Spring cleaning for your helpdesk

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist, For Your Helpdesk

Written by on March 31, 2015

Spring cleaning is the worst…

… until you’re done. Then, a rosy glow just settles on you as everything functions beautifully; your closet is well ordered, your refrigerator is squeaky clean and the air is saturated with your favorite scent. Everything’s perfect and the world is a beautiful place.

All because you rolled up your sleeves and got down to business to make everything shipshape.

This year, as you go about dusting those carpets and wiping down those bottles, we’d like you to extend your spring cleaning efforts to work too. And more specifically, your helpdesk. It’s gotten pretty cluttered and unorganized over the year and could do with some polish and wax as well.

Here’s a list of tasks that you can tick off as you work to put your helpdesk to order:

1. Fish stray tickets out from cracks

Spring_Cleaning_tickets

Regardless of how diligent you were in closing tickets over the year, there are bound to be some stray ones lying around that somehow slipped by you.

Like that conversation that was never closed because the customer didn’t get back to you. Or those out-of-office emails that you never got around to deleting. They just taking up space and show up as red alerts in your helpdesk reports.

So, roll up your sleeves and put on your favorite jam cos it’s deleting time!

2. Prune your contacts list

If you have a team of support agents who are busy answering tickets day in and day out, they probably don’t pay a lot of attention to the Customers tab. It’s probably a mess. So messy that if your mother ever took a look at it, you’d be grounded for life.

Most of your contacts haven’t been paired with their companies, some of them are just Twitter handles with nothing more to go on. And let’s not even get started on the number of unverified contacts on the list.Spring_cleaning_unverified_contacts

You’ve been meaning to scrub your contacts list clean for quite some time now but there’s always been something else to do; like feeding your pet rock or pretty much anything else. However, now is a good time as any to rip off the band-aid. Block your afternoon, bribe some of your teammates and just get it over with. You’ll thank yourself. Someday.

3. Spruce up your knowledge base

Now to the meaty stuff. It’s time for quick run through of all the solution articles in your knowledge base. Are they up to date? Are the screenshots up to date, i.e., has your UI been revamped since you wrote that article? Do all the links work? Is the formatting everything your customers have ever dreamt of?

And while you’re at it, remember to make lists.

  1. A list of all the articles that you know can be explained better so that you can take a stab at them when you’re free.
  2. A list of all the articles that need to be rewritten so that you can divvy them up with your colleagues.
  3. A list of treats you will be distributing post the rewriting sessions to motivate your team into doing a good job.

But before you do that, it’s time to head on over to Google Analytics and take a good hard look at your search terms. It should look something like this:

Search terms

Do you have solution articles for these pain points? Are these solution articles titled appropriately? Are your meta tags spot on? Will they help the article climb the chaos ladder that is the Google search results page? Take notes and make sure to include the search terms in your solution article titles and content revamp so that your customers have an easier time.

4. Clean up after stray forum posts:

No matter how much you try, over the year, clutter is bound to build up in your community forums; especially in your feature requests forum where your users get excited and start a new topic for a feature that’s already being discussed about elsewhere. And don’t forget all of your historical topics that were created since the dawn of time.

Spring_cleaning_-_forums

And that’s why a quick skim of your community forums is in order. Do a quick loop of your community forums. Poke your nose in every topic. Merge similar topics, and if you come across anything that looks like it’s not helping anyone, delete it without a second thought. If you’re thinking of booting a forum out, move all the relevant topics inside to another one before you get rid of them.

5. Buff up your email notifications:

No one has the energy to pen heartfelt emails to tens of thousands of users but that doesn’t mean you should give in and sound more like R2-D2 than your quirky, loveable self. Email notifications are a great opportunity to charm your customers and keep them hooked. You’d be surprised at the wonders a GIF can work. So, dust off that wand and get ready to work some magic.

Even if you re-wrote all your notifications last year to make them appealing and personal, we’d recommend that you still run through them one more time. Taking another pass on them is likely to make them better, and something that probably was all the rage last year might not be relevant anymore. Your startup might have grown up overnight and it might be time for a more professional tone.

Wondering how to go about it? I have a few ideas that might help you out.

6. Refurbish your support portal theme

Freshthemes - spring cleaning

Lastly, take a long hard look at your support portal’s theme and see if it needs some new clothes.

If your portal’s over a year old, it’s probably the right time to tinker with it and make it better. New year, new you! Add new blocks, remove chunks, bring in additional information that you think your customers will appreciate, the whole nine yards. You can even cheat, and save yourself hours of coding time, by building on or reusing one of our ready-to-go themes.


Like I said, it might take a long time for you to finish but you’ll feel a whole lot better once you’re done. You can even ask your entire team to pitch in and finish all the work in less than a day!

Just make sure that when you’re done, you take a step back, enjoy all that you’ve accomplished and treat yourself for a job well done.

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