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7 Ways to Transform your Service Desk 


The service desk is the single most important point of contact for the IT department. The service desk looks after everyone in the organisation; from the intern on their first day to the CEO. Here are 7 ways to up your ITSM game and transform your service desk offering.


Tip 1: Put your customers front and center

It’s all about the customer experience. You can have all the technical skills in the world but if you don’t have the right customer service skills, you’re in trouble. Work with your team members so that they understand the importance of customer satisfaction. When hiring new employees look for customer service and people skills over purely technical skills. You can teach technical skills over time, but customer service, communication and people skills are a must when you are looking to improve the performance of your service desk.


Tip 2: Always make it easy for people to reach you

Some people like dealing with IT in person; some prefer self-help, and some prefer web chat. Some users like to be talked through steps in person because not everyone is comfortable using IT systems. Offer people options so that they can access your service desk in the way that feels most appropriate to their situation.


Tip 3: Cover the basics

Make sure everyone on the service desk can cope with the most frequently asked questions. Every organisation is differently but common service desk themes usually include:

  • Microsoft office
  • Network connectivity / the WiFi
  • Email (there will always be questions about email)
  • Password resets
  • Clearing print queues
  • Replacing the printer / toner in the photocopier

The quicker the issue is fixed, the better it is for the customer and the technician is freed up to take the next call so make sure that everyone on your team is comfortable with the basics.


Tip 4: It’s good to talk

Effective communication can save a lot of time and hurt feelings for both IT teams and customers alike. Think of it like this; how many times have you dealt with an upset user frustrated with unplanned downtime or an influx of calls following a change that wasn’t properly explained to the end user community? Here are some ideas for improving communication:

  • Work with your change control practice to ensure any planned change or release activity is explained to the business.
  • Setting up distribution lists and templates to handle major incidents. There is nothing more stressful for a service desk technician than trying to fix something at the same time as dealing with huge call volumes and likewise for the business, it’s frustrating trying to get through to the service desk only to be told it’s a known issue after umpteen minutes on hold.
  • Don’t forget to share the good news! Project updates and newsletters are all great ways to stay in touch and promote the work that is being done.


Tip 5: Super users

Empower your users. If you have self-service and self-help options promote them so that everyone knows how to use them. Some ideas to improve your self-help offerings include:

  • Automating password resets so that users can reset their own passwords without having to contact the service desk
  • Short knowledge base articles / hints and tips for common tasks. Most people love a life hack so anything that can speed things up such as keyboard shortcuts, how to back up data or creating bookmarks are always welcome.
  • Build some basic IT content into your new employee induction program so that everyone knows how to access company systems.
  • Automating the process for requesting small items such as keyboards or USB sticks.


Tip 6: Keep on moving (up!)

Ask for feedback. Ask your business, ask your users, ask your support teams. If you don’t ask for regular feedback, then it’s time to start. Look at using customer satisfaction surveys so that your users can tell you what’s working well and what needs more attention. If you don’t engage with your customers how can you know what the pain points really are? The following tasks can be useful in getting customer feedback:

  • Conducting customer satisfaction surveys
  • Asking users to rate their experience once their incident or service request has been resolved
  • Drop in sessions so that customers can provide feedback informally
  • Service review meetings to ensure that service levels stay on track and that any SLAs are being met.


Tip 7: Get proactive

One of the most effective ways of improving your service desk is to get ahead of the game by providing your customers with a more proactive support experience. Shifting to a more proactive support model is all about being engaged and responsive for example:

  • Providing regular updates on outstanding issues so the end user doesn’t have to chase the service desk for news
  • Setting up alerts so that if a service fails it can either self-correct or notify the appropriate support team to resolve the issue; ideally before it adversely impacts the business
  • Working with your problem management practice to identify recurring issues and identifying workarounds or permanent resolutions.

Improving your service desk is committing to your customers and your business goals. By making it easier to interact with the IT department you will decrease down time, improve fix rates and improve customer satisfaction so what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!


That was my take on service desk transformation. What would you add to this? Please let us know in the comments.