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By Brian Chan, Director Information Technology, Jebsen Group
As a result of digitization, IT has become an integral part of business processes. The demand for IT support services has increased not just in volume but also in the expectation of response time.Traditionally, the KPI for IT service desk is FCR (First Call Resolution Rate) and SLA measured by Call Pickup Time and Incident Response Time. The new metrics should be ‘what is the percentage of incidents that could be fixed by Self-services’. There are three key concepts in Self-services: 1. Pre-empt questions from being asked The best user guide is one that could provide answers to all foreseeable questions. The step-by-step guide should be divided into at least 2 sections, following the 80/20 rule: - The first section (maximum one page long) covers the most commonly used scenario - Subsequent section(s) cover more complex cases No one is interested to read a long user guide before they understand the basic operations. 2. Automate as much as possible The best example for automation is ‘Password Reset’. Any tasks that do not require interaction from a Service Desk agent should be completely or partially automated. Another key component of automation is to capture information at source, i.e. ask the requester to describe the issue and attach related screen shot or document. This will not only reduce the time spent by the Service desk agent but more importantly, ensure 100 percent call logging rate.
Creating tickets is the last task that a Service desk agent would like to do. In many cases, they would just close simple incidents without creating a ticket.3. Feedback loop This is commonly known as ‘Problem Management’. The root cause of the frequently and commonly reported incidents should be ‘feedback’ to the respective solution owners. They should then make necessary changes to ‘pre-empt’ them from happening again. If this is a usage issue, instead of arranging refreshment training, the solution owner should re-consider if the current process flow is intuitive enough. After all, the system should be designed in a way that it can ‘drive’ the user to complete a task. No user would like to remember all the steps needed to complete a task. With consumerization of IT, end users would often like to compare their usage experience at home with that at work. At home, they can ‘google’ most of the answers that need. They can also view almost any user guide on Youtube’. This has significantly changed their expectation on Service desk when they come to work. Building a searchable knowledge base is not easy. This has often been the top 3 IT service improvement tasks for years. There is not quick answer to address this issue. Each Service desk agent needs to contribute to the knowledge base by stating clearly the root cause and the respective solution. A central administrator is required to update the respective user guide to ‘pre-empt’ user from encountering the same issues again. On the other hand, building a user guide video library is relatively more straight forward. The most important criteria for a successful video are ‘short’ and ‘precise’. No one is interested to view a user guide longer than 5 minutes. The user guide must also be ‘precise’ to topics it would like to cover. To support multi-language environment, it is easier to use one common language in voice but multiple language on narratives. Smart Lazy The biggest obstacle to IT Self-service is from IT support team themselves. It is a big change to the way they have been working. One mindset to overcome this inertia to change is ‘to be smart lazy’. Ask the support team the following questions : - Do you want to spend 30 percent of your time creating a service ticket? - Do you want to support the same issues every other day? - Do you want to teach user the same ‘how to’ over and over again? If they want to be ‘lazy’, they need to spend their time in a ‘smarter’ way: always think ahead what questions a user might ask when they read a user guide.