5 steps to bring employee experience into your IT service desk

By Mark Watson|11 April 2019

How much is your IT service desk costing your business? Most service desk providers will give you a ballpark figure of the average cost per ticket, that’s what they charge you for handling an IT support ticket. But that’s not the only cost your organisation incurs when an employee is affected by an IT incident. There’s also lost working time and that could be significantly more expensive than the ticket cost.

Download our checklist to discover whether your organisation is getting a 4 Star service from your IT support provider. Click here.

In fact Happy Signals, an employee experience measurement tool, believes that the average direct ticket cost (what you pay to your service provider) is €15 per ticket, but the average employee lost productivity cost related to that ticket is €150 (approx. 3 hours on average).

How to reduce lost productivity costs

If you're outsourcing your service desk rather than running it in house, SLAs will give you some reassurance that tickets will be resolved in a timely way. However, response times will depend on the nature of the IT incident and the priority that’s been agreed for the type of incident and the users affected. For example, if an IT incident is preventing a large number of staff from getting on with their work the ticket might be given a priority 1 with a target fix time of 1 hour.

That’s why it’s really important to understand the impact different IT incidents can have on your company and key members of staff, and agree priority levels with your service provider.

However, even those less serious incidents that are given a lower priority level are disruptive, and no employee wants to hear that they’re less of a priority than someone else. This results in a negative employee experience even when your service provider is fulfilling agreed SLAs.

So how can we improve the employee experience, reduce the cost of downtime and give those priority tickets the attention they need?

Here are my recommendations:

How to improve employee experience and service desk performance

#1: Assess the priority levels given to different tickets

If your employees are losing valuable hours waiting for low priority tickets to be resolved, may be the priority levels are wrong? Your service desk provider will suggest how to rank different IT incidents based on their experience, but priority levels for tickets will be unique to your organisation. Review the tickets raised in the last 3 – 6 months to identify any trends and speak to your service provider about how to reduce downtime.

#2: Introduce next generation service desk technology

Many employees have good IT skills and could resolve commonly occurring IT issues for themselves with the right tools. Next gen technology such as web chat and other self-serve tools can help them get back to work quickly without needing a service desk analyst or technician’s help. Speak to your IT support provider about how to implement a next generation service desk.

#3: Change the culture of your service desk

If your service desk team are focused on logging tickets, not listening to what users are telling them, you could have a cultural mismatch. Make sure your service desk analysts are listening first and then pointing users to the most appropriate resolution. This might be to share content from your knowledge bank so they can resolve the issues themselves. Or, having listened to the user and got a better understanding of the impact of the issue on that individual or department, the service desk analyst may assign a higher priority to the ticket than they would had they only listened to what the problem is.

#4: Take proactive steps to prevent commonly occurring issues

A proactive service desk will monitor tickets and identify issues that can be prevented before they occur, or at least minimised. Review commonly occurring issues to see what the root cause of these are and how they can be resolved permanently, over time this could save your business many hours in lost productivity.

#5: Give your in-house service desk team the support they need

If you currently handle all IT support tickets internally, you may find that outsourcing 1st line tickets will improve the employee experience and have a positive impact on your IT team. This will allow internal teams to focus on 2nd and 3rd line tickets that are more complex and time consuming, while 1st tickets like password resets, clearing printer queues and account unlocks are handled by the outsource partner.

IT incidents will always take time to resolve and that can have a negative impact on productivity. However, the tips above can help you minimise downtime and the cost of each incident, over and above the direct cost of raising a ticket.

To see whether your IT service desk is delivering a 4 star service, download our checklist here.

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