Teaching ‘Old Dogs’ New Service Desk Tricks

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Many of us have heard the idiom, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” In a world of emerging technology, IT teams are finding creative ways to teach stubborn users a new way of doing things in order to save time and money.

At the forefront of this mission are your users, each with a unique set of requirements needed in order to perform at their best. As technology advances, so must the experience you provide to the end user in order to satisfy their demands and boost the reputation of your service desk.

Customer experience is key

IT and retail are two VERY different realms, but they share one common bond: customer service. A recent survey by HDI and ITSMF showed that customer service was the number one motivator for changes made to IT support centers. More ITSM teams are realizing the value in enriching the customer experience.

Knowing and anticipating your users’ needs, while delivering exceptional customer service will help you resolve their issues faster and easier without interrupting their workflow. In order to make that a reality, you must have an intimate knowledge of your users and what their expectations are for an application, service, or experience before you can create a plan of how to interact with them.

Embrace a multi-channel workplace

It comes down to choices. Gartner preaches the idea of giving users multiple options in terms of support channels: “ITSD leaders must realize that the digital workplace requires multi-channel access and high-value collaborative channels that drive satisfaction, loyalty and relevance.”

Just offering a call-in help line or an email address to request services is a shortcoming. Users now expect your service desk to meet them on their level with services like chat clients that connect them with ITSM professionals, a walk-up support solution, IT taxi, and an extensive self-service catalog.

Determine what alternative and more modern communication tools your users employ daily. Reflect these options in your service management delivery.

If certain users who require low-complexity interactions use a channel such as the phone, which is relatively expensive for the organization, it’s likely due to their own experience. For instance, if a business user believes that making a phone call is the path of least resistance, perhaps he or she has a history of bad experiences with self-service. Invest the time to train resistant users to leverage alternative channels.

Encourage use of alternative channels

You can employ techniques to remove the reward should an end user (old dog) tend to overuse the phone channel. One approach is to erect a small barrier to phone usage, such as a short but reasonable wait time, regardless of service desk availability. This implicitly establishes that the phone channel is not the path of least resistance. Business users will learn over time that alternative channels will resolve their issues more quickly and with a greater feeling of empowerment. You can foster this desired behavior with a recorded message, for example, that tells customers what they can accomplish via self-service during the imposed wait time.

Methods such as this will have your organization’s old dogs trying out new tricks and being rewarded with faster, and more user-friendly service.

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