Service Desk Standard Operating Procedure: Guide + Free Template

help desk manual pdf

Service desk Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a great way to systematize working practices and lead to a more consistent experience for agents and end-users. Done well, they can be used to build up a solid knowledge base for your technical teams, which will improve response times , fix rates, and customer satisfaction. 

When designing a SOP, the key lies in keeping it simple, clear, and making sure it incorporates everything the user needs to follow it accordingly. And, the smartest way to put it into practice is to build it directly into your service desk solution to ensure availability and better organization.

Here we have put together guidelines to design a successful SOP, including an extra free downloadable template with an example for logging incidents. We will also show you some ideas on how to incorporate this documentation to InvGate Service Desk .

Let’s get started.

Table of contents

  • What is SOP for service
  • Benefits of a service desk SOP
  • Sop formats
  • How to design a help desk SOP

Download the service desk SOP template

  • The seven parts of the SOP for service
  • How to use the ITSM SOP sample

What is the Standard Operating Procedure for service?

SOPs are detailed, written instructions describing the step-by-step procedures that must be followed for service desk and IT support tasks. They enable you to capture and normalize key tasks within your service desk consistently, so your documentation is easy to interact with and use, and they ensure that your services can be documented and explained well to deliver service effectively, consistently, and safely.  

Ideally, SOPs are delivered to agents in the moment, meaning that their ITSM tool and processes are engineered to deliver instructions or reference guidance while they are working. 

InvGate Service Desk fulfills this by incorporating features like auto-generated sub-tasks, automated messaging, and knowledge articles that are available directly from the ticket view and provide support to agents through the ticketing process flow .

Nine benefits of having a Service Desk Standard Operating Procedure

Implementing SOPs sets clear guidelines for your team to follow and helps guarantee service quality across your workplace. The main benefits of using SOPs in your service desk include:

  • Makes support activities easy to follow.
  • Provides content for training new staff.
  • Ensures a more consistent experience for end-users.
  • Facilitates templates and automation .
  • Enables a platform and format for sustainable Knowledge Management practices
  • Improves the quality, accuracy, and efficiency of IT support. 
  • Ensure tasks are carried out per best practices.
  • Facilitate continual improvement .
  • Provides support for Governance, Risk, and Compliance processes.

Three SOP formats

Every organization is different and each type of process has its own specific requirements. In this sense, the SOP format you choose should be based on the nature of the process, the level of granularity needed, and the target team and colleague. 

Something to keep in mind when designing any SOP format is to ensure it is clear, concise, and easy to follow. This will guarantee that it’s efficient and can be used consistently across your service delivery teams. 

All this being said, the three most commonly used SOP formats are:

  • Hierarchical

This table looks at the three types and how to use them effectively:

How do you design a help desk SOP?

When designing a help desk SOP , consider the following:

Once you have designed the SOP, it’s time to store it in your service desk so that users can access and quickly put it into use. InvGate Service Desk incorporates an intuitive Knowledge Management system that allows you to create a knowledge article for each type of content so that it can be quickly copied, pasted and leveraged. 

Then, users not only have the option to search for any topic they might be interested in, but the tool will also suggest related articles in real-time as they are working on a particular issue. So, the more clear you have designed your SOP, the better the available information will be, and the whole support process will be more efficient.

There are many examples of service desk processes for which you can design SOPs to be followed. It’s always important that you cover each stage of the workflow, and that your company’s specific requirements are considered in the design.

Here we have put together an example SOP for logging incidents that you can download below and adapt to your own work scenario. It contains the following aspects of the process:

The seven parts of the service desk SOP

Apart from the list of activities captured by the SOP guidelines, the document must also incorporate the following information:

How to use the ITSM SOP sample?

The SOP template we provided above can be used by service desk analysts as part of their daily work operations. This might include activities like logging, categorizing, and prioritizing incidents, fulfilling requests or communicating with groups of people. 

When using SOPs, bear the following in mind:

SOPs are instructions that describe how to carry out routine tasks. As simple as it seems, they can make a big difference when it comes to service desk performance. They can make processes easy to follow, support a more cohesive user experience, and improve automation and Knowledge Management activities.

By following certain guidelines and sticking to clear and well designed processes, you are ready to get started. And, once you have designed your documentation, all you have to do is build the SOPs into your ITSM tool and processes to make it easy for agents to leverage.

If you’re ready to further explore what InvGate Service Desk can do for your SOPs and Knowledge Management strategy, book your 30 day free trial and look through the tool in your own time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are sops .

SOPs are instructions that describe how to carry out routine tasks.

What are some examples of standard operating procedures? 

In IT, it’s common to have SOPs for activities like:

In HR you may find SOPs for:

In Facilities, you’ll frequently find procedures for:

There are endless possibilities, so inquire with your teams and reflect on your needs to identify more.

What is an example of a customer service SOP? 

An example of a customer service SOP is logging incidents and service requests in a service desk environment to ensure tickets are captured, actioned, and resolved in line with customer requirements. 

Read other articles like this : Service desk , ITSM , InvGate Service Desk

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help desk manual pdf

What Is a Help Desk Manual? Why Your Business Needs One

June 30, 2021

by Matej Kukucka

help desk

In this post

What is a help desk manual, what is the purpose of a help desk manual.

