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Running an Effective Help Desk
by Barbara Czegel, softcover, 434 pages, 1998, $50



Everything you need to create and maintain an efficient, cost-effective help desk that adds value to your business.  Here is your one-stop source for all the advice, practical tips, and strategic guidance you need to cope with the increased demand, diminishing budgets and staffs, and rapidly evolving technology that can overwhelm even the staunchest of help desk managers and personnel.  Help desk specialist Barbara Czegel shows you how to control the often chaotic nature of help desk operations by establishing clear and measurable goals, defining service priorities, and selecting and using tools to decrease staff workload and improve help desk performance.  Using real-life examples and case studies supplemented with numerous charts and diagrams, she takes you step-by-step through each stage of planning, implementing, and operating a first-rate help desk.

You will learn how to:

  • Select and train a staff designed to succeed

  • Focus on services that add value to your business

  • Manage the enormous help desk work flow

  • Use technology to improve help desk effectiveness

  • Measure and improve help desk performance

  • Market you services to customers and management alike

and much more.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Getting Focused

  • Help Desk Focus Defined

  • Senior Management Input

  • Working with Other IT Groups

  • Customer Profile

  • Your Mission

  • Your Services

  • Your Objectives

  • A Plan

  • Time and Reality

  • Are You Finished?

  • An Example: The ABC Help Desk

Chapter 2 - Structure

  • Typical Help Desk Structure

  • The Front Line

  • Second and Third Levels of Support

  • Staffing Levels Factor

  • Estimating Required Staffing: Formulas, Rules of Thumb, and Software

  • Multiple Help Desks

  • Consolidating Help Desks

Chapter 3 - Staffing

  • Roles Help Desk Analysts Play

  • Skills Required

  • Hiring the Skills You Need

  • Planning for Turnover

  • Training for Staff

  • Help Desk Environment

  • Job Descriptions

Chapter 4 - Problem and Work Management

  • Priorities

  • Procedures

  • Evaluation

  • Improvement

Chapter 5 - Tracking

  • Asset Control

  • Problem Control

  • Help Desk Control

  • Customer Effectiveness

  • Integrating Tracking Data

Chapter 6 - Help Desk Tools

  • Types of Tools

  • Reference Tools

  • Forums For Learning and Idea Exchange

  • Tools For Communication

  • The Basic Help Desk Management System

  • Telephone-Related Technologies

  • Problem Resolution Tools

  • Asset Management Tools

  • Management Aids

  • Network Management

  • Tools for Customer Training and Self-Help

  • Selecting Tools

Chapter 7 - The Internet: Challenge and Opportunity
  • Opportunities

  • Challenges

  • Getting the Most Out of the Internet

Chapter 8 - Setting Up a Help Desk Internet/Intranet

  • Benefits of a Help Desk Web Site

  • Information and Functions to Include

  • Designing Your Site

  • Marketing Your Site

  • Maintaining Your Site

  • A Few References

Chapter 9 - Measuring Performance

  • What is Performance?

  • Measuring Return of Investment (ROI)

  • Measuring Effectiveness of Call Load Management

  • Measuring Proaction

  • Tips for Help Desk That Are Just Setting Up

  • Reporting on Performance

  • Communicating Performance

  • Measurement as control

Chapter 10 - Marketing

  • Image

  • Selling Value

  • Education

  • Communication

  • Marketing Vehicles

  • A Marketing Plan

  • Ideas for New Help Desks

  • Ideas for Established Help Desks

Chapter 11 - Cost/Benefit Analysis

  • Business Value

  • Justifying a Help Desk

  • Justifying an Interactive Voice Response Unit

  • Justifying Outsourcing of the Training Function

Chapter 12 - Outsourcing

  • Business Value

  • Outsourcing Benefits

  • When to Outsource

  • When Not to Outsource

  • Outsourcing Options

  • The Outsourcing Process

  • The Human Factor

  • Example Hardware Maintenance Agreement

  • Sample Request For Proposal for Help Desk Support

Chapter 13-15 - Case Studies

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