness, customer satisfaction will translate to higher ROI and profit margins.

A help desk is an assistance and information resource that allows users to troubleshoot problems with computers and other products. Today, more and more companies are providing help desk support not only through a toll-free number but also website, email and chat support. Generally, these help desks are designed to address the needs of external customers. However, there are also other help desks that are especially designed to assist a company's internal customers or employees.

One of the most important functions of a help desk is receiving customer requests. The management of all customer requests is its most important purpose. Generally, help desk software are integrated with an incident tracking system that will allow the monitoring of customer requests. At the onset of a call, a logging process commence wherein ticket or tracking numbers are assigned. These individual tracking numbers make it easier to find, analyze, and minimize common computer and technical problems encountered by customers regarding certain products and services.

Queue managers or supervisors are tasked to manage and delegate calls to ensure prompt problem resolution. Large help desks are divided into different levels, each of which are trained to provide support for certain customer issues. Usually, first-level help desk can help resolve issues that concern basic FAQs or knowledge base. Customer requests that are not resolved at the first-level are then forwarded to the next higher levels. Second-level and third-level help desks are more equipped to resolve problems that are more complex in nature.

Implementing and maintaining a help desk can be costly for a business organization. This is why help desk managers should be able to maximize all help desk resources. Moreover, they should ensure that the company gains a high ROI or return on investment for investing on a help desk. ROI, also called ROR or rate of return, is commonly defined as the ratio of money gained or lost to the amount of investment. With low ROI, management might not see the wisdom behind employing a help desk. Having one might just translate to unnecessary costs for the company.

One very effective way of ensuring an increase in help desk ROI is to employ a software tool that will enable help desk managers to delegate and assign calls more effectively to reduce the length of waiting time for customers. It is also a good idea to calculate help desk ROI regularly through specialized applications that can function as ROI calculators. These software takes into account the hourly rate of help desk personnel, number of calls handled daily and the average length of calls handled. By tracking this particular metric, managers are able to assess the collective and individual productivity of their employees.

Proper and intensive employee training is also seen as an effective way of achieving higher returns as this will enable company agents and representatives to address the problems of customers better. Problem resolution leads to customer satisfaction and customer satisfaction paves way for higher profit margins.
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