  • Who needs help desk manuals?
  • How to create a help desk manual

Help desk set up checklist

7 examples of help desk manuals.

The level of customer service provided by your business – and ultimately the level of customer satisfaction - heavily depends on how well you can manage and respond to customer requests.

Unfortunately, doing so without any help desk software solutions or similar tools is exceptionally challenging.

However, with professional help desk software in place, support teams can handle all incoming customer communications from various digital and traditional channels quickly and efficiently.

To achieve high levels of efficiency, your team needs to know the ins and outs of the help desk software tool they are using. Help desks can be very complex software with tons of hidden features. As such, getting to know its functionality is essential. That is why having a complete help desk manual is critical. 

A help desk manual is a detailed user guide that describes every aspect of your help desk platform. It describes how to use it to ensure smooth internal and external communication, including support requests, issues, or complaints.

Definition of help desk software

Help desk software is a tool that streamlines all support requests into a centralized inbox so agents can manage all queries from a single interface without having to switch between platforms and devices. All incoming requests are transformed into “tickets”, so help desk software is often referred to as help desk ticketing software or a support ticketing system. 

The primary purpose of a help desk manual is to help your team manage your help desk efficiently, as it outlines how the help desk software should be set up , used, and operated to deliver a consistently high level of support. In addition, when a new support agent joins your team, your help desk manual can significantly assist you in their onboarding process.

Help desk solutions are complex software tools, and managing one can be a challenge. However, with a solid help desk user manual, things become easier for your entire team. Help desk manuals are essential for everyone in your support department, regardless of how their role is classified, their authority, and their responsibilities within your team.

Who needs help desk manuals? 

Here are three core job functions that use help desk manuals regularly. 

Help desk admins

Admins are employees with some technical background responsible for setting up and configuring your help desk software system. They’re also in charge of managing advanced help desk settings, integrations, and adding new users to the system. By creating a comprehensive help desk manual, your admins will know how to set everything up correctly and will be able to refer to the guide if they encounter any trouble.

Support managers

A customer support manager supervises support agents and manages customer service processes , workflows, and procedures. A help desk manual usually describes all of these processes and procedures in detail,  ensuring all managers know how to proceed in specific scenarios while remaining efficient.

Support agents

Support agents are the frontline of your support team who are specifically responsible for interacting with customers, responding to customer requests, and resolving customer issues. A help desk manual would typically provide in-depth guidelines on how to manage tickets and handle requests effectively. 

How to create a help desk manual 

Creating a comprehensive help desk manual requires a great deal of planning and preparation. On top of that, you need to understand what exactly should be outlined in your document to ensure it brings value to your support team.

Below are some suggestions on what you can include in your help desk manual – you can customize it based on the needs of your team and the capabilities of the help desk software you use. The first priority to have is to outline and document your help desk processes. 

Ticket statuses

Ticket organization and management play a crucial role in your support team’s efficiency. 

To ensure all tickets keep moving through the ticket lifecycle quickly, you need to define ticket statuses. Based on the help desk tool you use, there may be default ticket statuses or an option to modify and create custom statuses. Your help desk manual should list the ticket statuses you’ve defined and explain what each of them means.

Here are some examples:

  • New: The default status of a ticket when it gets created.
  • Open: The ticket is open, and someone is working on the request.
  • Pending: An agent is waiting to get more information from the customer.
  • Escalated: The ticket was escalated to a senior agent or another department.
  • Resolved: The ticket reached its final stage in processing, and no more action is required.

Ticket priorities

In addition to ticket statuses, your help desk manual should define your ticket priority matrix so your agents understand how to prioritize tickets based on the available information. Below are some standard prioritization levels:

  • Urgent: Tickets marked as urgent are critical issues that may prevent a user from working and cause devastating consequences. These tickets should be addressed first or escalated to a senior agent/manager.
  • High: High priority issues may prevent users from using the product or service effectively and require an immediate response.
  • Medium: Tickets marked with a medium priority are questions or issues that don’t prevent users from using the product, but they require a quick response regardless.
  • Normal: Tickets marked as normal can be questions from people who aren’t active users or leads. “Normal” tickets can also contain general user feedback that doesn’t require an immediate response.

Next, your help desk manual should outline your entire workflow from when a user submits a ticket until it’s resolved. The outline should describe what your users/customers can expect to happen when they submit a support request. Provide a brief description of the following to ensure your agents have a clear understanding of the processes and actions they need to take to resolve a ticket:

  • Response to tickets: Indicate whether your support agents need to send an email acknowledging the customer’s initial message. Explain what details should be included in the first response and whether you should inform the customer of the expected resolution date.
  • User follow-up: Explain how the support agent should proceed and format a follow-up email if the customer does not respond within a specified period .
  • Closing tickets: Explain how and when tickets are closed and when your agents should send out CSAT surveys. 
  • User feedback: Describe the preferred steps your agents should take if customers are unsatisfied with their service and how they should report concerns. 

Ticket escalation 

While support agents can resolve most support requests during the first contact, some issues might demand the intervention of a senior rep or a manager who has more in-depth knowledge, technical expertise, or simply more authority than standard support agents. To ensure streamlined support and a quick ticket resolution process, you need to have a clearly outlined and documented ticket escalation procedure that your agents can follow whenever they encounter issues they cannot resolve immediately. 

