The "help" in helpdesk should be as about helping support professionals and about helping customers.
Automating support as much as possible relaxes support executives from the mundane, annoying calls and allows them to concentrate on the harder problems that take more time to solve.
*The question is, how much of the support process can you automate? *
Its easy to go too far. Customers who call for help are often annoyed to start with, so channelling them through endless touch-tone phone options is likely to leave them livid.
Few of the most common way the help-desk helps an end user are:
Most of the helpdesk system has a Knowledge Base in place which helps the end user to zero in on his issues even before reporting it to the Customer Service Desk. This helps the technician or agents as well as they don’t have to deal with one more ticket.
Self-service portals for customers where they can manage their assets / issues by a simple click instrumental in making their life easier . Most of helpdesk in market includes billing portals or other portals where it contains a brief intro about the various areas and thus customer is able to do all work without any third party intervention.
Most of the times, the issues are repeated again and hence the customer can always refer the previous tickets where the agents must have told the root cause of the issue and the way it was fixed. If the customer is tech savvy, he/she can follow those methods and fix the case.
Works like an KB where answers for most common issues are published in the site itself. Thus customers can refer here for their issues, search for it and then try out the fixes reported there.
Sometimes a video tutorial about the most common tasks helps in long way to deal with any future issues. The videos help customers to self-service most of their mundane or unknown tasks.