Improving the performance of your IT service desk improves organisational performance overall, so it’s important to find ways to make your service desk more efficient. One way you can do this is to introduce a self-service solution that gives users the option to resolve common problems for themselves, and thereby frees up your IT team’s time to focus on more serious issues and other activities.
IT literacy within all organisations has increased significantly over the last decade as many users, employees and customers, have good IT skills as a result of using technology day-in-day-out. That means there are a number of common IT issues that your users can fix without human support, with the right information and tools.
There are many benefits for putting in place a self-service solution. They include:
Reduces downtime and increases productivity – users, especially employees, may be able to resolve their issue much quicker than a service desk team who may have higher priority tickets in the queue. As a result they can get back to work faster.
Increases customer satisfaction levels – both employees and customers benefit from a better customer experience when they’re empowered to resolve their own problems. This increases customer satisfaction levels and confidence in the IT service desk.
Reduces incoming tickets – IT teams can focus on more challenging issues or strategic work instead of resolving common problems like password resets. This also has a positive impact on morale within the IT department as they can focus on more rewarding work.
Provides out-of-hours support – self-service solutions enable users to access support at any time of the day or night. This is particularly useful for companies with global customers, customers that require support at evenings or weekends, and flexible, remote and shift workers.
Self-service solutions, what should be in your self-service portal?
A self-service portal can be made available to customers and employees with a log in or, for customers, as part of your customer service pages on a website. This is particularly useful for technology companies that need to provide IT support to customers using their online services and SaaS tools.
The following solutions provide a good foundation for a self-service portal:
Common FAQs: easy to follow instructions for common issues should be provided so users know exactly what steps to take, such as ‘how to reset your password’. This should also help users determine whether their issue should be escalated to the service desk team, providing them with links to your online support ticket system or your procedure for generating a support ticket.
Product / service guides: provide customers with product manuals and troubleshooting guides. Explainer videos are an extremely useful tool for helping users resolve issues or use your products or services correctly. Similarly, guides to using your organisation’s IT systems will empower employees and prevent support tickets being generated for issues that can be resolved with training.
Community forum: providing a forum for users to share problems and solutions is also a good way to reduce service desk calls and walk ins. However, this needs to be carefully monitored and IT support should step in if the community is not able to offer the right resolutions, shares misinformation or is causing friction. A community forum also provides useful insights that can help you improve the self-service portal and IT support overall.
Online support ticket system: nothing is more frustrating for a user than not finding the support they need and feeling like they’re going round in circles. It’s important to map out your self-service portal’s user experience, ensuring that if they can’t find the support they need or if a suggested resolution doesn’t work they can log a ticket easily. An online ticketing system allows users to log tickets, provide the right information that will result in a speedy resolution, track progress and manage expectations.
IT self-service solutions will also include chatbots, AI and automated self-service tools. However, none of these can work effectively without having the right foundations in place – especially a comprehensive knowledge bank. Therefore if your organisation is just starting out with self-service IT support, a content strategy for your knowledge bank is a priority.
I’ll be exploring this in more detail at a later date…
If you want to discuss how to improve the performance of your service desk and implement self-service solutions in more detail, please get in touch.
You might also like to download a copy of our whitepaper on how to drive IT service desk efficiencies. Download your copy here.