“If you are an IT help desk technician, you’re a superhero!”
You may have heard this many times from your help desk solution provider, if not from your customers and colleagues. Do you believe this notion? Do you really think you can be a superhero? Well, I believe you can. But let’s not get overzealous because with great power comes great responsibility.
Nuking the army of Chitauri from outer space may not be your responsibility, but successfully neutralizing the end-user request ticket within stipulated time is. For performing the expected responsibilities, you don’t need super powers; however, you can learn some the simple habits of the superheroes.
Plan Ahead Like Nick Fury
If there is something to take away from the habits of the S.H.I.E.L.D. director, it’s planning. Nick Fury is smart and sharp in his methods. He anticipates how and when a villain can attack, which soldier should go on a fight, and how to prevent future incidents. As a help desk technician, it is important to adapt this habit of planning ahead. You need to plan the help desk strategy and workflow.
Ask yourself the following: What will be the modes of incoming tickets? How will you assign technicians to a ticket? How will you establish reasonable service level agreements and escalation policies? How will you communicate with end users? What will be the approval criteria and what will be your notifications/alerts settings? All this planning will help you streamline the workflow of your help desk and therefore better equip you to fight incident attacks.
Know the Environment Like Hulk
Dr. Bruce Banner is always aware of his environment, well enough to turn himself into the Hulk when he senses hostility. The lesson to learn here is, “Know the environment.” (Not “Turn into a green rage monster.” …Duh!)
You need to know your IT environment and your end users because they are the source of your service tickets. Also, you need to have an information database of all the IT hardware and software details, as well as their relationships with the end users, business services, and each other. Ask yourself this: Do I have quick access to user details? Have I imported my assets inventory in my help desk application? Are there any recurring outages in IT service that I need to plan for? Have I created different sites for different sets of end users who in turn have different configurations?
Simplify and Automate Like Tony Stark
Tony Stark is tech savvy. He loves to tame technology. This is why he built himself intelligent robotic exoskeletons that work via voice commands. The result was the creation of the heavily armed and powerful metal suit known as Iron Man. You need to learn this technology-taming habit from Tony Stark to automate and simplify your help desk operations. Automate your operations to simplify 1) ticket creation by creating logical templates, 2) ticket assignment through business rules, 3) ticket escalation by SLAs, 4) the triggering of recurring announcements and tasks, and 5) the creation of alerts and notifications for change of ticket status or even SLA violations.
Communicate with End Users Like Black Widow
Black Widow may be a master assassin, but she is better known for the way she talks to people and gets important information out of them. In one scene from Marvel’s The Avengers, Natasha (Black Widow) interrogates Loki to find out his plan. She never asks him the direct, obvious question. Instead, during the course of a normal conversation, she tricks him into revealing his plan of unleashing The Hulk – without Loki even knowing.
That’s the habit of effective communication you can learn from her. You need to understand the details of requests from end users by asking them the right questions through effective templates. You need to acknowledge the tickets, query back to the customers, notify end users on changes in the status of tickets, and communicate about the resolutions and closures.
Help People Help Themselves Like Thor
Thor helped the people of Earth prepare for an attack from outer space. Being prepared helped the Avengers defeat the army of Chitauri. Like Thor, you can help customers resolve their issues themselves by providing the right self-service portal. Advise them to use the self-service portal to create tickets, check the status of tickets, check solutions from the knowledge base, and check FAQs and technical tips.
Monitor Performance Like Captain America
We know that Captain America is a soldier with a kind heart. However, he is stricter when it comes to fighting a war and putting up with his team mates. He loves fun, but gets angry when Tony Stark make jokes in a serious situation. Captain America has a good habit of analyzing situations based on facts. You can use that attitude. You should monitor and analyze the performance of your help desk technicians at regular intervals using reports on things like key performance indicators, SLAs, or even customer satisfaction. This will help you optimize the workload, structure service levels, and use resources efficiently.
Aim for Improvement Like Hawkeye
Hawkeye is a straight shooter and knows his targets well. But Hawkeye aims for more than that. Following the origin story of Hawkeye, he used to work in a circus where he saw Iron Man and was mesmerized by superhero life. He then worked hard to not only become a superhero, but to join Avengers and save the world. If you want to develop the habit of aiming at the target of a successful IT help desk, you should start by asking the right questions of end users. You need to regularly check to see if they are satisfied with your service. This will help you understand the performance of your technicians, the root causes of repeating issues, or any leak in the work flow.
The above mentioned qualities of the Avengers might not be what they’re best known for, but they are qualities the rest of us can practice in real life. Running a help desk becomes much simpler and more efficient if you are prepared to work with the resources and application.
Assemble those seven habits from the Avengers and create your S.H.I.E.L.D. – Service, Help, Information or Equipment-Lending Desk.