What Your Customers Won’t Tell You: Help Desk Secrets For Success #1

MCA customer service Desk

MCA customer service Desk (Photo credit: Robert R Gigliotti, RRGPhotography.com)

Green-help Desk illustration

Green-help Desk illustration (Photo credit: HikingArtist.com)

Blog #1

When you improve your customers’ Do It Yourself capabilities, everyone wins.

 “Do It Yourself” (DIY) customers are a growing phenomenon.  Customers of your help desk or service desk often want the power to solve their own tech problems quickly, rather than having to:

  • Call you,
  • Get you to understand their issues over the phone,
  • Or even potentially wait on hold for a service desk representative to become available.

One rule of Customer Satisfaction is to Give the Customer What He or She Wants.

Therefore, your Help Desk Secret #1 for success is:

Help Customers Help Themselves.

In a language that laypeople can understand, set up a self-service portal where customers can find solutions and workarounds posted in your knowledge base.

In addition, make sure you offer robust community forums where your customers can engage with each other — and with you when necessary.


  • Make sure you create a knowledge base that is user-friendly.  Language and directions need to be easy to understand.  Think about what business “language” your customers speak.  Are they working in the pastry business?  Accounting?  Children’s softball?  Write in a manner that communicates clearly to your specific audience.  Avoid insider acronyms that annoy customers who find them meaningless.
  • Use a tool like Google Analytics to track activity.  That way you will know where your customers are coming from and what questions and topics concern them most.
  1. Analytics will also tell you what pages attract visitors most and how long visitors stay in any particular area of your support portal.
  2. This  way, you can get percentages and exact numbers for your site in terms of search traffic, referral traffic, direct traffic, and campaigns.
  3. You can also see what the most common problems are that your customers face, and what are the most popular solutions.
  4. In addition, tools like Google Analytics can offer you in-page analytics, such as:

Number of page views,
Number of unique page views,
Average time spent on each page,
Average page load time,
Bounce rate, and
Percent exit.

  • A fun way to examine a free analytical tool is to explore YouTube’s excellent Analytics.  Their analytics can give you ideas for your own.
  • YouTube will track amount of interest and the demographics of the people watching each video (e.g., gender, age, area of the world).
  • You can also see top traffic sources, such as “view referrals from YouTube” and “Mobile apps and direct traffic.”
  • In addition, you can see what days are heaviest in terms of traffic.  Any and all such information offers you clues about how to hone your site.


  • When you drive customers into self-service, you are saving valuable time that used to go towards discussions of the technology problems your customers are experiencing.
  • The learning curve of your customers is enhanced and so is their empowerment.
  • Your support team is freed up to handle more complex issues that only professionals can tackle, since the simpler issues are being handled by DIY customers.
  • You will glean data such as which solution articles customers are searching for and in what amount.  Then you can add the right articles to you knowledge base.
  • You can also see which forum posts customers spend the most time in, and contribute to discussions that most interest your customers.


When you take the time to improve your customers’ Do It Yourself capabilities, everyone wins.  Get organized and anticipate what your customers will want next using the helpful tips above.

In the second blog in this series, we will delve into more secrets for help desk and service desk success.

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