The escalation process may differ depending on the size of your support team. Generally, a ticket escalation process should:

  • Define which issues require escalation and to whom to escalate them.
  • List your support tiers and outline the skill levels and responsibilities of each tier.
  • Estimate the duration for resolving tickets (Service Level Agreements).
  • Define who to notify when an issue needs to be escalated.
  • State how often agents should provide updates to customers.
  • Define who to contact when the issue is still unresolved after the first escalation.

help desk view

Most help desk tools offer multi-channel support, meaning you can integrate them with as many support channels as you want. These channels could include email, live chat, phones, social media, knowledge bases, and more. The primary purpose of a checklist like this is to describe how to set up and integrate each communication channel that your customers will use to communicate with your support team. Here’s what it can include:

  • Email:  Explain how to connect email accounts and configure the centralized mailbox used to create and respond to tickets.  
  • Phone: Explain how to set up the call center, connect  VoIP video phone providers, and create an IVR menu with call routing options.
  • Live chat: Outline how to place live chat widgets onto websites and set up proactive chat triggers, such as VoIP instant messaging .
  • Social media messaging: Create a step-by-step guide for each social media integration (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, instant messaging apps). 
  • Self-service portal: Explain how to create a self-service customer portal that contains a knowledge base, FAQs, and other helpful documentation.
  • Third-party apps: Describe how to integrate third-party apps to enhance help desk capabilities and improve agent performance.

Help desk software solutions may have different settings and workflow management options. When highlighting the basic and advanced help desk settings, pay particular attention to outlining the following features:

Automation rules

Setting up automation is especially critical for businesses with high ticket volumes as it ensures tickets are automatically routed to the most relevant agents or departments. Automation helps manage the workflow of your support team, improve agent performance and customer satisfaction.

Any fully functional help desk software would typically allow you to set up action-triggered, time-triggered, or SLA-based automation rules. Your help desk manual should list all the available automation options supported by your help desk and explain how to set them up.

Service-level agreements (SLAs)

SLAs help set performance standards for your support team and ensure every issue is responded to and resolved on time. Your manual should determine and outline your SLA policy, so your agents have a clear understanding of the service standards expected of them in the workplace.

Canned messages 

Creating and deploying canned responses to common queries can significantly streamline agent workflow and save both agents and customers a lot of time and effort. Remember to include instructions on creating and using canned messages to speed up responses and issue resolution times.

Analytics and reporting

Based on the reporting capabilities supported by your help desk software, you may be able to track a variety of metrics and KPIs to improve your team’s performance. Outline the reporting options of your help desk tool, explain how to generate different kinds of reports, how to customize the reporting dashboard, and who should be tracking and managing your help desk statistics.

Detail the standard help desk channels

With a centralized help desk system, your agents can manage support requests from various communication channels from a single interface. However, each of these channels can have specific workflows for configuring and handling tickets. 

Email support

Since email remains one of the most preferred business communication methods for consumers, your team is likely to be receiving a large portion of support requests from emails. Make sure to use an  email ticketing system  that helps set up and configure email templates, set up spam filters, tag and prioritize tickets, or apply mass actions to simplify and speed up ticket management .

Call center 

Ensure your help desk manual includes information about the most critical call center features .  Describe how to create IVR menus, set up call routing options, automated callbacks, transfer calls, track call metrics, make outbound calls or internal calls.

Live chat is getting increasingly popular with consumers as it offers immediate real-time assistance. If your help desk provides live chat support, give some guidance on configuring chat routing options, setting up chatbots, enabling proactive chat, setting up canned responses, and tracking website visitors.

Social media messaging 

Most help desk software tools offer integrations with the most popular social media platforms and instant messengers. Create a list of the social media and instant messaging apps that you can integrate with your help desk, describe how to connect them, and outline best practices for handling social media support queries. 

Knowledge base 

Outline the self-help capabilities of your help desk. Showcase how to set up and manage external and internal knowledge bases, create FAQs, add, categorize and edit self-help content in your knowledge base, set up and manage a community forum, make feedback widgets, etc. 

Index the help desk features

Today’s popular help desk solutions are equipped with a wide range of basic and advanced features. Even though your support team might not be using all of them in their daily operations, some features may become necessary in the future. Index all the help desk features your help desk software provider offers so your team members can conveniently refer to them whenever needed.

Team management 

Depending on your business type and the size of your support team, you may want to organize your agents into different departments based on functional responsibilities, supported products, supported channels, regions, or other parameters.

For example, like most organizations, you might have separate departments for customer support, sales, marketing, human resources, accounting, etc. You can also have respective departments that handle different customer types (VIPs, partners, resellers, etc.) or customers from other geographic locations and timezones. 

help desk manual

Overall, departments keep your help desk more organized and efficient as your agents will only respond to the tickets they are best equipped to handle. Think about the best way to organize your departments suited to your organization’s needs and describe the scope of responsibilities for each of them. Your help desk manual should also outline:

  • How to create and edit departments 
  • How to add and remove agents from departments
  • How to set up automation rules for routing tickets to specific departments
  • How to monitor each department’s performance

Help desk manuals can differ based on the specific purpose your help desk serves and whether it’s intended for your customers or employees. You may also have different help desk manuals serving different departments within a single organization. Below are examples of some of the most common help desk manuals.

