Thursday, 8 November 2012

Helpdesk FAQs

A very practical session now, from the University of Maryland (UMBC) about how good Helpdesk FAQs can change the culture of IT support. Obviously popular, the room is packed, and people stating at the back!

Problem: not enough self support. Knowledge base used infrequently, too much pressure on Helpdesk staff. Most vendors encourage self support before calling support desk. Users want a consistent, high quality support environment available 24/7.

So, they decided to revamp their FAQs. They analysed common requests.
Used "show and tell" screencasts of key IT tasks.
Prominently displayed FAQs on portal
Encouraged users to suggest and correct FAQs
Identify and eliminate dead wood
Created an FAQ on FAQs
All support staff encouraged to recommend FAQs

Their site is here
Is a wiki.
Good example here.

Show first, tell later. Encourage comments, can email page to a friend, rate page etc. Can see date it was updated and by whom.

Visits to site in 2011 were 1100, in 2012 45,000. More queries are resolved, and quicker. Number of calls to Helpdesk has reduced.
Helpdesk manager grades all "tickets" every week. To get an A you have to have either referred to an FAQ or written/suggested one.
Have implemented self reset of passwords with a security question.

Now mining search terms customers are using on web site. Top term is "meal plan" , not an IT term. Students searching it for other things. So, now going to other departments eg student services, to get their information into knowledge base. That's where the FAQ on FAQs is useful, tells staff how to create the content.

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