5 Tips for Improving Your IT Service Desk

Previously, we looked at tips to improve the service desk life, the frustrations with service desk and IT service management (ITSM) tools, tips for ITSM tool selection, and tips for choosing the right ITSM tool vendor. In this blog, I look into the top service desk priorities for the year and the changes we’re expecting to see based on the SDI survey about the service desk life. See how the service desk has evolved since 2012 with these reports and read on to know my top 5 tips to improve your IT service desk for a better 2017.

So what are this year’s priorities for SDI members?

IT Service Desk Priorities for 2016 Source: SDI

As you can see from the chart, three of the top four service desk priorities are the same as for 2013:

  • Improving service desk performance
  • Increasing business value
  • Increasing first-time fix rates

But the top five is rounded out with two new priorities that thankfully stack up with the responses to other survey questions (please see the other blogs for additional detail):

  • Using more automation
  • Succeeding with self-service

There is, however, something that doesn’t stack up against the other data – although I can personally understand why. While respondents ranked their ITSM tool as their second biggest pain point, they don’t seem to be looking to change their tool. “Investing in a new ITSM tool” appears so low down in the list that we need to ask why they don’t want to change – because of cost, migration effort, politics, fear of change, or other factors.

Which changes do you expect to see this year?

IT Service Desk Expectations Source: SDI

You can see that we have a couple of repeat offenders here (relative to the other SDI survey responses):

  • Greater use of self-service
  • Increased demand for business intelligence which, to keep things simple, we can equate to reporting issues

But there are two new areas in the top five that are worth pointing out as what I consider to be two of the main ITSM challenges and opportunities I’m seeing for this year and 2017:

  • Greater focus on customer experience – which is top at 69%
  • Increased demand for non-IT business services, i.e. enterprise service management – which is 5th at 35%

But what should YOU be doing in terms of winning with your 2016 priorities?

5 tips for improving your IT service desk in 2016

  1. Determine what’s actually needed by your organization rather than following the herd. For instance, self-service might not be needed or it might never work given your company’s structure or culture. Surveys such as this offer up the art of the possible not the exact answer for your organization.
  2. Understand what customer experience is. In particular, versus customer service, customer satisfaction, and user experience.
  3. Look to better outcomes rather than the blind adoption of new processes or additional technology. So this is “we want to improve service quality and speed” rather than just “we need self-service technology.”
  4. Distinguish between the things that have been proven, by others, to make a difference and those that are just “good ideas.” Remember the push for social IT a few years back? It still might work for your organization but it didn’t get anywhere close to widespread adoption.
  5. Remember what your service desk capability is needed for. ITIL talks to people, process, product (i.e. technology), and partners but we also need a fifth P here – purpose. It might be worth revisiting your service desk’s purpose, and how well you are meeting it, before looking to change for the better.

Hopefully, you found these survey results and tips helpful. If you did, why not:

  • Watch an on-demand webinar that provides helpful advice while taking you through the survey results.