Nobody cares about the ServiceDesk

The role of IT support has evolved, but it still has something of an image problem. You only ever need the ServiceDesk when something is wrong; you don't have what you need, or something disrupts your work. Traditionally, the ServiceDesk offers a safety net for IT users. In best case, it functions as a trampoline - quickly bouncing the user back to normal work. But here's the thing: nobody wants a good safety net. They want to not need a safety net. 

Good IT is reliable, and ensures peace of mind for customers. For this reason, the ServiceDesk should always work towards eliminating itself. This might seem counter-intuitive, but think of it like mechanics and doctors. The less you need them, the better they are. You might never achieve full redundancy, but working towards it is the mark of true quality.

So how can IT managers enable this?

In the traditional service desk, the goal is minimizing the impact of issues. The focus lies on response and resolution time, and improvements to process efficiency. This is a transactional model, that will always remain a cost. In shifting from a mitigation to a prevention strategy, the focus moves to maximizing IT user self-reliance. After all, the best way to reduce the impact of issues is to have no issues. This puts a stronger emphasis on ticket handling as a data collection mechanism, and (more importantly) a training and adoption opportunity. 

How many incidents in your organization result from insufficient knowledge of IT tools? Many reported issues are really questions in disguise. The service desk is usually the first point of contact between customers and IT. As such, it has the best picture of what customers need and experience. If properly empowered, the service desk can proactively improve IT competence (and confidence) among customers, and prevent many issues from ever happening. One part of this is the provision of good self-help information. This content should be constantly improved based on reported incidents – and this should be integrated into the core servicedesk  process. A framework like KCS® can offer the right practices and governance for this.

But there is more to it than providing a good self-help portal. The servicedesk can play a leading role in the adoption of new applications. Their direct contact with customers allows for quick response to actual rather than anticipated knowledge needs, within the context of the organisation. Ideally, the servicedesk is directly involved with ongoing IT projects to guarantee optimal adoption. Of course, this puts communication, social, and coaching skills front and center for servicedesk workers.

If this all sounds like a potential opportunity in your organisation, you can start by adopting the Question to Incident (Q/I) ratio. That is, what is the percentage of issues that could have been prevented if only the customer had the right knowledge, or had been able to find the necessary information themselves. The remaining issues should be those the customer could not have solved themselves even if they knew how. Things like insufficient access rights or hardware problems.

The Q/I ratio helps you determine the potential return-on-investment for improved knowledge management. Next step: give me a call, and we'll work out the optimal strategy to help you achieve it.

23 December 2023

Metaknowledge Part VII : Governance

This part provides an overview of the different methods and tools to ensure a successful KM program.

Metaknowledge Part VI: Technology

Metaknowledge Part V : Roles

A deep dive into the different roles involved in each of the knowledge management activities.

Metaknowledge Part IV: Process

An in-depth examination of the processes and practices related to the four knowledge management activities, with examples for each.

Metaknowledge Part III: The 4X4KM knowledge management framework

This part of the Metaknowledge Guide provides the 4X4KM framework, based on the four core KM activities. This framework is an invaluable tool in organizing your KM, and keeping your efforts focused and productive.

Metaknowledge Part II: The three kinds of knowledge management

This part of the Metaknowledge Guide outlines the the three kinds of knowledge management, and how knowledge management relates to learning & development.

Metaknowledge Part I: Knowledge, Information, and Data

A practical, intuitive interpretation of "knowledge", and how it compares to information and data. This will help you position knowledge management in relation to information management and data management in your organisation.

The Do's and Dont's of IT projects

What should we do to (and not do) to ensure the project runs smoothly, and delivers the best results? I asked a few experienced IT project managers what they've learned.

How we used Digital Transformation to improve construction projects

Here's the story of how we used process analysis and digital transformation to speed up construction project initiation.

It Took A Lot Of Jelly Beans

Peter Maeseele is an expert in design and business analysis, and a lead in a number of IT knowledge management initiatives. In this talk he shared some of his experiences and insights - and why jelly beans proved a key component of their change management.

The Lazy Man's Way Of Working

Lazy smart people leverage experience to their benefit. They take the time to save time.

Three Tricks I Learned, And You Should Too

Much of the value of knowledge sharing comes from sharing and reusing tricks and small improvements that are easy to replicate and adopt. Here are three 'tricks' I learned to improve work and life.

Better IT knowledge sharing = happier customers

Fewer calls, lower costs, and happier customers. Here are some results different IT teams saw by improving their knowledge sharing and communication. What would achieving similar results mean for you and your team?

[Interview] Not Everything German Is All German

Marianne Rutz shares some great insights and practical advice on how to account for local culture in global service teams, and how teams can leverage cultural diversity to improve their services.

[Interview] Breaking Silos in the Virtual Workplace

In this talk, Stefano Leone (IT communications and people strategy at Euroclear) sin improving collaboration and breaking down silo's in a tech-focused environment.

[Interview] The future of IT services

I recently appeared on the podcast of Marianne Rutz, a leading operational excellence consultant in the contact center industry. We talked about the future of IT services, and how to deliver real value to customers.

Shift-Left: getting started the right way

Many IT organisations are working to implement a shift-left of knowledge and capabilities. However, many of these initiatives don't deliver the expected results. To prevent this from happening to you, I’d like to share three pieces of advice to get started the right way.

[Case Study] 45% increased customer satisfaction at IT service company

We helped an IT company improve their service delivery. Within 6 months, the company saw 30% fewer complaints and incidents, 35% less rework, 45% higher customer satisfaction, and overall lower operating costs.


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