Technical help desk manual

A technical help desk manual provides step-by-step instructions on correctly setting up, configuring, and using the help desk software. It also outlines how to connect your support channels, integrate the help desk software with your CRM and other business tools and third-party apps.

Customer service help desk manual

A customer service help desk manual outlines how support agents can efficiently manage and respond to support tickets, what phrasing they should use, and how they should communicate with customers in different scenarios.

Business operation help desk manual

A help desk manual for managing business operations with help desk software describes how to set up and use a help desk to manage operations of any business unit, e.g., logistics, marketing, or maintenance operations .

Vendor or suppliers support help desk manual 

A vendor help desk manual highlights how to configure and use help desk software to manage vendor relationships, keep accurate supplier records and information, store the information on routing and scheduling of deliveries, manage supplier contracts, track supplier performance, etc. 

IT help desk manual 

An IT help desk manual contains a step-by-step guide for managing incidents and internal IT support requests.

HR help desk manual  

An HR help desk manual defines how HR departments can utilize help desk software for efficient hiring, onboarding and offboarding, training, HR compliance, grievance handling, and other HR-related activities.

Facility management help desk manual 

A facility management help desk manual outlines communication processes with maintenance and facility workers. It explains what details you should include in maintenance requests and how to format them appropriately. 

Conclusion 

Having a solid, in-depth help desk manual in place is critical for any organization using help desk software. In general, a help desk manual is a user guide for your entire support team that outlines how your help desk software system should be configured, used, and managed.

Having a manual like this ensures customer requests and issues are handled quickly while agents remain productive and efficient, ultimately contributing to consistently high customer satisfaction levels. 

_learn-api-management@2x

Get the help you need

By using the right help desk software to make support more seamless and structured.

Matej Kukucka photo

Matej Kukucka is the Head of Marketing at LiveAgent . He loves SaaS products, and according to his colleagues, he uses too many browser extensions. Outside of his computer, he plays chess and drinks too much coffee.

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Help desks: functions, benefits, features and software.

So, you’re thinking about a help desk. You’ve researched, but you still have questions. What exactly is a help desk? How does it differ from a service desk ? Does your company need one—and, if so, why? And what are the best practices the most successful help desks follow? We asked our experts and here’s what they said.

Defining “help desk”

A help desk is the first point of contact for customers and employees alike. Customers need answers and the help desk is where they turn.

When employees need someone to troubleshoot a printer, upgrade security on a laptop, or give them access to a new system, it’s the help desk to the rescue. When customers can’t get into their systems, need help with setup, or encounter a bug, it’s the help desk that typically gets a call.

Help desk vs. service desk: what’s the difference?

Often, people use the terms help desk and service desk interchangeably, but the truth is that they both serve different, important purposes. 

A help desk was born of IT-centricity (mainframe computing), whereas a service desk was born of IT service-centricity. The main focus of a help desk is fixing issues, a service desk’s main focus is delivering service to its customers or users. There’s a certain emphasis on service delivery and customer-centricity in service desks that’s less of a focal point in help desks. 

A help desk can be a good starting point for organizations looking to organize their approach to addressing customer problems.

Help desk functions

A help desk should perform several functions:

  • Provide a single point of contact . Customers—internal or external—should always know where to go when they need help.  
  • Answer questions . Customers should be able to use self-service or contact a help desk agent when they need answers or step-by-step instructions.  
  • Free up time . A well-run help desk centralizes knowledge and provides workflow guidance that makes solving customer problems quicker and easier.   
  • Measure customer satisfaction . Customers should always have a way of rating the help desk and giving feedback to improve processes, knowledge bases, and solutions.

Types of help desks

It support help desk.

An IT help desk supports internal staff, solving problems that range from a simple password reset to a network outage.

Customer service help desk

A customer service help desk focuses on the external customer, answering questions about and helping troubleshoot issues with products and services they’ve purchased.

Business help desk

Teams outside IT (such as HR, finance, and legal) can and sometimes do create and run a business help desk. HR can help employees do things like modify payroll elections or get employment verification letters. Legal can respond to contract review requests. And finance can field accounts payable and expense questions. 

Help desk roles

Help desk manager : A help desk manager leads the day-to-day operations of the help desk. This includes hiring and training agents, structuring support processes, and tracking KPIs such as agent productivity and customer satisfaction. A help desk manager will typically be responsible for managing the overall budget and reporting on performance to the executive team.

Help desk agent : A help desk agent responds directly to help desk questions. This can include everything from hardware issues to password reset requests and inquiries may come in by phone, email, or through a help desk portal.

Help desk agents are also often responsible for updating the company’s knowledge base and looking for ways to coach others and spread their technical expertise. Depending on the size of the company, there may be several tiers of agents, split based on support experience.

Help desk team lead : The help desk team lead supports the help desk manager by coaching new agents and ensuring everyone delivers great customer service and meets their Service Level Agreement (SLA) goals. A team lead also monitors performance and provides feedback to managers for improving support processes.

What is help desk software?

So, how do most companies run their help desks? The answer is help desk software, like Jira Service Management . 

When businesses start out, they often rely on email for support. But as companies grow, moving beyond email as the primary support channel becomes critical. Support needs to scale with a business. If agents are struggling to keep up with requests and inboxes are stacked with unanswered emails—it’s definitely time for help desk software.

