You would think that with the fast-paced technological advancement, and with the digital world dominating our lives nowadays, only few will resort to help desk; well, think again! Actually, the number of employees reporting to help desks nowadays is increasing, which of course adds pressure to help desks’ specialists. Here are some tips for IT managers and Help Desk specialists on better management of Help Desk requests.
Reduce Direct Calls
Use a screening/filtration approach to reduce the direct calls directed to your help desk. Automate the process through using questionnaires or any type of form that a user fills in. They help describe the technical issue they are facing in details, and once they are done they get a ticket number, through which they can follow up on the process.
List Recurring Issues
When you find a certain issue recurring, take note, and by the end of each month, look at your list; it might guide you towards a general problem you need to take care of, like a software glitch for instance. So this way you’ll improve your help desk service as a whole and stay updated with urgent matters.
Moreover, keeping track of your recurring issues will give you guidance with regards to your automation process. For instance, if you find the majority asking you for a password reset, then you’ll know that you should automate the process of password reset so that users can do it on their own.
Educate and Train
Dedicating time for educating and training users might not be directly related to your specialty, but we guarantee it’ll pay off at the end. Offer users tutorials on how to solve certain issues. Also, it’s essential you offer users frequent training sessions on new software and systems; this will reduce the requests directed to your help desk magnificently.
Set Time Frames
Setting time frames for problem-solving will help you stay on the top of your help desk requests regardless how many your receive. Allocate certain time for solving issues beyond which you’ll reinstall the software or reformat the system.
Nowadays, many startups and small businesses find it harder to land a sponsorship deal with such aggressive market competition. That’s why we thought we would offer some tips to help you stand out and land a sponsorship deal that will take your business to the next level.
Set your Demographics Accurately
Define your demographics accurately and make sure you state them clearly in your sponsorship proposal. Your demographic, or in other words, the market segment that you were able to successfully convert to become your loyal audience, is your most valuable asset when seeking sponsors. You’re offering your sponsor the chance to reach a target segment that they might not be able to reach otherwise.
State Facts and Figures
Speak in numbers. Do your homework before your initial meeting with a potential sponsor, and learn about your demographics’ statistics. Sponsors are interested in figures and prefer the ROI (Return on Investment ) language like no other. For instance, if your target segment is teens, you have to learn more about their purchasing power and buying behaviors and how exactly will that reflect on your sponsors’ sales.
Talk to the Right People the Right Way
Try to avoid online applications and emails when reaching out for sponsorship; a phone call can go a long way, as it saves you the screening process and builds a relationship between you and your potential sponsor early on. Look for a direct contact in your circle of friends. The most convenient contact to look for is at the Marketing Department, but if you couldn’t reach it, you can aim at the Business Development Department or Brand Management instead. It depends on the nature of your platform at the end of the day.
Nail your Sponsorship Proposal
Storytelling is the biggest part of nailing your proposal. Tell your story at the very beginning of your proposal. Make sure you appeal emotionally to the person who is going to decide on your sponsorship. State your value and benefits clearly and as we mentioned before, write in numbers.
Price your Business Right
No one will ever put a higher price on your business than you. Many businesses fall into the trap of selling themselves short and underestimate their value. Instead, you should work on bettering your platform and increasing its value to match the sponsorship price you’ll set .
Stay in Contact
Follow up is a must! You’re not the only sponsorship proposal that the decision maker has on the table, so make sure you stand out and do the necessary follow-up. After your initial meeting send an email thanking them for their time and ask them if they need any clarification. This way you’ll open another channel of communication that would help you land this sponsorship deal.
Here is an interesting Harvard Business Review Article about Sponsorship you might find beneficial.
Aurora’s team finds significant pride in its organized chaos. We believe that experimenting and learning from mistakes yield the best results. Being a part of an aspiring startup could really take its toll on one’s life, and in many times we’ve felt consumed by the load of work we have; however with time, and a lot of experimentation, we believe we’ve gotten the hang of it. In the following lines we share the combined outcome of our experiences for reaching the ultimate work-life balance.
– Think Hours Not Days
Your thoughts dictate the quality of your work; matter of fact, they dictate your whole life. One of the thinking mechanisms our team developed is the “think hours not days” mechanism . Give it a try. When you start thinking in hours, you will realize that there is way more you can do during a day than you have ever thought, and eventually you will reach a work-life balance.
