That famous advice that has been the linchpin of one of the most successful retail companies in the US still holds true today. If one were to think about it, especially about the first phrase on seeming omnipresence, it might even be more applicable in today’s digital age. The sage admonition to be everywhere and do everything for the customer was given at a time when personal interactions within the department store made or broke a sale. Customer service representatives or retail salesmen had to be at their happiest, most cheerful, and most energetic every time they were on the floor. They had to dispel the grumbling customer’s doubts while solving all his complaints. They had to give him the information that he was asking for — and if they couldn’t, they had to give a time frame when they can.
And perhaps most important of all, the customer service representative had to be there on the floor whenever the buyer or customer was looking for him. If nobody was around, chances are that customer would leave the shopping area or grocery store angry and never come back. Worse, he would tell every friend and acquaintance he knew never to visit that unhelpful store. And suddenly that establishment would find itself fighting a public relations crisis on its hands.
Back then, the retail stores had to answer the need for near-omnipresence by increasing the number of personnel on the floor. Today, automation and the internet make that presence of the ever-helpful customer service representative almost seamless. A phone, email, and a social media platform can connect an irritated customer who wants his new computer fixed to the company’s customer service representative within minutes, if not seconds.
But what makes customer service more organized and efficient is the often used but little praised software system called the Help Desk. A Help Desk Software is a centralized automated platform installed in the IT system that receives all complaints, concerns, and queries from the companies’ hundreds of customers around the country (or the world) at any given time. It records and documents each item of communication, notes its urgency, and lines it up for service at the appropriate department. It notifies the technician tasked to solve the problem that he has to attend to this particular request at a particular time. It then gives the same notification to the customer once his concern is being addressed.
The automated Help Desk has replaced the old manual model to restore efficiency to the customer service department at an amazing speed. As Spiceworks compares these two systems, in the pre-automated days, an IT support specialist would have to type down every request that comes in. He would then read each email and make his own decision as to which of his staff or colleagues is the most suitable one to do it. He then ranks its level of priority in the entire IT department’s to-do list. Then, after a couple of hours, he returns to that particular task to see if it has been addressed. He then communicates with his colleague, and a flurry of emails are exchanged, updating him and the client as to what had happened.
In replacing this old model, the Help Desk brings the following advantages to the company:
Section: How RMM Makes the Help Desk More Efficient
Think of the old IT model, where the specialist has to manually check all email requests, as the equivalent of the cart-and-horse mode of transportation. The Help Desk is the modern automobile that has replaced it. Now while that is an improvement, the company can still push to achieve higher standards. Using a Remote Management and Monitoring Service (RMM) converts the typical IT Help Desk into a race car.
The Remote Management and Monitoring Service (RMM) is another solution that, upon integration into a company’s IT system, can monitor on real-time all the aspects of its operations. It observes and records all transactions, communications, the tasks achieved in the pipeline, and the performance of devices and their related software. It duly takes note when one of these elements break down — such as a video conference that fizzles out in the middle of a discussion, several laptops being used by mobile workers experiencing a simultaneous crash, or the loss of internet signal in the smartphones of a team who is about to make an important client presentation.
The RMM does not just flag these breakdowns — but it actually addresses them by performing instant analysis and remediation. It has virtual agents stationed throughout the entire system that act like sentinels who make sure that each element in the process perform optimally. The agents send reports to the IT manager on a regular basis. Should a breakdown occur, the agent is the first to assess the damage and send the report to the IT manager, along with a recommendation on how the problem can be fixed.
What makes the RMM more impressive and efficient for its users is that the IT manager can do all the necessary observation and remediation remotely. He does not have to leave his office to check on a malfunctioning server, for example. Once he creates the solution within the system, the virtual agents can deploy them, in effect fixing the problem and restoring the device or the software to normal.
Now what does this have to do with an IT Help Desk?
Let’s go back to the analogy of our race car. An IT Help Desk that is integrated to an RMM can perform at even more heightened speeds of efficiency. Any possible breakdown can be spotted and addressed before it even happens. Any error in the ticketing process can be addressed in a matter of minutes, and not hours. The IT manager can focus on these IT Help Desk-related problems regardless of his location or his time zone.
An IT Help Desk integrated into an RMM can prove more valuable to a company that has multiple offices, stores, and bases located across the country — and all over the world. One automated platform can oversee the efficiency and operations of its ticketing services and response procedures without having any single item falling into cracks. To process all those request that come from various regions of the world can be a headache to the IT manager in the home office who has to check on them frequently. In contrast, an RMM will automatically record every request from each location, ascribe a number to them, categorize the best technician who can help them, and streamline the process to make sure the request is addressed quickly and efficiently.
Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific is one example that took its IT Help Desk service “to the next level” by employing an RMM. At that time, it already had a formidable IT army consisting of regional IT Help Desk services, thorough website FAQ’s, and competent teams of call center agents who provided technical assistance to customer and employee alike. It had regional offices in Australia, Malaysia, and South Korea.
But Fuji Xerox wanted to be proactive instead of being reactive. It wanted to continue to improve its IT Help Desk systems and other related structures without waiting for a breakdown to occur. Justin Russell, General Manager, Solutions Business Group, Customer Support Asia Pacific Operations at Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific, explained why they integrated their IT Help Desk systems with a new RMM system:
“The growth opportunity for our customer support function was in providing proactive, predictive support. Delays or machine downtime can be costly for customers so being able to predict when a service call or replacement part is needed and scheduling an appropriate time for maintenance with a client is critical. Our goal is to resolve an issue before the client is aware it exists.”
The RMM system was successful in elevating the standards of efficiency of Fuji Xerox’s entire customer service arm. Any monitoring and repair of a system could be done remotely without having to expend time, effort, and monies in sending team members to the field. Over two million customer service transactions are resolved remotely every year. Technical support has also been designed to be predictive; instead of waiting for an employee with a weak system to raise the issue, the RMM can spot the flaw before it creates a malfunction. The IT manager can then address, repair, and upgrade it — in effect upgrading the performance of the IT Help Desk, instead of just returning it to perform at the usual speed.
IT Help Desks are crucial in fulfilling IT-related customer service requests as well as those made by employees. They make sure that every issue is addressed punctually and efficiently. Their automated system likewise minimizes the risks of error while freeing the IT staff from menial labors that would have consumed their time. Remote Management and Monitoring Systems power up IT Help Desks even further by monitoring problems and repairing them even before they happen. They can detect flaws in the Help Desk system and assist the IT Manager in improving on them. More important, they can scale the IT Help Desk services to respond to even more inquiries and concerns should the company itself expand into a national and/or global level, with various offices, personnel, and IT structures around the world.