Help desk software allows companies to accept, track, and respond to support requests in an organized fashion. Many help desk programs also provide knowledge bases, self-service portals, SLO management, and reporting. Choosing the right help desk software for you depends on your company’s specific needs.

4 reasons your company needs help desk software

1. email is a lousy tracking tool..

If every help request becomes a string of emails, agents may struggle to prioritize and respond to each request. Move the conversation away from inboxes to better organize your help desk queues.

2. Customers want to help themselves.

For many companies, help desk software also offers a simple way to organize an FAQ or knowledge base that lets customers self-serve common questions.  

3. Prioritize important tickets.

Forget calendar reminders, sticky notes, and email. Help desk software lets you define not only ticket order, but priority levels and resolution time requirements.

4. Monitor the health of support.

Help desk software can track metrics like ticket volume, resolution time, customer satisfaction, and even individual engineer performance.

Popular help desk software features

Email support.

Send support emails to a designated address such as [email protected]. Those emails will then be automatically converted into tickets so agents can benefit from a structured ticketing workflow.

Knowledge base

A knowledge base is a store of common answers and useful articles such as how-tos or best practices. It provides a self-service experience that can improve customer satisfaction and reduce support requests.

Self-service portal

The self-service portal is an intuitive place to submit questions in the form of help desk tickets or get immediate answers via the knowledge base.

Community forums

Forums are a place for users to ask questions and have them answered by the community.

Reporting and analytics

Help desk software reporting features allow companies to track key metrics such as agent productivity, customer satisfaction, and support costs. Detailed analytics allow for continuous improvement of service quality and efficiency.

Help desk automation

Help desk software can automate common tasks to free up agent time while keeping actions consistent. Automation can close an inactive ticket or alert a manager when a new priority-one issue is created.

SLA/SLO management

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)  are a contract between the business and the customer. Service Level Objectives (SLOs) are the objectives or goals outlined in the SLA. These SLOs define expected service levels, such as time to first response or time to resolution, that agents need to work within. 

SLOs can also be quality-based, such as ensuring customer satisfaction stays above 90%.

Customization

Most help desk software allows companies to customize their help desk so that it carries the company colors and logo. You can also build custom integrations on top of the help desk to extend the software’s functionality.

Getting started with help desk software

Which help desk software you choose depends greatly on your needs, number of agents, and budget. When shopping for a solution, our experts recommend asking yourself:

  • Which channels do we need to offer support on (web, email, social, mobile, etc.)?  
  • How many agents will use the software?  
  • Does our company need a self-service solution/knowledge base?  
  • Does our company need automation for repetitive help desk tasks?  
  •  What kind of reporting do we need?  
  • What is our timeline?  
  • What is our budget? Do we have any wiggle room?  
  • How many resources can we invest in software setup?  

The answers to these questions should guide you as you choose the best help desk software for your organization.

How to implement help desk software

Step one: research and get management buy-in.

Define your help desk goals and needs. Research the benefits and understand what you want out of your help desk. And then present your plans to management and get buy-in.

Step two: plan before you implement

Plan your help desk processes with IT staff’s roles and capabilities in mind. Build workflows to drive those processes. And identify the metrics you’ll use to track success.

Step three: install and set up your solution

Install your help desk software. Import contacts, user information, and other assets as needed. Add your IT users and admins. Define ticket categories and issue types. Set up queues and automation rules. And edit email templates and define filters.

Step four: add advanced configurations as needed

Integrate help desk software with other applications. Import your documentation into the knowledge base. Define your SLOs. Set up reports and notifications. And configure approval workflows.

How much does help desk software cost?

The price of help desk software depends on company size, team size, and business needs. Typically, it’s calculated by how many agents are resolving tickets. Cost questions are always tough to answer because the range is so huge—from basic free programs built for small businesses to thousands of dollars per month for enterprise-level, customizable solutions.

With Jira Service Management , it’s easy for every team, from IT to HR to legal, to set up and tailor their help desks to meet their specific needs. Get started with no setup time or installation required.

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Desk Manual – A Comprehensive Guide

Desk Manuals

  • Post category: Blog
  • Post author: David

A Desk Manual allow you to communicate your expectations, quality and benchmarks to your team efficiently and easily. Creating a desk manual, also known as an office or workplace manual, can be a helpful resource for employees and organizations to streamline processes and provide clear guidelines for various tasks and responsibilities.

Table of Contents

Desk manual – definition.

A desk manual, also known as an office manual or workplace manual, is a written document or handbook that provides detailed information, guidelines, and instructions related to various aspects of working within an organization or a specific job role.

It serves as a reference guide for employees, outlining company policies, procedures, job responsibilities, and other essential information needed to perform tasks effectively and adhere to organizational standards.

What are 5 Benefits of a Desk Manual?

Benefit 1 – standardization.

A desk manual ensures consistent procedures and practices across the organization, reducing errors and promoting uniformity in tasks and processes.

Benefit 2 – Efficient Onboarding

It facilitates smoother onboarding for new employees by providing them with a comprehensive resource to quickly learn about company policies, procedures, and their roles.

Benefit 3 – Reference Tool

Employees can refer to the desk manual as a quick reference guide, saving time and reducing the need to constantly seek clarification from supervisors or colleagues.

