IT Service Desks are developed as an efficient mechanism of delivering quick help whenever your employees need it. But as businesses grow, so does the request volume and the pressure on the technicians to attend every call and resolve a ticket. And with the onset of the work-from-home necessity induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, IT teams are struggling to efficiently support a remote workforce with minimum resources.
To enable the IT Service Desk agents to focus on more value-producing, strategic deliverables instead of wasting time and resources on common, repeatable issues, we have come up with a strategy that includes 7 surefire ways to reduce IT Service Desk ticket volume and improve performance.
7 Ways to Increase your IT Service Desk Performance
1. Analyze Service Requests to Detect Trends:
All employees face certain basic technology issues e.g. password resetting. Using the information collected over time to identify recurring requests and incidents which need manual intervention, the number of incoming service requests can be brought down. The goal is to understand the trends of common questions asked by the employees in the firm.
When you have a robust IT service desk, you can automatically generate reports which track Service Desk metrics like ticket volume trend, avg. time spent per ticket, agent availability, and various other information on the number of incoming requests.
At the end of a fixed period, your Service Desk agent can easily sift through the entire data and evaluate it to understand:
- What is the most common type of request? If the same request is being posed by people across different functions and teams then the IT team should look into automating it. If it cannot be automated then it should be standardized wherever possible.
- Can the request be resolved with self-help? If it is a common request that can be solved by following a few simple steps, then employees should be encouraged to look up the solution posted by the IT team on a common portal and resolve it themselves.
At the end of this exercise, your team will have a deep understanding of the most frequent requests, their probable origins, and even the systemic causes for the issues.
2. Develop a Comprehensive and Accessible Knowledge-Base:
Now that you have an understanding of which requests are hampering the productivity of your employees as well as your IT Service Desk agents, you can start building a knowledge base and producing content to address the knowledge gaps responsible for each of these issues.
Here is how you can work on addressing these knowledge gaps:
- Select and Invite the Query Subject Matter Expert while the Service Desk agents can conduct their research and push out the content necessary to fill the knowledge gap. Make sure you have the expert break down the content into the most straightforward way to make it user-friendly.
- Engineer an Enterprise-Relevant Content Delivery Module Now, in line with your corporate brand, determine the best form of the content delivery mechanism. You can choose from explainer videos, live training sessions, FAQs, case studies, newsletters, e-books, and so on. Make sure all the content is available in an easy-to-understand format.
- Internally Market the Content once you have created the content and crafted it in an accessible manner, make sure all your internal customers are aware of it. Failing to communicate this would yield zero results from this entire exercise. Work with team leaders, or run internal campaigns to communicate the development of new content and its easy availability.
After you have implemented the system, keep observing the user behavior it. A comprehensive Service Desk platform will have the functionality to display the top searched articles and to automatically ask for user feedback. If some queries are still surfacing, you can create additional or supporting documentation to resolve them.
3. Promote Self-Help with a Self-Service Portal:
In conjunction with the knowledge base, a self-service portal can reduce the process starting from request initiation to resolution to a fraction of its conventional time because through a self-service portal, the users are essentially helping themselves find a resolution.
By this step in the process, you would already have a great understanding of the context of the common problems and issues faced by your internal or external customers. To promote self-service adoption in your organization, now you must make sure that the self-service portal is easily accessible and usable. To ensure better employee engagement, the self-service portal should have:
- The same experience across devices.
- A dynamic UI that adapts content display as per the user’s journey.
- Accessible search functionalities.
- Simple and intuitive navigation
4. Automate with Workflows:
While evaluating requests, you will find certain chronic requests like user and password administration that are usually handled manually but don’t need physical intervention. With a unified Service Desk tool that supports multi-level workflows, you can easily provide automated resolutions to encourage self-service.
The IT teams can create automated workflows that can help users across the board execute basic solutions by themselves. This will not only help in enhancing the IT Service Desk’s efficiency but will also help reduce overall costs and improve user experience.
5. Identify Root-Causes with Problem Management:
Even after undertaking the initiatives discussed so far, if you still see a set of issues repeatedly being raised, there is a high probability that the issue under consideration is a systemic problem.
In such a case, the IT team can leverage the Problem Management module of the IT Service Desk to examine and detect the exact root cause for fixing the problem to reduce high ticket volume. A good way to achieve this would be by integrating a real-time network monitoring system that automatically records and alerts the correlation between systemic failures. This will give a strong head-start to your RCA.
6. Measure Efficiency:
Manually gathering and tracking service desk metrics can become a tedious task over time. Instead, a better strategy would be to have a comprehensive understanding of your team’s performance by automating the collection of performance metrics like first contact resolution rate, MTTR, no. of tickets logged on a monthly or weekly basis, SLA compliance rate, percentage of escalated to problem status, etc.
A robust Service Desk platform will have the functionality to present these metrics in customized dashboards for every member in the Service Desk team which will help the IT managers to get granular visibility into the individual’s performance and productivity.
7. Collect Internal Performance Feedback:
As we have already discussed, there are several methods of measuring service desk performance. However, none of these metrics matters if you cannot consistently provide a good quality of service.
Automating the process is the only way to ensure a consistent collection of customer feedback. The right IT Service Desk tool will assist you in automatically gathering reviews at the end of ticket closure and retrieving it when performance and quality need to be assessed.
To get the necessary backing from the management team, you can monetize each repeated ticket to present added costs for the company in terms of loss of the Service Desk agent’s productivity, the requester’s productivity, and so on.
Incremental requests can create systemic productivity issues for both the IT Service Desk agents and the requesters. But if you have the right IT Service Desk platform like Motadata ServiceOps Service Desk, it can provide you the right support to encourage self-service, engineer RCA-driven solutions, and automate workflows to increase your IT Service Desk efficiency.