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John Prestridge | October 18, 2018

5 Easy Steps to Reduce IT Service Desk Call Volume

Making sure that your IT service desk is running smoothly every day can be a challenge—especially when IT resources are scarce. As businesses grow so does the need for IT support, often making high-ticket volume one of the biggest struggles IT service desk agents face. As a matter of fact, the 2018 HDI Technical Support Practices & Salary Report revealed that 61% of support organizations saw an increase in ticket volume over the past year.

For this reason, businesses should look into providing the necessary tools and processes—such as an IT self-service technology—to make sure their IT team is being used to its full potential.

Today, we’ll talk about five easy steps you can follow to help you reduce IT service desk call volume, and potentially, lower costs.

See how much you can save by implementing self-help technology.

Step 1: Analyze Existing Tickets to Identify Top Service Requests

From resetting passwords to having onboarding questions, every employee has technology and work-related issues they need help with. Gartner’s ‘3 Simple Ways IT Service Desks Should Handle Incidents and Requests’ report says that “reducing the number of simple and repeatable incidents and service requests that IT service desk deals with manually” can help address the high-value needs of organizations.

Prioritizing the types of issues and categorizing the most common ones can help your IT team allocate the right resources to improve problem resolution timing. With this you can identify:

  • Which problems need a more standard process
  • What type of knowledge is missing that the users are not able to access
  • Who will fill in the knowledge gaps

To get started, use IT ticket metric reports to obtain information on ticket volume, time spent per ticket and current resource allocation. In fact, an SDI customer satisfaction survey showed that the majority of support teams measure their success through the number of tickets resolved (39%) as well as customer satisfaction survey results (48%).

Once your top ticket requests have been identified it will facilitate developing more relevant knowledge and materials based on those specific topics.

Step 2: Recruit Subject Matter Experts to Build Knowledge

Not only is it important to understand the top requests the IT service desk receives, but it’s also critical to plan on who will help identify the proper solutions or answers for these issues—this is when subject matter experts, or SMEs, come into play.

Consider SMEs as intellectual capital and having them contribute to a knowledge base can be a beneficial knowledge capturing protocol for your organization. When developing a knowledge base, it is important to have a designated owner in order to update and maintain it. Although the owner might not necessarily be an SME, having one can help keep up with relevant content if the topics get too complex.

Step 3:  Build Knowledge for the Highest Volume Requests

Now that you have the top requests and the right people, it’s time to start creating your knowledge interactions. A knowledge base can include many elements such as FAQs, videos, forums, how-to sections, access to company-specific terminology, and more. In order to create a more employee-centric knowledge experience, and to ensure your top employee pain points get addressed, ask the following questions:

  1. What is your organization’s delivery style? – describe your organization’s approach to making the information user-friendly and easy to digest; consider self-help tools for a more engaging employee experience.
  2. What are your organization’s key metrics? – define the process and frequency for measuring your knowledge base’s performance. You need more than views and star ratings to understand knowledge’s usefulness.

Remember that the initial knowledge creation is not set in stone. Once the knowledge has been published, use key metrics, user feedback and SMEs’ routine reviews to help improve the content to better fit the needs of your employees.

Step 4:  Publish Knowledge that is Easily Accessible

As outlined in HDI’s article, Metric of the Month: First Level Resolution Rate, businesses using remote support and knowledge management tools have higher average first-contact and first-level resolution rates than those that don’t. In many instances, integrating self-service tools into existing ITSM software can help facilitate employee adoption.

Creating an employee-centric approach is essential when deciding on which IT self-service tools to use, and being able to provide employees with an easy-to-navigate solution will encourage user engagement. The employee-centric approach includes:

  • Simple and easy-to-navigate knowledge layouts that are responsive across all devices
  • Intuitive knowledge flows that automatically adapt to your employee’s journey
  • Guided steps, videos and demos broken down into bite-size sections for easy immersion
  • Prominent featured links for top requests for quick access 

Before moving on to the final step, make sure to test your new knowledge base and self-service tools for a seamless employee experience.  

Step 5: Promote Access to Omnichannel Experiences

The most critical step in reaping the benefits of your newly-created knowledge base is making sure employees know it exists. No matter how good your knowledge is, if employees can’t find it they will most likely reach out to your IT service desk team directly, defeating the whole purpose of the knowledge base altogether. 

Here are some elements to think about when promoting your new knowledge: 

  • Point them in the right direction –when employees call for a service that has an article in the self-service portal, assist them in finding the information.
  • Use internal social platforms – promoting new knowledge through your employee portal serves as a reminder that the self-service portal is there.
  • Incorporate a knowledge base subscription – use email alerts to help employees stay up-to-date on new material.

Conclusion

Being able to adjust your knowledge base to common requests will help you see results quickly with your self-service strategy and deliver the answers employees are always looking for. You’d be surprised how effective knowledge management can be when it's done right and made available in a way that will empower self-help for employees, helping you lower first-level calls by 30% or more! 


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John Prestridge

John Prestridge is the CMO and Senior VP of North America at EasyVista. An accomplished marketing and product strategist focused on customer needs, he helps drive product innovation and market development within the IT service management software industry to support the digital transformation of enterprise companies. He is a firm believer that ITSM 2.0 is the critical path for companies transitioning to the Digital Workplace. John brings broad expertise in the technologies shaping the future workplace, including service management, cloud computing, application virtualization, mobility, intelligent automation, and compliance.