New technologies, programs, and processes can go a long way toward making your company more effective and efficient. But they can also make your IT help desk uncomfortably busy as they manage the high call volumes that come in from users confused by the new platform.
Fortunately, there are some clear steps you can take ahead of the new technology rollout to prepare your IT help desk team and keep a stable and efficient IT environment before, during, and after the rollout.
4 Tips for Managing High Call Volumes During a Rollout
Ensuring that your IT help desk services run smoothly and seamlessly along the rollout process can be challenging, especially when IT resources are scarce. This makes it challenging to deal with high ticket and call volumes — typically the biggest struggles for customer support agents.
To help you out, here is a round-up of the best tips to empower your support teams.
1. Ensure effective communication
Reiterating and communicating the crucial aspects of a new technology rollout helps your users manage, transition, and adjust to the changes efficiently.
Consistent, clear communication is vital to managing high call volumes during a technology rollout. Make sure that you practice explicit communication within your organization ahead of time. The more effectively you interact and engage with your teams on the implementation, the more agile your business will be.
From an end-user’s standpoint, maintaining transparency through front-end messages remains your first priority. Help them deal with the changes and new developments using Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) systems that route the inbound calls to the most relevant agent available. Give your IT support staff the ability to troubleshoot remotely using live video calls. These are a more interactive approach to IT services with the ability to engage and satisfy callers’ needs almost instantaneously.
2. Involve your key stakeholders and maintain transparency
You may discover some parts of your company will be significantly impacted by the rollout compared with others. Once you identify these key people (usually clients, suppliers, remote staff), explicitly communicate the impact of the rollout on them so they can prepare their teams.
Set up meetings and focus groups ahead of time to gather ideas and advice on an effective deployment strategy. Involve them early on during the technology rollout process to encourage open communication and transparency about defined roles. Doing so in the initial stages gives your stakeholders a sense of autonomy over the issues and a vested interest in solutions.
Your project manager should provide regular updates as they progress through your technology upgrade's research and deployment stages. Along the same lines, these updates can pre-empt and directly address your stakeholders' concerns and doubts before rumors and false information can gain any traction.
3. Collaborate with other support teams
Another significant way to manage high call volumes to your IT help desk is by collaborating and improving communication with your own support teams and various application owners.
Start by understanding what information and processes your IT help desk must have before introducing new technology into the environment. From there, create repeatable, predictable processes for the help desk so they follow a standard procedure anytime updates happen. This way, when you roll out new technology, you have the right systems and resources in place to accommodate the changes strategically.
From there, use your people wisely and well. A smart practice is to allocate second- and third-level support teams to simplify the process. Along the same lines, take some agents off the phones to handle specific support tickets. Ultimately, this reduces and divides the burden on your IT help desk teams.
The importance of collaboration within the company is often overlooked and understated when rolling out new technology. Close coordination between internal and outsourced support teams helps resolve issues during high call volumes and delivers better outcomes.
4. Test the new platform
Once you roll out the new technology, you must test it inside and out. New apps and software may have usability, compatibility, and adaptability issues that hamper the user experience. Don't wait for mass adoption to learn of these problems. Instead, test your new platform incessantly before and during the rollout so you smooth out any kinks as you go without those kinks affecting a large user base.
Make sure to communicate all issues and their solutions to your support staff so they communicate these with callers quickly. Prepare your agents by documenting the common problems, steps to resolve, tasks, deadlines, and milestones to communicate every step of the deployment process to the involved parties. Also, use this information in your guides and knowledgebase articles to send to your customers.
Managing High Call Volume—No Matter What
Implementing these four tips will help your IT help desk successfully manage the high call volumes that often result from new technology rollouts. And if you’re not sure what success looks like, this call volume chart will provide you with some benchmarking.
Efficiencies go hand in hand with preparedness. The better planned and structured your technology rollout approach is, the more effective your implementation will be. Part of that approach should be ensuring you communicate well, getting stakeholders involved early on, collaborating with other support teams, and doing plenty of testing.
The result? Much more manageable call volumes, greater effectiveness, and increased customer satisfaction.
Managing high call volumes during technology rollouts is just one of many challenges facing help desks. Read our guide, Top 10 Help Desk Challenges and How to Avoid Them, to learn more.