5 Tips To Move From Service to Self-Service
May 29, 2019

Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord

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We at TOPdesk recently went on a journey to gather insights from IT experts from nearly every corner of the world, to gain a better understanding of their self-service landscape, and to see if we might identify any global service management trends. As a result of our survey, we were able to collect responses from about 130 IT professionals across the globe, with feedback regarding a number of topics.

Through the study we wanted to better understand how service desk users are interacting with the service teams; how they connect for service; the manner in which most service desks receive user requests; and if organizations employ a knowledge base and how that information might be stored. Here’s what we’ve discovered.

According to the feedback received, we were able to deduce that for the service desks that provide a self-service portal, life is easier. Of those that do provide such a solution, 77 percent allow users to submit tickets for service. It likely goes without saying, but for those service desks that are seeking ways to save themselves some time, a self-service portal is crucial. These solutions provide users the ability to submit and track their tickets and find answers to their questions without assistance from the service desk.

Requests for service enter the service desk in any number of ways, according to our research, but most (40 percent) are received via phone. Email requests to the service desk is the second most likely way tickets are received; 32 percent of respondents noted form of correspondence. The next form of communication — this is where the importance of self-service portals is notable — is self-service portals at nearly 20 percent. Face-to-face service requests are next-to-last on our list with only 8 percent saying they received those while emerging chat technology is only used 1 percent of the time to receive service requests.

For those service desks that must respond over and over to many of the same or similar themed questions, the self-service portal can become an important tool for users. Likewise, a well-managed user base is often used to help quickly answer these frequently asked questions, effectively. Those organizations that employ a knowledge base (50 percent of those we interviewed said they employ and manage one). Of these, 36 percent of these organizations said they study the knowledge base’s usage and user responses to them to improve the user experience and 27 percent said they track the percentage of tickets solved using the knowledge base, which provides them additional insight into user experiences and improving the overall experience.

Ultimately, user response to the knowledge base is a key indicator of how well or poorly maintained the content of a knowledge base is. The better the knowledge base’s information, the better the user experience. A key takeaway from such effort is that if you track the percentage of solved tickets, you’ll know how efficient your knowledge base is.

Finally, you’ve got to keep such content up-to-date. According to as many as 30 percent of respondents to our study said their organization’s employ a knowledge manager. These individuals help keep all user-focused content up-to-date and relevant for serving users of the service desk. Of these organizations, most update their knowledge base each week.

Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord is President of TOPdesk USA
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