Good Help Desk Practices Part 1

(Intro & Automation)

Just about every modern company has some form of IT or tech support, and generally that support team/person needs to track requests for fixes, projects, and changes to a company’s systems. There’s many factors to take into account when selecting a Help Desk software, scalability, features, asset management, user permission control, etc. When preparing for a Help Desk implementation it’s important to think about how many Technicians or problem solvers you will need, as well as how many Users or ticket submitters you will have. Knowing these numbers will aid in the long term growth of your platform.

Some of the best advice with a ticketing system, is to keep it simple, and keep it adaptable. When you try to add every feature or potential detail a ticket could have as properties, menus, or flows, you will build something that can become very difficult to pinpoint.

Identifying your primary use case for your system is a great early step in preparation for a build. What functions of this help desk will you be using? A lot of software includes Asset Management, Reporting functionality, and integration with other applications. For example, a piece of help desk software that I use regularly also ties in with a network monitoring platform. Using a tie in function will allow for ticket/workflow automation and eliminates the need for manual data entry while providing significant detail on the topic.


Automation is always a dramatic improvement in accuracy, efficiency, and standardization. When using automation it will ensure that tickets follow a consistent direction. A great example is rule when using the Solarwinds Web Help Desk for reference.

In the above example, you see that custom rules will allow for automatic assignment, escalation, and balancing will occur for any tickets with defined criteria. Optimal automation ensures less work on your engineers and more efficiency with balancing workloads as well as preventing the need to manually distribute tickets.

Workflow automation will substantially improve incident response times and problem resolution by building in predetermined “if, then” functionality – “if” you receive a request like this, “then” do this specific task. For example, if the help desk receives a ticket about a printer problem, the workflow can determine the type of incident and route it to the right team and/or send an automated response to the user.

Automating workflow improves the accuracy of help desk statistics by removing human errors and inconsistencies in data entry. It also relieves the management of manual work required to collect data and correct errors. Field defaults, required fields, and auto-routing rules are all instrumental to ensuring every incident reported is handled properly and in exactly the same way. 

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