Most businesses primarily focus their budgets on digital transformation projects. Introducing the latest technologies transforms the consumer experience and even the way businesses run. Despite being responsible for critical operations such as maintaining IT consumer productivity, less visible processes, such as the IT service desk, take a back seat. Many businesses feel the budget is the primary constraint, and they feel the service desk teams need to use the existing tactics smartly. It is believed that with a heavy focus on existing skills, capabilities, tools, knowledge, and data, there is scope for higher efficiency and more value.
This ‘do more with less’ ideology increases the pressure on service desk teams in many ways, such as:
– How to grow the business with more IT consumers on a static budget
– With the change in a growing portfolio of applications, devices, and services, there are numerous new challenges to be solved. The fast evolution of cloud technology, smart connected devices, smartphones, and tablets can often confuse and overwhelm the consumer.
– When the expectations of the end-user change, the operations of the service desk team also need a change. IT consumer expectations are a moving target, which is challenging.
The output required from the IT service desk is forever changing due to rapid digitalization and globalization. Frequent alteration in the way businesses work makes it essential for them to be constantly aware of how to meet these demands and stay aligned with what the business needs. However, it is extremely challenging when the IT service desk is tied up taking calls to solve the same issues repeatedly. This constant firefighting hampers the growth of the businesses.
In this competitive modern world, businesses fail to survive if their IT service desks fail to perform well.
Here are some challenges your business might face:
1. Lack of proper resources:
Failure to invest in your IT service desk properly means achieving the expected results will be challenging. Many organizations cut down or outsource their IT help desk because they feel it isn’t actively generating enough revenue. This can raise many issues, but the most common one is the lack of immediate support to the employees when systems go down. Poorly resourced IT service desks can hinder their work and the growth of your business.
2. Faulty ticketing system
An improper ticketing system is disastrous. Businesses often create their own ticketing system or make use of Sharepoint. Some simply track their emails to handle and track incidents and requests. However, these ways can suddenly become disorganized and make the IT teams feel stuck in a circle of unsolved problems. As a result, they encounter tickets that get lost or ignored. An efficient ticketing system enables your IT service desk to keep track of present issues and assign the workload effectively.
3. Mediocre communication
No matter what your role is in an organization, communication plays a vital role in the effective working and growth of businesses. It allows you to share details about your work and your needs. Good communication helps IT service desk staff to keep their clients updated on the progress of their issue. It even ensures they receive the necessary information about maintenance and outages.
Keep employees in the loop about planned maintenance, system upgrades, or unplanned outages can help them plan their work better. This further keeps them as productive as possible during any downtime. It is good to give employees well enough notice for planned maintenance and timely updates when unforeseen outages occur. You could do this through Desk Alerts as pop-up notifications on everyone’s PC desktops. This allows employees to ensure that messages won’t be ignored, minimized, or skipped.
4. Unevenly distributed workload
Some of the old help desk software don’t allow customization and make the even distribution of work in the help desk team difficult. Customers expect a seamless support experience with quick solutions to their problems. However, uneven workloads can disturb the staff’s motivation and the optimal output to meet the customer expectations.
5. Low understanding of business needs
Whether you had an in-house IT service desk or one that’s outsourced, it is critical that the team understands your business from a technological perspective and how it needs to evolve. Not only is a good understanding of the hardware and software used by employees necessary, but also how they make value addition to the workforce. They should also be well-versed with corporate priorities, budgets, projects, and essential deadlines. This helps them gauge a better understanding of the needs and work in sync with the rest of the organization. There are no set guidelines that work for all businesses; the IT service desk should be kept-to-date regularly.
The key to predicting and handling the demand is to find out what is currently happening in the business, and here is how you can do it:
– Schedule regular meetings between business teams and the IT Service Desk to look at projects and plans. Further access how will they impact the service help desk. For instance, if there is rapid growth in the business, the IT service desk should be prepared to support an increased number of end-users.
– Ensure the business managers and service desk teams actively engage when planning to make changes to a project and clearly communicate their need for support.
– Ensure your IT service desk keeps tabs on the latest strategic plans to filter out the infrastructure, operation team support required.
6. Inconsistent expectation management
Most employees feel that the IT service desk is unhelpful and slow. There can be many reasons for this, but a straightforward one could be that they fail to manage expectations well. They mostly handle whatever comes in and turn problems over time. Introduction of a Service Level Agreement can help keep your IT service team accountable and set general expectations of what they would deliver, agreed-upon timeframes, and what to expect while asking for support. Others may be happy that real-time endpoint security is doing a great job and have no complaints.
Improvement requires better management and effective ways to measure it. Customer satisfaction surveys can help you identify the perception of IT in your organization. This further will help you make improvements and set benchmarks that will help you track the progress. Regular services with similar metrics can help you map out a graph. Here’s what you should keep in mind while designing the survey:
– Keep the survey focused with a low number of questions. The more the number of questions, the fewer employees are willing to fill it out. Fewer data will reflect on the accuracy of your assessment.
– Keep a primary metric in mind. Many IT organizations pick Net Promoter Score (NPS) to be the one. It is a top-level metric that draws out open feedback for analysis.
– The purpose of the survey is not to show how good or bad the IT team is doing but understanding what the end-users want and how their needs are met. It helps you prioritize improvements such as increased workforce, the introduction of a self-service portal, more training, or new service desk tools. The objective is to boost IT customer satisfaction and encourage a better perception of IT within the organization.
7. Failure to solve major problems
Many times, your IT service team would find themselves constantly fixing glitches across software systems or hardware. But sometimes, before they are successfully able to solve one, a new one comes along. To attend to all service requests fast, they could resort to band-aid solutions. They might focus on the bigger problems rather than finding the root cause to fix them once and for all. This is why there is a need for some methods and processes which will allow one to access and address situations that become problematic. These problems must be solved when they occur.
8. Unmanageable volume of calls
The volume of calls is the biggest challenge for the IT Service Desk. Sometimes, they feel they don’t get enough time to deal with issues and requests when the phone keeps ringing, often about the same reason. The incident queues keep growing, and it becomes a never-ending cycle. For instance, if there is a rapid growth in the business, the IT service desk should be prepared to support an increased number of end-users. There is a strong need for an initiative to reduce call volumes. When you understand the demand, you put together strategies, skills, structures, and tools to satisfy it. Here is how you can accomplish it:
– Eliminate the key causes of demand: this can be done by implementing direct and automated fixes that instantly spot and resolve problems before the end-user gets impacted.
– Divert the demand: incidents and support requests are routed around the service desk. Less time spent on the phone could be brought about through the implementation of service automation.
All the challenges and solutions we see are closely related, and hence, having a planned strategic approach is of great importance. Broader IT teams and the business community need to work together with the IT service desk to clearly define the problems and build cohesive solutions with the right processes and technologies.