Skills Needed to Build an Internal Web Help Desk

See also: Project Planning

Are you ready to put an internal web help desk in place but aren't sure whether your team has the right skills or not? You're not alone.

Many company owners, of both large and small enterprises, wonder whether they should outsource the entire job because they're uncertain about the precise skill sets needed to get the job done. In many ways, the help desk is the nerve center of an organization and one of the most difficult sections to manage.

One reason is because the team who oversees the help desk must possess an exceptionally high level of accuracy with the information and data they dispense. If they're not on target the vast majority of the time, overall company productivity suffers.

No System or Person is Perfect

While it's easy to say that teams need basic skills to create and operate the desk, no human is perfect. Mistakes will happen. The key thing to remember is that you can build functionality into the system that not only prevents human error but corrects it after the fact. One of the most frequent shortfalls within a help desk environment is poor prioritization of tickets. In those instances, routine requests are dealt with quickly but critical ones accidentally fall into the wrong category and don't get the immediate attention they warrant.

Today's help desks are more functional and technologically advanced than ever. That's just one reason the skillsets required for desk building and installation are always changing. What sufficed even a year ago is no longer good enough. With all the fresh technology, higher volume of ticket requests in all companies, and the increasing amount of automation involved in modern help desks, it's no wonder the following skills are essential for anyone who sets out to plan, design, build from scratch, or install a ready-made web help desk.

Application Integration

It's critical to understand the new ways that help desks interact with users. One of the most interesting is the desk's ability to leverage the power of dozens of applications by integrating directly with the ones that workers use on regularly. The beauty of this highly streamlined approach is that users don't have to access each app separately because the automated help desk does the job for them. A similar, but even more valuable skill of modern chat-bots is their capability to mine as many documents as necessary to get an answer. Whether the search requires information from project management documents, CRM platforms, or e-commerce databases, integration makes it all possible. Those who create help desks have to know how to build this capability into the program or seek out an off the shelf solution that already offers the feature.

HITL Mastery

One of the key features of a functional help desk is its ability to handle IT ticket management in a way that does not completely avoid the use of human beings as backup support. Even with the very best AI at your disposal, as well as a deep knowledge library, it's wise to keep humans in the loop, which is what HITL (humans in the loop) is all about. It sends questions to real people when AI is unable to resolve a particular issue. It's essential for designers, programmers, and anyone working on a new HD installation that automation might work a majority of the time, but certain queries are unique. Often, such issues are not only unique but have very high priority levels, which means using HITL software or programs that send unanswerable queries to humans as quickly as possible.

Planned Communication Skills

One of the major benefits of an excellent help desk is that it brings everyone in the company together in a unique way. When all departments use the same information resource, backed by the same IT team, even large organizations develop new routes of communication. Managers, and the people who implement help desks, must understand that new ways of communication are an unintended result of the new resource.

That way, they can make allowances for the fact that people from different departments and branches of the company will often share a unique resource multiple times per day. When the desk runs on multiple channels, workers have a chance to compare notes during down time and off hours, and build new cross department relationships that might never have come into existence if it weren't for the shared information resource they use on a daily basis.

Basic AI Competency

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now part of nearly every top-level corporate help desk environment. Your team members who set up your systems must know how to compare AI functions- and features, and then decide how much of the new internal WHD will be AI-friendly. That's why a basic competency in this area is a core requirement for anyone on your team who helps get help desks online.

Built-In Tech Competence

Every help desk needs to be set up with tech queries in mind. That's primarily because the vast majority of queries are related to employees who need help with one or another IT-related issue. Not long ago, help desk teams did almost nothing except answer technical questions. Today, the range of information and general queries is wider, but those who implement programs need to know that a high percentage of the communication will be tech-oriented. This fact will affect the way you set up knowledge bases, ticket prioritization, and much more.

An Eye for Self-Service Design

Knowing how to include relevant AI, especially as it relates to natural language processing and machine learning, into your new web help desk will give users the chance to ask questions within a self-help format. While everyone prefers a human tech expert, chat-bots powered by muscular AI technology can get the job done when there are no people available to take requests.

Building a Streamlined Process

Part of any streamlined help desk is a high-quality software program that fends off the vast majority of repetitive queries and simple FAQs that are more easily routed via AI and machine learning processes. Your IT team needs to know how to not only evaluate software products but install them seamlessly into the company's existing systems.

About the Author

Drew is a financial enthusiast, seasoned blogger, music and sports fanatic. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and daughter fishing and boating. He is dedicated to his 15+ year career in the banking, mortgage, and personal finance industry.