Fostering Business Relationships: Think Quick, Small, Forward & Fun (Pt. 3 of 3)

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When your IT service management team engages with business users wanting to make a request or resolve an issue, that interaction creates a lasting perception. At the operational end, there are several areas where small, fast, incremental improvements can enrich relationships substantially.

For example, when a business user interacts with your team or ITSM system, consider what information is already known or can be retrieved automatically to inform the team about the user’s current situation and state of mind.

This ensures a smoother, more pleasant interaction rather than adding to the frustration a user may feel when a service fails. You can build better relationships and achieve a faster, streamlined service that meets SLAs.

Here are a few recommendations for speedy improvements that Ivanti customers employ to ensure they maintain solid relationships with their business users and minimize frustrations that can fracture working relationships:

  • Don’t force your team or business users to re-enter login information when they’re already logged into your service management system.
  • Populate data fields automatically, and provide easy drop-down options to pick from.
  • Clearly label mandatory fields to prevent rework and try to minimize forms.
  • Consider the use of dynamic form displays to ensure your users are only presented with the questions they need to answer based on previous responses (the larger or more complex the form, the less likely the user will fill it out if it’s presented in one block, or the user will fill it out badly, slowing your response time).

Relationship building applies to your own ITSM team as well

Team motivation, engagement, and the ability to encourage the right behaviors when the team is under pressure are challenging.

Gamification can be effective in increasing engagement, reinforcing desired behaviors, and developing skills within your own team. This is a relatively modern phenomenon that is taking hold in the consumer world. For example, retail offers are employed to enhance loyalty to particular brands and drive consumers to certain purchases at fixed times of the year.

Gamification is unrelated to game design. It takes a non-game activity or task and integrates game mechanics to motivate participation and engagement. Your team earns points or badges as they complete tasks, and their scores are displayed on a leader dashboard to further stimulate performance. It plays to the intrinsic motivators of your team, such as sense of purpose, and extrinsic motivators through a dashboard that displays team scores and badges.

When employing gamification techniques, ensure the team is focused on the right outcomes, not earning points or badges only. Assign higher rewards or points based on tasks of higher value, such as the creation of knowledge articles or mentoring junior team members, over easier tasks, such as resolving a password reset, to avoid having a team cherry pick tasks to gain more points.

Communicate business value

Once you understand your users, the business, and the industry—and you’re offering the services and experiences that meet expectations—you should measure, communicate, and report the impact your team makes on the business regularly.

For positive, ongoing business relationships, you need an intimate understanding of the audience served to detect changes in satisfaction levels and take action.

Promoting and marketing your operation to the business may be unfamiliar to your team, but demonstrating your success impacts the perception and ultimately the relationship to the business and the users you support.

These simple tips for modernization can better equip your service management organization to develop strong relationships with business users and gain a comprehensive understanding of what they need to be productive. With this knowledge, you can respond in a way that fully supports business productivity goals, which is crucial to remaining relevant to the business.

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