Handling the demands of technology in a school system is always a challenge. Whether dealing with a server issue, updating a website, or saving an email blast that's gone bust, IT administrators always have their hands full.
Union School District is no exception. With the day-to-day tech demands of eight schools, it's imperative to have a help desk in place to ensure that problems are tackled in a timely manner.
A few years ago, much of those requests were handled via email. Union SD Information Support Specialist Eric Fonseca notes that it hadn't been a very streamlined process.
HelpSpot had been in place before Eric joined the District.
Although the system is quite lean, he acknowledged it hadn't really been utilized to its full potential.
Lisa DeLapo, Director of Instructional and Information Technology, agrees.
Because of this cumbersome process, Lisa began looking deeper into HelpSpot's other organizational features.
And when COVID struck, everything changed. Children, parents, and teachers were having to adapt to distance learning, and many were struggling to learn the new technology that went with that. Naturally, the IT department was being hit with an increasing amount of help requests.
Lisa says that when COVID hit, she and Eric dove deep into what HelpSpot could do.
The IT department started fine-tuning the system to make it even more effective. Templates were added, as well as help sections on logging in, distance learning, and more. Auto responses were utilized and auto-population on forms.
Eric says that utilizing HelpSpot further than the District had before directly contributed to simplifying the ticketing process.
It was the reporting, especially regarding response times, that provided valuable insight during COVID.
The shutdowns caused by COVID, the number of students having to do their classwork from home, and parents trying to understand both the lessons and the technology, understandably caused quite a boost in help tickets, with an increase of 80%.
Lisa and Eric both note that the situation would have been quite different if HelpSpot hadn't already been installed.
Lisa says that HelpSpot's tracking and documentation features helped the District's tech team see whether issues had been resolved, instead of just "closed."
The time saved on individual tickets and responses quickly added up for the Union SD.
Lisa believes time savings from the customization of HelpSpot are a win-win for everyone involved.
Lisa also says that the time savings were important for the tech team in another way: Like everyone else, the team was working from home, too.
Lisa says that HelpSpot has let her department focus on what needs to be handled first.
Eric says that the customization of the responses and triggers in HelpSpot continue to make the tech team's job easier.
Lisa also says that HelpSpot has made it easier to see which customers have been helped and which ones still need help.
HelpSpot's tracking and reporting features have allowed the IT department to be more efficient.
Eric also points out that if the district was still just using emails to tackle tech issues, instead of HelpSpot, that a lot of problems could go unnoticed and unresolved.
Lisa says the email feature within HelpSpot is important.
A result of the triggers and auto responses in HelpSpot has also reduced response time.
The IT department at Union SD is looking forward to doing even more exploring with the platform.
And one of the best features of HelpSpot, according to Lisa and Eric, is the ease of self-directed training with the program. The two say they haven't had to reach out to the HelpSpot support team at all.
With the significant time savings in responses, reporting, training, and manpower, Eric and Lisa agree that they would definitely recommend HelpSpot to their colleagues.