Benefit 4 – Risk Management

It helps mitigate legal and compliance risks by documenting and communicating important policies, ensuring that employees are aware of and adhere to them.

Benefit 5- Improved Communication

The manual enhances communication by providing a centralized location for critical information, promoting clarity, and reducing misunderstandings among employees.

Desk Manual Template

Save time and money.

Using a desk manual template streamlines the process of creating a comprehensive workplace guide, saving time and effort in document design and formatting while ensuring a professional and organized presentation of information.

Templates also help maintain consistency in content structure, making it easier for employees to find and reference essential information, ultimately enhancing the document’s usability and effectiveness.

Desk Manual Template

Who Uses Desk Manuals?

Broad use in many industries.

Desk manuals, or office manuals, are used by a wide range of companies across various industries. While the specific content and format may vary, any organization that aims to provide structured guidance and information to its employees can benefit from having a desk manual.

From Corporations, through to Government Agencies and Non-profit Organizations, desk manuals are an effective tool to ensure your organization is communicating to the team effectively and efficiently.

What Should be in a Desk Manual?

You should have a range of different type of information in your Desk Manual. The basics that anyone would need when they first start at your business is going to be a good start.

The following is a template example that would be useful as a start to create your desk manual .

  • WELCOME TO OUR BUSINESS
  • HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL
  • GENERAL ORGANIZATION DETAILS
  • WORKPLACE REQUIREMENTS
  • HEALTH AND SAFETY
  • WORKPLACE EQUIPMENT
  • PROCEDURE MANUAL INTRODUCTION
  • DESK MANUAL SUMMARY

How Long Should a Desk Manual be?

The length of a desk manual can vary significantly depending on the organization’s complexity and the depth of information it needs to convey. However, it’s generally advisable to keep it concise and focused, aiming for a length of 30 to 50 pages to ensure that it remains a practical and accessible resource for employees.

In essence, desk manuals are a versatile tool that can be adapted to the specific needs and objectives of virtually any type of organization, making them a valuable resource for maintaining consistency, efficiency, and clarity in the workplace.

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Helpdesk knowledge base: The Complete Guide (2023)

by Team Capacity | Apr 14, 2023

Helpdesk knowledge base header image

Best helpdesk knowledge base software

Welcome to the ultimate guide to helpdesk knowledge bases! Whether you’re a service desk professional, IT manager, or just beginning your journey into the world of customer service and support, this comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to understand how a knowledge base can benefit customers and agents. By the end of this guide, you’ll be an expert in creating, managing, and optimizing a helpdesk knowledge base that will become an invaluable resource for your service desk.

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Capacity’s AI and automation technology can help:

  • Answer FAQs anytime, anywhere
  • Find relevant documents within seconds
  • Give surveys and collect feedback

So, let’s get started! Here’s everything you need to know about helpdesk knowledge bases.

What is a helpdesk knowledge base?

A helpdesk knowledge base is essential for any organization that aims to provide top-notch customer support. But what is it exactly?

Image explaining the definition of helpdesk knowledge base.

A helpdesk knowledge base is a centralized database where you can store all sorts of information about your product or service. From troubleshooting solutions to FAQs, best practices to manuals, a knowledge base is a go-to resource for your users. Not only does it help your customers solve problems on their own through self-service, but it also reduces your support team’s workload. The beauty of a knowledge base is that it’s accessible 24/7 and from anywhere, so your customers don’t have to wait for business hours to get their answers.

With the proper structure and organization, a knowledge base can be a powerful self-service tool that enhances customer satisfaction and boosts your business’s bottom line.

Image showing benefits of a helpdesk knowledge base.

5 benefits of a knowledge base in the helpdesk

When it comes to customer support, there are many advantages to having a helpdesk knowledge base. Here are five of the most significant benefits:

1. Increased self-service

Customers want instant answers, and most of the time, they want to find the answer themselves. Nearly 70% of customers prefer using self-service support over speaking to a customer service representative. A comprehensive helpdesk knowledge base allows customers to find solutions quickly and easily, reducing the number of support tickets they submit.

2. Proactive support

With a robust knowledge base, you can give users information proactively before they even ask for it – significantly improving their service experience.

In a world where customers have infinite options, customer support can make or break a business. And let’s be real – no one wants a broken business. This is where proactive support comes into play. Think of a helpdesk knowledge base like a superhero anticipating a villain’s next move. But instead of villains, it’s customer problems. Instead of capes, it’s targeted solutions.

By being proactive, customer support teams can solve issues before they reach the customer’s inbox . It’s like preventing a fire before it even starts. Proactive support solves problems faster and shows customers that their issues are important and valued.

3. Cost reduction

In the world of customer support, cost reduction isn’t just a buzzword – it’s a lifeline. Savvy support teams know how to cut costs without sacrificing quality, and in the process, they become even more valuable to their organizations. But why is cost reduction so important? For starters, it frees up resources that can be used to improve the customer experience. By letting AI chatbots handle tier 0 and 1 inquiries , human agents can focus on more strategic, revenue-driving tasks.

illustration of capacity offering a user the choice of "yes" or "no" to the question "would you recommend this product to a friend" as well as a response from capacity saying "great, how would you rate your overall experience with us today" and then four stars out of five selected

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4. Improved UX

Whether it’s a simple query or a complex issue, the user experience can make or break the brand’s perception. Imagine calling customer support and hearing the dreaded automated voice – “Please hold. Your call is important to us.” Yes, we’ve all been there.

