A service desk is a crucial service tool organizations use within the ITSM approach. This concept evolved from the term helpdesk.
In the latest edition of ITIL, the service desk takes the central place in the value chain and is defined as a single point of contact between the service provider and users.
The service desk is more than just ITSM principles. These tips are relevant to all service desks and help improve the IT service desk.
Justify the need for a service desk before implementation
Take the preparation process seriously. Implementing a service desk may seem logical and right (because it is), but don’t let this fact get you started without a clear action plan.
To begin with, you need to articulate the rationale for implementing a customer service desk with a metrics-driven approach (you can include CSAT in it).
By doing so, the company’s employees will be able to see the real benefits of service desk implementation. If this is not done, it may happen that the value of the customer service desk will not be understood within the company. In the worst case, it will lead to budget cuts.
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Make sure business metrics support the service desk
An essential criterion for evaluating any job is measurable numbers. And it’s best to take care beforehand to ensure that the rationale and subsequent process for implementing the service desk is articulated in the language of the business.
Metrics like NPS should also be established and recorded before the work begins. This will make it easy to demonstrate how service desk activities are (or are not) impacting business processes and results.
Don’t expect people to learn how to use the service desk independently
It’s essential to take the time to provide organized training to employees on how to use the customer service desk. As a rule, in most companies, the technical staff understand the concept of IT-as-a-service and the ITIL practices used. However, organized formal training is usually not given to employees. Care should be taken to ensure that such training does take place.
Understand well the benefits and limitations of the service desk
Service desks are good for organizing workflows and automating and improving the overall organization. However, their successful application depends on what employees do (or don’t do).
As with any job, the right people, skills, and processes are critical success factors. Only when these conditions are met can the customer service desk really make a difference.
Think carefully about service desk metrics
Don’t use metrics to measure performance mindlessly, such as relying on the experience of other companies. The metrics should accurately match the way your organization works and your goals. One of the metrics you should use is CES.
It shows how easy it is for your customers to interact with your company. And using it, you can make specific improvements in your IT service desk that directly affects customers’ interaction with you.
Don’t underestimate the need for knowledge management
While some problems need a service desk ticketing system to be solved, for others, it is enough of a knowledge base. The knowledge base should be readily available to anyone who might need it. Therefore, care should be taken to create a publicly accessible resource where this information will be systematized.
Making this information available in critical situations will significantly reduce the impact of incidents on the business and the cost to the IT department of fixing them.
The main mistakes of service desk implementation
First, this is an incorrect distribution of authority at the connection stage. And this is the most opportune moment to distribute the rights and duties of employees in accordance with their positions and competence.
There are examples when elementary users’ requests were mistakenly redirected to professional engineers or other expensive specialized specialists due to improper distribution of authorities.
The next mistake often follows from the previous one. This is an uneven workload distribution, resulting in one department being overloaded and barely coping with its responsibilities while the other sits idle.
When introducing a customer service desk, it is necessary to monitor the fairness of the distribution of tickets.
Another common mistake is trying to get the staff used to the new system. Here there are two ways – forced introduction or belief in the usefulness of the service desk. In practice, both methods are ineffective – yes, the system will be implemented, but employees will be reluctant to use it.
And the last critical mistake is the attempt to implement a service desk separately from other systems, services, and programs working in the company. Technologies are changing today and the way we are using them too.
The service desk is a way to qualitatively unite different services, make them perform their functions smoothly, and quickly provide important information. But if the customer service desk is not implemented in conjunction with the rest of the ecosystem, it will only lead to more confusion.
The service desk is a system designed to automate the work of customer support and, as a result, make it more efficient and valuable to the end client. Today, no company that respects itself and its time can do without a service desk.
Unfortunately, in practice, there are many mistakes in the service desk implementation, because of which the system works less efficiently than it could. How to avoid mistakes?
- Set up a competent auto-sorting of requests, even at the connection stage. Create a knowledge base for solving elementary questions.
- Set a strict time for processing requests so tickets do not pile up.
- Explain to your employees the importance of implementing the service desk ticketing system exactly from their point of view. Show what problems exist now for the employees themselves – and how they will disappear after the system is connected, and work will become easier and more pleasant.
- Include the service desk ticketing system in the company’s overall development and improvement plan. Think of the service at scale as a way to combine all the existing IT systems in the company and streamline their work, not just as another individual tool.
An improved IT service desk will help improve your company’s overall state and optimize its processes. It is not enough to start an IT service desk in the company. It is necessary to constantly look for ways of its improvement.
Also, don’t forget about proper service desk management. Now you know how you can improve your IT service desk.