Marketing the IT Service Desk
So you’ve finally convinced your CIO to adopt a new IT service desk! You’ve ensured that every bit of the transition — from incident records, asset records, and reports, to change history — is smooth. You’re celebrating everything going well. But little did you realize — setting up the service desk was the easiest part of implementing new service desk software.
So what’s the difficult part?
How do I market my IT service desk to the employees —and ensure that they use it?
If you’re one of the many thousands puzzling over this question, help is finally here (in the form of this blog). We’ll examine a few successful hacks that some of the world’s leading brands have used to market their IT service desk internally.
By the end of this blog post, you will possess:
- A go-to-market checklist for your service desk
- Innovative ways to market your service desk
- The right metrics to measure your success
Consider it a product
It’s amazing how a simple thought can change the way you market your service desk internally. The first box to tick while marketing your IT service desk is to consider it akin to marketing any new product — you could have a go-to market strategy similar to that of a product launch. Ask any marketing guy, and they will tell you how they segment a product launch into three stages: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.
But what do you do at each stage? What do you measure? How do you ensure that your launch is successful?
This is probably the most important part of your marketing efforts. It’s pivotal to ensure that you set your expectations right (goals), know how to target (promotions), plan what you are going to say (communication), and decide what to measure (metrics).
Define your goals
When setting any robust plan in place, the first thing to do is to specify the goals within the service desk team – most importantly, with the involvement of the IT team. A successful pre-launch goal should ideally follow the pirate metrics, as defined below.
Conceptualize your goals the smart way. A few examples of smart goals:
- Ensure 70% adoption of your IT service desk within the first quarter,
- Ensure 40% of all L1 tickets are raised via self-service every month,
- Reduce walk-ins by 45% before the end of the quarter.
Positioning and communication
Communication about the service desk makes or breaks the way employees adopt it as their own. Your communication plan for marketing your IT service desk should ideally focus on three aspects:
- What makes the service desk software of your choice stand out?
- How does it challenge the status quo?
- How does it make the life of an employee easier?
Your communication should move the user up from one stage of adoption to the next. You could get started by pitching the service desk in a fun manner – it goes a long way toward increasing the curiosity of your users and making the tool seem a lot more engaging.
By doing a beta communication launch, you’ll get a fair idea of how the campaign is likely to pan out. Further, you’ll see a two-pronged advantage by trying it out with a closed set of team members:
- First, it gives you a heads-up on how receptive the teams are to the initial communication, and how they like using the IT service desk
- Second, you get a hands-on experience of the major problems that are stopping them from adopting the service desk for their day-to-day tasks.
The next couple of steps are fairly straightforward – iterate and reiterate based on the feedback loop till you get it right. An ideal adoption cycle should push all your beta customers to use the service desk on a day-to-day basis for most, if not all, of their tasks.
Once you have identified the blind spots and tweaked them to suit your users’ needs, the launch is all that’s left to do.
Depending on the size of your firm, average age of your employees, and technological awareness, choose one of these three methods for your launch.
And the right launch plan for you?
- Typically, an SMB with about 1 to 500 employees can go for a big flash launch owing to the smaller size of teams and the ease of collaboration among them.
- Team sizes from 500 to 1000 should ideally opt for a stepped launch. You’d want to find out how different teams are adopting to the shift, and fine-tune your product accordingly.
How to launch
With the launch plan set for your IT service desk, it’s time to choose the right channels and promotional strategies to ensure your teams know about the robust new service desk.
Choosing the right channels is the most critical aspect of your launch phase.
Pro-tip: be everywhere they frequent.
Instead of using the usual channels like emails, use platforms where your customers already are. Some good examples of promotion tactics are:
- Putting up posters, coasters, and other branding material
- Bringing it up at staff meetings
- Pushing reminders in calendars
- Spreading the word through intranet and other social groups
- Publishing internal blogs
- Passing on flyers
Apart from these channels, you could use some cool tactics like having a launch party, incentivizing regular users of the portal with rewards and recognitions, or similar.
You need to acknowledge that your employees are going through a behavioural change.
Handhold them through the entire adoption process by supporting them with knowledge base articles, how-to videos, simple hacks, answers to FAQs, and personally addressing the teams and their issues with the new tool.
After the big launch, it’s time for a reality check – reviewing the success of your launch. Reviewing the right metrics to measure your success is one of the most critical aspects of ensuring adoption. Not choosing the right metrics can send wrong signals to stakeholders and make your users think that the service desk has underperformed. So, what metrics do you consider?
We’ve come up with a list of metrics that could help you find out how well you have fared. While it isn’t exhaustive, this is a good set of measurement techniques to start with.
As we stated earlier, these are merely primary metrics to evaluate how well you have succeeded. Talking to the team and continually understanding how they can make the best use of the IT service desk will help drive productivity in the workplace.
A quick overview of some key takeaways:
- Treat launching your service desk similar to launching a new product
- Have clear goals and communication plans
- Test it with a small group and complete the feedback loop
- Use the right channels – remember to be at the places your users frequent
- Incentivize users the right way
- Handhold your employees through the adoption process
- Review the right metrics and optimise IT service desk usage
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