– List Things Down
Always do lists of your tasks, deadlines and projects; things become way clearer this way. Whenever you feel overloaded write down what you need to do. Our brains have a way of magnifying everything out of proportion, and doing a list can help you put things into perspective; not only for work but for leisure as well.
– Focus on Delivering Rather than Perfecting
Along the way, we found ourselves too focused on perfecting every task. This occurred so often that we started losing track of the initial timeframe. Being perfectionists is not a bad thing, but with the rapid digital age and the fast pace of our lives, we needed to focus on delivering with the best quality possible. With time, the level of quality you deliver will increase within shorter timeframes.
– Disconnect to Connect
There are way too many distractions in our modern age. Phone calls, texts, emails, gadgets among many other mediums can be very distractive. You have to learn to disconnect from technology and connect with your thoughts instead. Being interrupted with an alert every 5 minutes can reduce your productivity.
– Give your Weekend Some Respect
When you have passion for your work, you aim high. You start working on evenings, you take extra shifts, and before you know it you can’t even remember when was the last weekend you took off. It might seem productive at first, but in the long run you will become drained, and instead of needing a weekend you will find yourself begging for a long vacation. So here is a new rule for you: No work on weekends!
– Always Do Something on the Side
Try to have something that would take your attention away from work; and we don’t mean the usual hangouts and friends’ outings. Instead, you should pick up a hobby, or register in a new course, or even play a new sport; something that you would commit and look forward to during your week. Having something on the side will help you unwind and relieve work stress, in addition to achieving the work-life balance you’re looking for.
– “No” Goes a Long Way…
Another thing that will help you achieve work-life balance is to learn to say “No” more often! “No” doesn’t make you’re a bad employee, it is just a word that helps set boundaries and define your limits at work; at least till you’re ready to take on more. Saying “no” will allow you to focus on the tasks at hand, and consequently you’ll learn how to allocate your time more efficiently.
Startups and SMEs categories have been blossoming all over Canada for the past years. In the below lines we gathered 4 of what we believe to be among the best Canadian startups. And while each business serves a distinguished market, they all have success in common; in terms of idea, positioning, revenues and drive.
Shoes.com: Filling the Market Gap
Shoes.com has been recognized as the top startup in Canada according to market experts, and was announced as the winner of Canada’s STARTUP 50 by the leading business publication PROFITguide.com, which classifies startups based on their growth. This Vancouver-native e-commerce company is a story of success in every meaning of the word, driven by an opportunity-seizing mindset and calculated expert decisions.
It all started when Zappos, the leading American online footwear seller, had announced that they are taking their business out of the Canadian market; and just like that, Founder Sean Clark had a “light bulb” moment of seizing the opportunity being prevailed before him. Clark has realized then that if he won’t do it someone else would beat him to it; so he took the risk and made a bold move to fill a market gap; and it indeed paid off! In no time Shoes.com has expanded to cover America and became among the leading footwear retailers.
Wear Your Label: Fashion with a Cause
The fashion industry is mostly regarded as a heartless vigorous industry. However, every once in a while comes a business venture that restores our faith in humans’ capabilities of making a difference; this time it was Wear Your Label’s turn to spread the hope.
Wear Your Label was founded with the main objective of tackling the mental health taboo, and to offer all mental health sufferers a chance to join a conversation about a topic that rarely discussed openly. Founders of this unique brand, who are also suffering from mental health issues, are determined to convey their message in every step of the process; from the manufacturing and design to the after-sale, with donations dedicated to mental health research. How is that for an inspiration?
LIamaZoo: 3D Education
We believe that investing in bettering the education is forward-thinking at its best; it’s like investing in the future. Revolutionizing medical education and offering students an interactive 3D anatomy study guide, LIamaZoo is an online platform that incorporates the latest 3D technology and gamification with teaching methods based on cognitive neuroscience. LIamaZoo’s first product, EasyAnatomy, is specialized in animal science, but we can only hope that this promising Canadian startup would expand to cover other fields soon.
Vendeve: Targeted Network
Vendeve is a startup that manages to combine two of our modern time’s most trending factors of success: Women Power and Freelance! What makes Vendeve stands out between other freelance-job-hunt platforms is that it enforces building long-term trust-based professional relationships, and encourages female entrepreneurs to share their expertise with one another (your profile gain more visibility if you agreed to help others). Vendeve offers young women the chance to grow their own businesses, through offering a supportive user-friendly platform.