Many organizations today have mature Service Desks and Support Centers. Service Desks for many companies begin as a one person IT shop or a customer relations person. For a small entity, a walk over to their desk or a quick phone call is all it would take to get a new workstation or to answer a product related question from a customer. One challenge many small companies encounter as they grow larger is how to scale their services without detracting from the customer experience or the quality of service. What used to be a stroll down the hall to the cubicle of the IT person and a sticky note placed on their monitor now goes unanswered. A call from a customer now gets routed to an automated phone system where they must listen to a recording and press zero to bypass all the options given to them by the recorded voice. How can you continue to deliver great customer service and keep up with the higher volume of requests?
- Track everything – Offline sticky notes, emails, phone calls, and verbal walk-ups must be kept to a minimum. This can be a hard habit to break if your staff is used to this personal touch. It becomes difficult to prioritize different requests coming in and notify your customers when their order has come in. Using a tool such as Jira Service Desk enables a consistent intake for both internal and external customers. You should direct customers to use an easily accessible service desk portal. If you must continue to take phone calls and walk-ups, tickets can be created by agents to document the customer’s request in Jira. As a best practice, you should document how many of these offline requests you receive to recognize the need for training opportunities or better access to the customer service portal.
- Promote Self-Service – While it’s always good to have a support specialist ready to handle customer requests, creating a knowledgebase with a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) will empower your customers and free up your Service Desk team. An important metric to track for self-service are view counts of these knowledge articles. Low view counts and high ticket counts for a related issue may indicate that your team must update your knowledgebase to make an article easier to find. Confluence, when integrated with Jira Service Desk, provides a searchable knowledge base which can provide these metrics in reports so that agents can make the best use of their posted knowledge articles for customers.
- Create Realistic Service Level Agreements (SLAs) – As the adage goes, “Under promise, Over deliver”. Setting turn-around goals for your support team ensures that your customer is aware of the length of time a request takes to fulfill. This creates expectations around when something will be delivered to them. Many times, customers will try to get around these SLAs by going around the system (i.e. phone calls / walk-ups) or by stating that their own request takes precedence over others. It’s important to think about the types of requests that your service desk agents receive and try to create reasonable SLAs based on priority. One best practice is to calculate the impact (number of users affected) and urgency (how quickly something is needed) as part of a priority calculation. Creating a Priority Matrix with these factors is a good way to look at this. Jira has automation that can be created to calculate priorities using these variables.
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