7 Common Help Desk Challenges - And How to Solve Them

20 Apr 2018

For years the retail help desk could really have been called the POS help desk, because that was the only mission critical technology in most stores. But now help desks must be ready to solve all sorts of problems, because retailers are loading up on new in-store tech designed to create a richer, more entertaining and effective in-store experience, from mobile to video walls to kiosks.

With a high priority on getting new solutions installed and working, many retailers are discovering their help desk plan is out of sync with all the new demands. Here are some problems you may be experiencing, and what to do about them:

Issue: Our help desk call issues are getting more diverse and difficult.

Solution:When stores house a wide range of equipment, it complicates serviceability and as a result, costs more money. Devices tend to be down longer, and it’s harder to collect data on incident patterns. But creating a complex network of first-line support for each type of equipment is not the answer. Whether you outsource your help desk or operate it in house, Level 10 recommends consolidating all level one calls to a single help desk with a broad range of technical expertise.

Issue: We don’t have technical experts on all these different technologies.

Solution: Even with the variety of equipment, a well-qualified level one help desk should be able to address 80% of issues. Turning to a solution provider like Level 10 is a cost-effective way to do this, to gain instant access to a deep well of expertise with a low rate of staff turnover. For more complex help requests, establish specialist experts at level two to handle escalations that require depth of expertise in a particular solution or integration.

Issue: Our store staff is spending too much time on tech support.

Solution: Consolidating your support to one provider means you can provide a single phone number to stores. That eliminates the need for them to try to diagnose the issue and figure out which help desk to call. Aggregating all help desk calls to a single source enables you to route those calls more effectively and provide better service to the store at a lower cost.

Issue: We have too many vendors involved in providing help.

Solution: A network of vendors adds complexity and delay. A single source with a breadth of expertise is the most effective way to streamline processes, speed solutions and lower costs.

Issue: We spend too much time managing warranties.

Solution: Warranties impact the help desk less than you might expect. If a product fails, the help desk will get the call, regardless of who is ultimately responsible for paying for the repair. But managing those terms, expiration dates and claims on the back end is getting more difficult as the number of devices and manufacturers proliferates. It often pays to turn that over to solution provider such as Level 10, especially when the that provider is also handling your maintenance services.

Issue: We solve the same problems over and over.

Solution: A common outcome of multiple, scattershot help desks is lack of visibility into patterns in service calls. As a result, no one recognizes that a solution has already been found for the issue, so new techs recreate the same work. Consolidating to a single level help desk means you’re also centralizing your data collection, discovering if you have stores with exceptionally high numbers or reports, devices that are failing more than the others, and so on. You can also track resolutions, to ensure that a remedy works consistently and becomes available to all level one techs. By constantly analyzing data and continuously improving processes, you reduce calls and increase productivity and uptime.

Analytics also help spot needs for additional training, as well as maintenance needs. When you use the same provider for both help desk and maintenance, they can apply analytics insights to head off issues in the field.

Issue: It takes too long for stores to get an answer from the help desk.

Solution: It’s all about implementing the right help desk design for today’s complex store needs. When your level one support is broadly skilled and backed by great analytics, and your level two is in place to address more in-depth issues, you’re better prepared for quick, efficient problem resolution.

You can shorten response times even more by choosing a skilled solution provider like Level 10. Our helpdesk is staffed with technically oriented, hands-on analysts with low turnover who enjoy solving problems. They have the experience to deliver a quick, live answer, achieving first call resolution more than 80% of the time. We don't place stores on long holds or take hours or days to respond.

Store tech is only getting more diverse, complex and inter-dependent. Many retailers recognize they can’t maintain expertise on such a broad array of devices. Relying on third parties is inevitable, so it’s important to leverage those skills in the smartest way possible, consolidating your help desk plan and streamlining and simplifying processes. Level 10 offers the expertise, experience and proven methodologies to help you create the most effective help desk for today’s complex needs.