25 Freshservice Tips to Make Remote Work Successful and Guarantee Business Continuity


Many organizations have asked employees to work remotely as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. These are challenging times for IT Teams and service desks across. Because it is their job to make sure that all the important business functions are up and running. 

We have put together a list of 25 essential tips to make a successful BCP (Business Continuity plan) for your service desk using Freshservice. 

1.  Set-up a dedicated support email address for BCP issues like IT continuity assistance.

It is recommended that IT comes up with a separate email address, like (bcpsupport@orgservicedesk.com ) to address queries and concerns about BCP. This will help the service desk route queries to the relevant team and leave the other channels uncluttered.

2. Revisit your Knowledge-base visibility restrictions

Review the visibility restrictions that you have configured for your Knowledge Base folders. Review if there is a need to extend the scope of the visibility of your Kbase in light of the situation now. 

You can check this under Admin -> Support Channels -> Support Portal -> Settings -> User Permissions

Also, please review the visibility of each solution folder in your Kbase.

3. Promote Mobile app across your agents / end-users

The Freshservice mobile app is available for both iOS and Android. With the Freshservice app an agent can get instant information about a ticket, quickly assign tickets that are unallocated or resolve a ticket. 

4. Create a simple analytics report for management to see how your team is performing during BCP:

The top management would be keen to ensure that there is no drop in the service or performance level as the team is working remote. 

Creating a daily performance report using Freshservice Analytics will give them the much needed insight into how your team is performing in this challenging set-up. Leverage curated reports like “Helpdesk at a glance” in Analytics to create a snapshot of your team’s performance.

5. Integrate. MS Teams / Slack / Zoom / Trello.

As your team would be heavily dependent on popular apps like MS Teams, Slack and Zoom during these times, it would be helpful for your agents and requesters to access these apps right within Freshservice.

Check out the Freshservice Marketplace here at Freshworks Marketplace

6. Introduce Chat channel

As your workforce is mostly remote, there is no physical IT service desk or kiosk for your employees to get real-time support from the IT team. Chat options in your self-service portal can be of great value-add to your service desk at this time. 

Freshchat from Freshworks is a live-chat software that can be integrated with Freshservice seamlessly. For additional information about Freshchat and the integration, please visit

https://support.freshservice.com/support/solutions/articles/50000001133-integrate-freshservice-with-freshchat

https://www.freshworks.com/live-chat-software/

7. Build a Kbase category for ‘Remote working’

We are seeing many of the Freshservice Admins coming up with an exclusive category for Remote working in their Knowledge base. This  will help because users can bookmark and access these articles all in one place.

8. Kbase article for Hostname database

As most of your employees are working from home, they’d need hostnames of the machines at work to remotely log in to these machines. 

Create a spreadsheet that lists out the hostnames of all the machines in your organization. You can upload this spreadsheet as a solution article in your service desk Kbase.

9. Add information about BCP working hours and contact information to your end-user portal.

Customize the end-user portal to display the working hours, BCP contact numbers and email addresses on the self-service portal home page.

10. Change Blackout window

If you’re planning to introduce change freeze across your organization, leverage the Change Blackout window to schedule code freezes including enforcing policies to not deploy changes for an asset. 

11. Canned responses for quick replies

If you notice a pattern in the kind of issues that are being reported, or similar issues being reported by several users, it would be valuable to document the solution for these issues as Canned responses. With this, Agents can respond quickly to these issues.

12. Service catalog item to track employees who would like to self-isolate

This interesting idea came from one of our customers. Create a service item in your service catalog to track the employees who would like to self-isolate as they deal with COVID-19.

13. Service Catalog item for COVID-19 Remote Access request 

It would be prudent to create a generic service item for all the access requests. This will prevent users from logging these access requests as incidents in your end-user portal.

14. Kbase article for VPN Set-up

Create a solution article in Freshservice Kbase on how to set-up a VPN and include troubleshooting steps, if you don’t already have one. 

15. Make your COVID-19 BCP plans public using announcements

Leverage the Freshservice Announcements functionality to communicate your company’s BCP plans across the user-base. The announcement functionality has an option to send this announcement even to users who are not part of the service desk. 

16. Feedback widget

 Take advantage of the Freshservice feedback widget form if the self-service portal adoption is low at your service desk. The feedback widget can host your incident form and the Kbase and can be placed in any of your company websites.

17. Internet bandwidth

As service desk agents, you will see many users complain about not being able to access apps or that the apps are not loading. Make sure that you check the internet bandwidth at the user’s home as one of the initial troubleshooting steps. 

18. Document the workarounds and Solutions.

Document the solutions that you provide to the BCP questions or frequently encountered issues during this time so that they can be re-used by the agents. Leverage the Kbase section and the workarounds option in the Problem module to document this.

Check out the email-to-kbase functionality to create these Kbase drafts

19. Introduce Ticket category to plan better

Add a new category tier to your tickets form fields to track the tickets that are raised for clarifications about BCP. This will help you to plan better for the future and identify gaps in planning. 

Ticket tags can also be used to group and filter these tickets.

20. Kbase Article for instructions to set-up and troubleshoot apps needed for remote work

Identify and come up with a list of apps that are critical for your users to work remotely. Please ensure that the “How-to”  instructions and “FAQ” for these apps are uploaded as solution articles in your Kbase.

21. Revisit your Single Sign on settings

It’s time to revisit your SSO or Single Sign on settings for your service desk. As most of your users are accessing it outside your workplace, verify whether the identity provider is not restricted to just your workplace.

 

22. Review  IP whitelisting preferences of your business apps

Please verify whether you have enabled any IP whitelisting restriction for any of your business apps. The setting might have to be updated based on the new preferences. 

For Freshservice, this can be done from Admin -> Helpdesk Security section.

23. Additional agents and Day-passes 

In times like these, you will need all hands on the deck to keep the business up and running. People from other departments, like development and testing, can log in and focus on specific issues and requests from time to time. That too, without having to buy additional agent access.

You can add an unlimited number of Occasional Agents in your helpdesk and not be charged for these agents every month. Instead, the occasional agent will use up one Day Pass for every day that they log into your support portal. You can purchase additional Day Passes in bulk and allow your occasional agents to use them up as and when they need to log in.

You can buy Day Passes in bulk from Admin → Day Passes.

24. Update email notifications with BCP information

Include a line of text in all your service desk email notifications about your BCP. 

This can be configured from Admin -> Email Notifications section.

25. Add COVID-19 advisory message  to Agents’ signature:

If you would like to add the BCP information to the agent’s signature instead of the email notification, this can be updated here at Profile Settings -> Signature.

I hope these suggestions help you come up with an efficient BCP plan for your service desk. If you have any other interesting tips to share with the Freshservice user-base, please write to me at ramsundar.radhakrishnan@freshworks.com 

Happy remote working!

Blog cover by Sharmila