If you’ve ever been to a Chuck E. Cheese, you may be familiar with a favorite experience of birthday children nationwide: the ticket blaster.
A wind tunnel engulfs the kiddo in a tornado of tickets, and they try to grab as many as possible. Most IT departments can relate to this experience. Sometimes the support ticket deluge is so overwhelming, you don’t even know where to start.
(A 5-year-old in Minneapolis has a solution, incidentally: he just stands there and lets the chaos swirl.)
Solving IT tickets a mile a minute might feel like progress, but you’re not addressing the root of the problem—users who can’t solve their own challenges. The best way to triage help desk tickets is to empower users upfront and cut down on the need for support calls in the first place.
Here are 7 ways to ramp up your user empowerment:
1) Build a FAQ
You’ll get fewer calls if you have a skimmable IT knowledge base that’s accessible around the clock. Make sure everyone knows about it, and that it’s prominent on your website. An IT chatbot embedded on the page could also handle low-level troubleshooting with links to relevant FAQ excerpts and substantially cut down on the volume of IT tickets.
2) Record Tutorial Videos
Why demonstrate the same process dozens of times, when you could screen record it and just toss someone a link in a quick email? Help them help themselves. How-to videos are incredibly popular on YouTube—harness that familiar preference to empower users.
3) Build a “Search” Into Your Website
We search Google when we want our questions answered. Your members or colleagues will want it to be just as easy to find answers on your organization’s website. And if they do, it saves you time.
4) Send Out Weekly Tips
If you’re dealing with the same problem frequently, address it with everyone at once in a “weekly tech update” email with how-tos and troubleshooting tips. You’ll significantly cut down on related calls in the future.
5) Train IT Ambassadors
Pick a staff member in each department to be an “IT ambassador” for a relevant technology system, and give them the additional training they need to help out co-workers with basic questions and tasks. You empower users when they can find solutions by talking to the person next to them rather than submitting IT support tickets or calling the IT department.
6) Team Up with HR
A robust employee onboarding process (or member registration process, if you work with an association) makes a huge difference. Make sure the first steps include a visual, brief, actionable resource with tips that address common questions around the tech used by your organization. Provide links to blogs, videos, or FAQ pages with more info.
7) Implement User-Friendly Software
A legacy system might be causing you more trouble than it’s worth. If your software is so old it’s having compatibility issues, lacks necessary APIs, or bogs users down in an inefficient interface, it’s time to move on.
Information technology becomes more intuitive, responsive, and easy to operate every year. You empower users to help themselves when you put user-friendly tech in their hands from the get-go.