A help desk call center is a one-stop resource of information that helps customers trouble-shoot problems (generally dealing with computers). It provides users with a single point of contact to receive assistance on technical-related matters.

As a strategy, a help desk is a unique opportunity to address customer concerns, driving business efficiency and accelerating innovation.

Even small and medium businesses these days can provide this type of support, which can be done in 3 ways: Telephone, E-mail and Chat. But setting up this service can be quite labor-intensive which often requires a high degree of commitment. You may go through the physical aspects of the project but maintaining it for a long time can pose a big challenge. Planning your requirements is extremely important in order to minimize mistakes and possibly avoid stress. Here are some guidelines you need to know before the actual implementation:

Strong decision. It is very difficult to keep a successful help desk without a strong persuasion of having one. Remember: This requires budget and resources.

Sufficient personnel. Small businesses often face the challenge of hiring more people. To have a well-managed help desk, you need enough staff to handle inquiries and complaints by taking more calls, enter service requests and perform the help itself.

Proper training. This support demands efficient call and e-mail handling. The staff must be equipped for the job, knowing the “how” and “what” to do with incoming calls and e-mails.

Shift scheduling. Answering the phones is the most stressful part in any help desk. Consider shifting the schedules of staff on weekly or monthly basis so that the same person does not have to answer the phones.

Latest computers. Oftentimes, the help desk gets the “hand-me-down” equipment and people set them up because they think they are still working anyway. In reality, the department should have the fastest computers with large screens. Fast computers can help resolve matters quickly while huge LCDs allow many windows to be opened at the same time.

Comfortable, hands-free telephone sets. Like the computers, they have to be in great condition all the time. You cannot afford to be fixing them especially during peak hours. What is more frustrating is when there are technical limitations that make it impossible to meet customer questions quickly and efficiently.

CRM tool. There should be a system within help desk to effectively track satisfaction. A customer relationship management (CRM) tool can be integrated into the help desk software.

After considering these guidelines, take the time to plan everything for a smooth and seamless implementation. This includes inventory for your internal and external support, reports generation, staff training and service organization. Outsourcing your help desk to a call center can provide tremendous assistance in delivering consistent, positive and engaging help desk. Agents are trained to deliver the expected. No matter where the problems and concerns are coming from, a help desk gives you an impression of real commitment to customer satisfaction.