IT

The ultimate guide to conducting an IT help desk survey

When technology fails, so do people. A hardware problem prevents one employee from logging in to her computer to respond to an urgent request from your company’s biggest client. Networking issues prevent email and internet access and may stop work completely.

Fast and efficient IT support is essential to office productivity. For this reason, it’s important that IT support teams take time to ask their customers—other company employees—what they’re doing well and how they can improve. The best way to get this information is by sending out a help desk survey.

Help desk surveys also provide IT teams with data that supports the need for department budget increases. Justify the company’s investment in new tools or more support staff by providing survey data that shows how an increased budget will improve overall productivity.

Administering a help desk survey isn’t necessarily a large, time-consuming initiative. By following a few best practices and using the right tools, you can gather feedback with minimal effort and use it year-round to find new and better ways to provide technical support.

Why tracking customer satisfaction is important

Help desk surveys provide IT support teams with two important pieces of information: employee satisfaction ratings after using IT support, and a list of the factors that lead to employee satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

This information helps your team improve its services, but—perhaps more importantly—it also provides evidence of overarching problems that point to the need for a budget increase.

If you can show company decision-makers that employee dissatisfaction is the result of waiting too long for support, it makes a compelling argument for hiring more help.

Likewise, if you can show that dissatisfaction stems from lost tickets, you can make a strong case for investing in a better intake and issue-tracking tool.

If you’ve been struggling to convince company leaders to invest in the resources your team needs, survey feedback provides compelling evidence.

Follow these seven steps to begin collecting that evidence.

Step 1: Define your strategy and goals

Before choosing a survey tool, writing your first question, or sending your first survey, take time to document why you’re surveying customers and what you’re hoping to learn.

First, determine what information you want to gather from the survey. The most basic information will answer these two questions:

  1. Are customers satisfied?
  2. If not, why?

Your strategy is simply to solicit the answers to those questions.

Next, define why the answers to those questions are important. This becomes your goals:

Documenting your strategy and goals is useful as you move through the next steps because it keeps you focused on what’s truly important.

Step 2: Write a list of potential survey questions

With a defined strategy and goals, you’re ready to put together a list of potential survey questions. Survey questions should measure the factors defined in your strategy and elicit the answers needed for your goals.

Use the example questions below, or work with your team to put together a large list of potential questions. Don’t worry about coming up with a final list at this point—just document everything that comes to mind.

Example survey questions for employees:

  1. How satisfied are you with the quality of the support you received?
  2. How would you rate the technical knowledge of our support team?
  3. How would you rate the professionalism of our support team?
  4. How would you rate our team’s ability to solve your problem?
  5. Was your problem resolved in a timely manner?
  6. What could we do in the future to provide better support?
  7. How satisfied are you with the amount of time it took to resolve the problem?
  8. How would you rate the communication skills of our team?
  9. How satisfied are you with our method of reporting technical issues?
  10. What issue prompted your most recent IT support request?
  11. Is this the first time you’ve encountered this issue?
  12. Did you attempt to resolve the problem on your own before contacting support?
  13. Did you read documentation on our website before contacting support?
  14. How satisfied are you with the technical support ticketing system?
  15. How satisfied are you with the equipment the company provides?
  16. How often do you have trouble connecting to the network wirelessly?
  17. How often do you have trouble connecting to the network remotely?
  18. What technical issues do you encounter most frequently?
  19. How frequently do you encounter those problems?
  20. How often do you have to follow up with IT support to get problems resolved?

Each survey question also needs a method of answering. There are a few options to consider:

Scales:

Multiple choice:

Either/or:

Open-ended:

Write down every question that comes to mind. A longer list is better because it will give you more options to consider and test. You’ll narrow the number of questions down considerably in a future step.

Step 3: Consider survey best practices

In future steps, you’re going to choose the right tool for administering your survey and finalize survey questions. But before making those decisions, it’s important to understand a few survey best practices to help guide the decisions you make.

Survey feedback helps improve your team’s productivity and provides the evidence you need to create a compelling case for a budget increase—but only if people actually respond to your survey. For this reason, it’s important to keep these best practices in mind while finalizing your survey in the next step.

Step 4: Finalize survey questions

Your final survey questions should be those that provide the most detailed information—the information you need to hit the goals you defined in step one.

There are a few ways you can narrow down a long list of questions to the most important ones:

Use these methods and narrow down your list of questions as much as possible—maybe even down to a single question. Once you have a final list, you’re ready to decide how to administer your survey.

Step 5: Select a survey tool

If your existing ticketing software or support system automatically sends an email to customers when team members close tickets, the simplest way to collect feedback is to include a survey link in the template for that email.

Use popular survey tools like SurveyMonkey, QuestionPro, or Typeform to create a survey, and add the link to your closed ticket email template.

This method is the simplest, but it’s not necessarily the most effective. For example, it requires customers to click the link to provide feedback. They may not notice the link and simply delete the email, or they may not have time to wait for a website to open to complete a survey.

CustomerThermometer provides a solution to this problem. Use this tool to embed survey buttons into emails. This keeps customers from having to open another site to provide feedback, and the images used to provide feedback make the request more noticeable than a simple link.

 

 

Unfortunately, CustomerThermometer only works for one-question surveys. For multi-question surveys, Hively may be a better option.

Embed the first question of a Hively survey into an email. When customers click a response, the full survey opens in a web browser. Hively can also associate feedback to specific support employees, allowing you to measure satisfaction individually and as a whole.

The other major benefit of Hively is that it tracks responses over time and across multiple surveys, making it easier to track where your team is improving and where changes are still needed.

Step 6: Compose your help desk survey email

Most likely, you’ll send your technical support questionnaire by email. The text of that email is very important. People receive surveys constantly. Whether they’re engagement surveys from HR or feedback requests from their favorite pizzeria, someone is always soliciting an opinion. This encourages people to delete survey requests automatically.

To avoid an auto-deletion, your email needs to:

People won’t read a wall of text, so keep it short. They also won’t bother to start a survey unless there’s some guarantee that it won’t take them all afternoon, so make sure to mention how short and easy your survey is. Finally, make sure to mention your goals, especially if your goals are things that will benefit your coworkers.

Example survey email:

Dear [Name],

In IT support, we know technical issues are frustrating. They take time to resolve—time you don’t have to waste.

We want to minimize the amount of time you lose dealing with technical issues by improving the support we provide and fixing some of the most pressing technical issues at the company.

Please help us in these efforts by completing the survey below.

[Link to survey / embedded feedback buttons]

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete, but it may earn you hours of extra time in the future by helping us solve some of the biggest impediments to your productivity at work.

Sincerely,

Your IT Support Team

Step 7: Measure results and take action

The real value of a help desk survey is in its final step: measuring the results and using them to form action plans for meeting your goals.

Are people happy with the support you provide, or are there areas where you need to improve? How can you solve for coworkers’ biggest pain points when requesting and receiving support? What systems create the most tickets, and are there better options available?

If you asked the right questions, your survey results should provide the answers. Use those answers to make changes to things you control, and use them as evidence with company leaders to present proof of the need for new tools, more help, or additional budget.

And don’t forget to update your survey from time to time. As you meet your biggest goals and solve your biggest problems, focus on new areas. Keep growing and building the perfect team and seamless processes—using feedback from the employees you help to get there.

 


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