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Stop me if you’ve heard any of these modern data cliches: Data is the new oil. This is a “data-driven solution.” In data we trust.
We get it. Data is important. But more important than data itself is making the data work. Oil is only valuable because we use it to fuel our cars and planes, heat our buildings, and power our factories. Data is only valuable if we use it practically. There’s no better place to use data-powered problem solving than your service desk.
There are endless possibilities for delivering a positive employee experience through a data-focused service desk. If you use the right methods to collect important data within your organization, you can put that data to work to create clean ticket queues, powerful workflows, automated tasks, approvals, and notifications. Precise SLAs and complete security/privacy control are the icing on the cake.
Evaluate your current service desk solution with the following questions to see if you’re collecting and leveraging service data to the best of your ability.
Outdated Approach. Their expectations are that the service desk can resolve their issues as quickly as possible. The leadership team trusts that the support team is working on fast, satisfactory services across the organization. If there’s a problem, someone will speak up.
Recommended. Tell them exactly how long they can expect to wait for each individual request or ticket. The service level agreement (SLA) should be visible when opening a request. Set an SLA for first response so you can receive alerts if certain tickets have not received attention. This comes in handy for break/fix incidents that might pause an employee’s tasks (like a laptop error or outage in a conference room). Now they know exactly what to expect and whether they’ll need a workaround. It’s also beneficial for longer term requests, such as employee onboarding or new device purchases. If an onboarding request comes with an SLA of 10 days, the hiring managers are aware of an appropriate start date, and you can provide everything that new hire needs from their first day.
Outdated Approach. Well, you paid for an ITSM solution, and you don’t receive any complaints. Your job is to crank through these tickets, and that’s what you’re doing.
Recommended. Use a number of metrics to evaluate service in your entire organization. Track the time to first response, the number of tickets you resolve, the mean time-to-resolution, the first-touch resolution rate, the most common types of tickets, etc. The two most important numbers to track are fairly simple: SLA compliance and CSAT. They should be easy to calculate in your service desk solution.
Set SLAs for every type of service delivery, and your service desk platform can track your success automatically. Not only can you see the rate at which you hit your SLAs, but you can use automation rules to escalate incidents and service requests for every SLA breach. This way, you will take immediate action when the process is bogged down. Track your SLA compliance in real-time, so you know where you need to improve.
The CSAT survey can be as simple as a notification that asks an employee for a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down.” You’ll find you receive a higher response rate with an easy survey that takes only two clicks. Make sure your team follows up on any “thumbs down” because, chances are, someone else had a similar experience. This will help identify the root causes of poor experiences. This is how you evaluate service desk performance. After all, the whole reason the service desk exists is to make things easier on your employees.
Outdated Approach. Push the small IT changes through yourselves. For larger changes, seek manager and director approval. Send out an email to the primary stakeholders, and once you have approval, you can roll out the larger changes.
Recommended. Use a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) to evaluate every angle of every change proposal. It should interface with your change management module, so requests for change are easy to submit, and stakeholders have full visibility into the risk, cost, and potential impact or service disruptions that might occur during the change. From here, you can move through your change management process. It’s a huge advantage to see the potential impact of software updates or device model changes on every single employee in your organization. This helps minimize disruption while rolling out changes in a way that keeps every impacted user informed.
Outdated Approach. Use a spreadsheet to track assets, software, tools, and applications. You can sort it by warranty and license renewal dates. When employees leave, start, or change devices, jump in there and update it manually. Or, use a separate tool for IT asset management. It tracks every piece of technology your organization uses, but it doesn’t work in tandem with your service desk. It’s not ideal, but it does the job.
Recommended. Use the CMDB referenced above to track every piece of technology, every user, and anything else in your organization that relates to service and internal operations. This allows you to automatically update records, find patterns that might require attention, and see real-time views of contracts, warranties, and licensing agreements and how those all impact your employees.
The best practices for each of these questions will help you put your internal data to work. As you can see, there are tremendous opportunities to automate, integrate, and create shortcuts to ease the burden on employees and service providers. The goal is to come as close to the passing description as you can for each of these questions. It may take some cultural shift within your organization, and IT can help guide stakeholders through the process of simplifying service on a single platform. One thing is for sure. It’s impossible to create this type of efficiency without the right service desk solution.
Chris McManus is a senior content specialist at Samanage, where he works with customers to tell success stories in IT service management. Samanage’s cloud-based employee service management platform is smart, easy to use, and inspires companies ranging from startups to global market leaders to simplify complex tasks and automate services across their entire organization.
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