But what if you could send a message and get an accurate response within a few seconds? That’s the power of an improved user experience . It’s the difference between frustration and satisfaction and loyalty and abandonment. A well-structured knowledge base makes it easy for customers to find the information they need quickly and without frustration. Simplifying the user experience is the key to success for any business.

5. Increased Efficiency

Let’s face it – Sometimes contacting customer support is anything but efficient. Long wait times, endless transfers, and convoluted processes can leave even the most laid-back customer ready to throw their computer out the window. A streamlined process can help relieve stress from support teams and customers. Not only does it save time (yours AND your customers’), but it can also improve the overall customer experience.

With a helpdesk knowledge base, you can easily reuse articles and content across different channels, making your support team more efficient.

What is the difference between a helpdesk and a knowledge base?

A helpdesk is an invaluable resource for service desk teams looking to quickly and efficiently address customer queries. With the right helpdesk software, your team can collaborate in real-time with customers, whereas a knowledge base provides self-service access to relevant information.

Let’s break down each a little further:

A helpdesk is a ticketing system that enables teams to receive, track, and manage customer inquiries quickly. A helpdesk typically houses ticket-based systems like email, chat, and phone calls.

A knowledge base is an organized database of information about your product or service. It’s essentially a library full of helpful resources designed to help your customers and support teams solve problems more efficiently.

Both the helpdesk and knowledge base are essential for providing quality customer service, but they should be used at different levels of support. For example, a helpdesk is great for answering first-tier inquiries from users, while a knowledge base can provide comprehensive solutions to common questions. An intelligent helpdesk knowledge base solution like Capacity can automatically route tickets and give users instant answers.

Image showing the steps to create a helpdesk knowledge base.

How do I create a knowledge base for my helpdesk?

Creating a knowledge base for your helpdesk is an invaluable way to provide customers with information and solutions quickly and efficiently. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

1. Define your goals

Take some time to determine your goals for your knowledge base. Consider these questions:

  • Are you looking to improve customer satisfaction, reduce support costs, or increase efficiency?
  • What processes are the most tedious for your support team?
  • What initiatives need the most attention from agents?

Answering these questions will help you create a knowledge base that meets your needs.

2. Gather information

Once you know what kind of information you need, start collecting it. This could include FAQs, product documentation, troubleshooting solutions, and other relevant data.

You can find this information from various sources, such as customer support tickets , user feedback, blog posts, and social media conversations. Make sure to prioritize the most critical data so it’s easy for your customers to find what they need.

3. Organize your content

Now that you have all the information, it’s time to organize it. Create clear categories and subcategories to ensure your knowledge base is easy to navigate. You can also use articles, videos, and images to improve the user experience. The more organized and intuitive your knowledge base is, the better it will be for customers.

4. Write your content

This is where you get to be creative! Make sure your content is detailed yet concise, as well as engaging and informative. Content should help users understand complex topics and solve their problems quickly.

You can also use videos, infographics, and images to make your content even more engaging. This is a great way to provide customers with visual information that’s easy to digest.

5. Design a user-friendly interface

A great knowledge base should be intuitive and easy to use (Similar to Capacity’s knowledge base interface ). Create a user-friendly interface that encourages customers to explore your resources.

You can also use animation and interactive elements to engage your knowledge base more. This will help customers quickly find the answers they need, improving their experience with your service.

6. Test & monitor

Once you’ve published your knowledge base, test it to ensure everything works correctly. You’ll also want to monitor its performance over time to ensure it’s providing the best customer experience. Analytic dashboards are your friend here! Using metrics such as page views, search frequency, and customer feedback can help you identify areas that need improvement.

A well-structured knowledge base will give your customers the answers they need quickly and efficiently while freeing up resources for your support team. With the right helpdesk software , you can create a searchable library of helpful information and reduce costs. Now that you have the steps, it’s time to get started!

Image showing helpdesk knowledge base best practices.

Top 10 helpdesk knowledge base best practices

Follow these best practices to ensure your helpdesk knowledge base is successful and efficient:

1. Identify core content: Determine what content is essential for your users and prioritize it in your knowledge base.

2. Establish user-friendly structure: Create categories and subcategories that are easy to navigate and find.

3. Optimize search: Use keywords and phrases that customers would use in their searches, so they can quickly find answers to their questions.

4. Personalize content: Focus on providing personalized solutions for customer needs, preferences, and interests.

5. Monitor performance : Track critical metrics, such as page views, search frequency, conversions, etc., to gauge how well the knowledge base performs.

6. Use technology: Use AI-powered chatbots to automatically answer tier 0 and 1 inquiries so that customer service agents can focus on more pressing matters.

7. Keep content fresh: Ensure your content is up-to-date by routinely reviewing it for accuracy and relevancy.

8. Engage customers : Increase engagement by adding videos, images, infographics, and interactive elements to provide informative visuals in addition to text content.

9. Incorporate feedback: Ask customers what they need from the knowledge base and adjust accordingly.

10. Be proactive: Ensure you’re providing customers with information before they ask for it to exceed their expectations and maintain high customer satisfaction.

By following these helpdesk knowledge base best practices, your team can provide customers with a reliable and efficient self-service experience to meet their needs. With the right software, you can transform your knowledge base into a powerful tool for solving problems quickly and easily.

