Everyone feels overworked in one way or the other. Even if you love what you do, things always seem to have a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it. It is the same in the world of help desk support, as an overworked internal help desk team can have a major impact on productivity and the quality of support given.
In addition, research shows that overworked help desk teams can suffer from something called "compassion fatigue", which can lead to customers being treated more like numbers and figures instead of actual people. This compassion fatigue may also cause your help desk team to suffer from things like disengagement, anxiety, and total burn out just to name a few. So making sure this compassion fatigue isn't seen and felt by your customers is imperative to the success of your organization.
Here are three ways an overworked internal help desk team can impact your customers:
1. Poor Decision Making
Like any employee, your internal help desk team needs to have some downtime, because without a break, they will feel like their phones are always ringing, or they’re always at their computers. This can lead to the agent not providing great customer service and trying to extend the call as long as possible in order to avoid more calls.
This can only translate to one thing for your help desk; poor decision making. For example, say one of your team members has been assisting customers all day and hasn't had time to take a break. He or she might not be in the right mindset to speak with a customer, leading to a bad experience for the customer. What if that customer ends the partnership with your organization because of this one bad experience? Remember that customers (or internal employees) are ultimately the ones who stand to suffer as a result of poor decision making on your team's behalf.
2. Inconsistent Service
According to a National Research Center survey, 75% of customers said they were upset at the support they received online while 71% said they were upset at the support they received on the premises. As it turns out, the internal help desk team may not be entirely to blame, as the unpredictability of the team's workload may actually play a larger role. 73% of support professionals have described not having complete control of their work as their greatest challenge. When your help desk team doesn't know what awaits them each day, that uncertainty can result in inconsistent service. By providing predictable, repeatable processes you allow your help desk team member to know what’s expected of them every day and your customers can know what to expect when they call the help desk. Remember, McDonald's built their company on the backs of teenagers using predictable, repeatable processes; the kid in Paris makes fries the same way as the kid in your hometown makes fries. Reduce inconsistent service and frustrated customers by applying predictable, repeatable processes.
3. Lack of Follow Up
One of the main reasons customers walk away from your organization is because they feel like you don’t care about them anymore. When a customer has issues that need to be addressed, a help desk team member will either solve it on their own or refer it to someone who can solve it.
Your overworked help desk team will do its best to resolve issues and follow up with customers, but fatigue may cause the team to forget about certain customers, which can lead to a lack of follow up. When your team fails to follow up, customers with lingering issues will feel that your organization doesn’t care about their needs and concerns anymore.
Help desk support often means prioritizing your customers’ needs, and when fatigue skews your prioritization, this can sometimes come at a high price. When the internal help desk team starts to feel overworked they may suffer from "compassion fatigue." One of the best ways to combat this is to partner with an outsourced help desk support team. These teams bring a wealth of knowledge in addition to repeatable processes that can help the team, and the organization, become more efficient and more productive.
Do you think your internal help desk team is suffering from "compassion fatigue"? If you're interested in partnering with an outsource help desk support team, we invite you to speak with our team of help desk experts.