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Keith Andes | November 30, 2023

Actually Reduce Calls and Emails to the IT Service Desk

Hey EasyVista enthusiasts! 

Sometimes I have these dreams. 

Call...Password. Call...Restart. Call.  
And then emails... 

Email. Email. Email. 

And then I wake up in a sweat...and I didn’t even get paid for it. Then in real life, I get ready, and then I go to work, and guess what?  

Calls. Emails. 
Did you know that calls and emails still reign as the top two ways people contact the IT service desk? That’s according to Gartner... well, according to me at Gartner, actually, because I was the publishing author back when I worked there. (Source: “Innovation Insight for Virtual Support Agents” 24 November 2020, Author Keith Andes. Gartner, Inc.)

The only thing that beats calls and emails... believe it or not: avoiding the IT service desk entirely! And instead, just asking a colleague or Googling it. People just want the problem fixed, right? 

We all know end users want their issues solved swiftly and with as little interruption as possible. But it’s definitely also a matter of convenience. 

The Convenience Conundrum 

A call can have an issue resolved in real time. An email can take 10 seconds to get in the support queue—meaning end users can continue working while ITSM agents get organized and resolve the incident.  

They each have distinct benefits, and people know how to do it. The simplicity of these methods often beats exploring other avenues. So, what we have to do is make something else CLEARLY better... make a new path of least resistance.  

Now that we understand the drivers and the journey, we can redefine what convenience means for your users. 

5 Ways to Make ITSM Easier 

Here are specific things you can do to build new paths of least resistance: 

  1. Intuitive Self-Service Portals: The path of least resistance begins with an intuitive self-service portal. Ensure your portal is user-friendly, with a seamless interface that allows users to effortlessly navigate and find solutions. Make it a one-stop-shop for their needs, eliminating the need for convoluted processes. Let me give you an example of a common mistake: Incidents versus Requests. YES, this is important for ITIL. NO, your end user does not understand, nor care. Think about the language used to easily drive them to the right one. 
  2. Streamlined Automation: Automation is the secret weapon in creating a frictionless experience. By automating routine tasks like password resets and software installations, you not only expedite resolutions but also make the user experience seamless and hassle-free. Then, suddenly, the portal is a FASTER option for end-users than an email or call.
  3. Foster Peer-to-Peer Support: As mentioned before, instead of submitting a ticket, some people will simply ask each other for help. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it gets the problem solved, but they’re also avoiding IT (making us redundant), and there’s no way for us to measure it or improve it. Unless... we provide a platform for those peer conversations to occur. By offering a Community Forum for IT support, we can foster successful and organized engagement between employees. We can make sure everything stays friendly and organized, and we can even measure and improve Peer Support over time!  
  4. Bring the solutions to where they work: If you have a large portion of your organization that works from a screen (laptop, computer, smartphone), they are likely regularly using a collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams. If they use this tool constantly throughout the day to collaborate with peers (solving work problems, collaborating on projects, etc.) it would be a very natural extension for these users to also solve IT problems this way. If your organization has high collaboration tool usage, a channel/community/group or even a chatbot within the collaboration tool would be likely to capture solid adoption. Bring the IT service desk to them. This also enables swarming!
  5. Clear Communication: Bridge the communication gap by clearly communicating the benefits of alternative options. Let end users know that submitting a form in the portal can be quicker and more efficient than waiting for an email response – show them numbers based on real-world service desk data (“employees submitting through the portal get results 27% faster on average!”, as an example). Highlight success stories and positive experiences to showcase the advantages of the less-traveled paths.

How to Educate ITSM End Users 

Communication is the linchpin in steering users toward more efficient options. Here are a couple tips to consider: 

  • Visual Guides: Create easy-to-follow visual guides that illustrate the simplicity of using the self-service portal. Animated if possible. And maybe add sharks, with lasers? 
  • Built-in Messaging: Place informative messaging in the other channels. For instance, set up an auto-response email letting them know their email request was received. But also leverage this communication opportunity to also inform them about the portal and bolster it with convincing metrics (as I mentioned above). 
  • Regular Reminders: Keep the message alive through regular reminders, emphasizing the convenience of user-friendly alternatives in every communication. Find ways to have fun with this, too, like leaving post card easter eggs throughout the office.

Unraveling the path of least resistance involves not only providing alternative routes but also guiding end users toward them. By enhancing the user-friendliness of self-service portals, streamlining automation, and fostering clear communication, we can reshape the landscape, making the most convenient option the fastest and most user-friendly choice. Let's pave the way for a smoother journey! 

If you could use a hand, schedule a free call with one of our consultants today.  

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Keith Andes

Product Marketing Manager