Image showing the best helpdesk knowledge base software.

If you’re looking for the best helpdesk knowledge base software to improve customer service, look no further. The following solutions are trusted by enterprise-level organizations and provide an intuitive user experience:

Capacity is an all-in-one AI helpdesk knowledge base software designed to provide teams with an easy and efficient way to manage customer support inquiries. It has a robust AI-powered knowledge base allowing support agents to create, organize, and track content in one centralized location. Capacity helps teams deflect over 90% of support tickets away from agents, saving them valuable time. Plus, you can try Capacity for free!

Freshdesk is a customer service platform with a comprehensive knowledge base feature. Teams can use it to store and organize articles, track user feedback, and provide streamlined customer support.

ServiceNow is a cloud-based customer service platform that offers a comprehensive knowledge base feature. The feature helps teams organize content, create articles, and manage feedback while providing customers with simple support.

Kayako is a customer service platform designed to provide teams with the tools to manage customers seamlessly across multiple channels. The centralized knowledge base helps teams keep track of all their customer inquiries in one secure location.

Ready to automate your helpdesk with an AI-powered knowledge base? Get started with Capacity!

Practical AI: The Capacity for Good, Episode 10

Practical AI: The Capacity for Good, Episode 10

by Team Capacity | Dec 14, 2023

Listen and Subscribe Here In this episode of Practical AI: The Capacity for Good, David Avrin, a Customer Experience Keynote Speaker and Consultant, joins James Diel to reveal the importance of customer retention and how it impacts a company's revenue. They highlight...

Practical AI: The Capacity for Good, Episode 9

Practical AI: The Capacity for Good, Episode 9

Listen and Subscribe Here In this episode of Practical AI: The Capacity for Good, Adrian Swinscoe, an Aspirant Punk at Punk CX, joins James Diel to share his insights on how you can tap into your inner punk spirit to revolutionize your approach to customer experience,...

Practical AI: The Capacity for Good, Episode 8

Practical AI: The Capacity for Good, Episode 8

by Team Capacity | Oct 11, 2023

Listen and Subscribe Here In this episode of Practical AI: The Capacity for Good, David Karandish, Founder and CEO of Capacity, joins James Diel to unveil how AI and automation revolutionize customer service, balancing customer experience and profitability in AI...

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Help Desk 1-2-3 User Guide

WPS has launched Help Desk , an online tool for teachers and students to report problems and request help with technology:  http://helpdesk.wellesleyps.org . Help Desk will allow the technology staff to respond to your needs more efficiently and track common support problems. You can use Help Desk without having to stop by one of the technology offices, or you may submit a ticket in advance before stopping by.

Enter your own HelpDesk tickets any time, any where as easy as 1-2-3!

HelpDesk Step 1 Screenshot

  • Request Type: Select Type from dropdown
  • Subject: enter brief description
  • Request Detail: describe the issue with any details
  • Location: The location will be filled in based on our records but you may need to change it based on your issue.
  • Hit save and you will receive an email with your ticket number and request info.

HelpDesk Step 3 Screenshot

Common Support Requests

These are some of the types of support tickets you can submit via Help Desk:

  • Account Help: Baseline Edge, Computer Login, Google, PowerSchool, Voice Mail
  • Computers: Hardware, Software
  • Google: Gmail, Drive, Classroom, Sites
  • Instructional Technology Support: Classroom use of devices or software, Curriculum Development, Professional Development
  • iPads / iPods
  • Network connections
  • Phone System
  • PowerSchool: Gradebook, PowerTeacher
  • Presentation Equipment: TVs, Audio/Video Equipment, DVDs, Projectors, SMARTBoards, ELMO
  • WPS Website – Broken links, Add/change information

Keep in Mind

  • A Help Desk ticket can be filled out using any computer, tablet or smartphone. For example, if your iPad is not working, you can submit a HelpDesk ticket using a computer or a personal smartphone instead, or submit it on someone’s else iPad.
  • Expected downtimes for routine maintenance will be posted on Help Desk messages section, so if you are having a problem in the evening or over the weekend, you might want to check Help Desk messages , which you can view even when not logged in.
  • When you are logged in to Help Desk you can check status of your previously submitted tickets. Please note that you will not necessarily get an email update at every step along the way as we work to resolve your problem, but if you login you should be able to check the current status, for example if we are still troubleshooting or if we had to order a part and we are waiting for it to arrive.

Video Tutorial: How to Submit a Support Ticket in Help Desk

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  1. PDF Effective Help Desk Specialist Skills

    Introduction 1 CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Help Desk Support Roles 6 CHAPTER 2 Communication Skills 42 CHAPTER 3 Personal Skills 80 CHAPTER 4 Technical Skills 114 CHAPTER 5 Security Skills 158 CHAPTER 6 Troubleshooting Skills 194 CHAPTER 7 Writing Skills 226 CHAPTER 8 Training Skills 260 CHAPTER 9 Business Skills 310 CHAPTER 10 Calculat...

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  6. PDF IT Help Desk Tutorial

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  7. PDF E-book IT Service Desk

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  8. What Is a Help Desk Manual? Why Your Business Needs One

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  12. Helpdesk knowledge base: The Complete Guide (2023)

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