Service Desk Management: A Complete Guide
Customer Support

Service Desk Management: A Complete Guide

Everything about service desk management and four tricks (that work) to maximize service desk efficiency.

Sanjoli Jain

24-11-2021

9 Min

Twitter aims at empowering users to create and share ideas and information instantly. But internally, at some point in time, at Twitter, the employee communication with the IT team was anything but instant. Alex Stilling, the IT manager, calls this issue “the Black Hole.” Twitter’s internal IT team faced an overwhelming flood of requests when it grew from 900 to 3,600 employees in just two years.

Their small IT team handled about 25,000 tickets, i.e., approximately two thousand tickets per agent in one year. The company needed to provide a satisfactory experience to employees and when incoming tickets were growing like crazy. On top of all this, Twitter was using email for internal service requests. Ergo, they had no automated system to track, manage or route requests to relevant agents. Agents and employees constantly had to communicate multiple times to clarify an issue before addressing the problem.

Twitter then went ahead and adopted an intuitive service desk management and was delighted with the immediate results. A simple, easy-to-use interface helped them reduce their emails. With requests coming through a service desk management, tickets had all the correct information, went to the right flows, and were routed to the right people.

There was a dramatic dip in the email inquiries. Previously we were doing 95% email support. Now it’s only 15%.

Alex Stilling

They saw a substantial reduction in email support requests. Besides, Twitter’s internal IT team deflects several tickets by surfacing knowledge base articles tagged with relevant keywords.

This is a win-win situation as employees could solve their problems with the help of self-service.

Twitter quickly recognized the loopholes in their service desk workflows, and it benefited from adopting a service desk management solution. After recognizing the benefits of adopting service desk management, now more than a hundred teams at Twitter, including human resources, procurement, and facilities, have started using service desk management software. Here’s a guide for anyone who wishes to revamp or build their service desk management process. So what is service desk management, and how exactly does it help you optimize your service processes? Let’s find out! We’ll talk about:

Service Desk Management: Definition

Service desk management is a process of managing IT service desks that form a point of contact between IT service providers and the users. Most organizations use a centralized approach to IT service desk management. This way, they can have a central point of contact between service providers and users and manage all incidents centrally.

Types of Service Desks

The types of service desks depend on the internal structure, purpose, and outputs generated by the service desks. Here are some classifications in detail:

Based on the Type of Service Provided

  • Call Center

    Call centers only receive telephone calls, which are forwarded to a relevant customer support representative.

  • HelpDesk

    Any industry niche can use it for the support process. Representatives receive queries in the form of emails, calls, social media, forms, etc.

  • Service Desk

    Service desks specifically receive and resolve service requests, help manage incident reports and related information until the successful resolution of tickets.

Based on Types of Internal Organization

  • Single Level

    It is not uncommon to have a wide array of subject matter experts within service desks. It entirely depends on the services provided. For example, a brand can use premium-level service support for specific loyal customers.

  • Multilevel

    Multilevel support is a common type that organizations use. Here, self-service portals represent the support starting point (the most basic level 0). More complex queries are forwarded to appropriate agents or teams, and if needed, the admin can be contacted too.

Service Desk Types by Size and Location

  • Local Service Desk

    It is generally located close to the customer, where they can visit instantly, for example, within a branch office.

  • Central Service Desk

    Here the services are provided from a single central location. It surely addresses and takes multiple languages, time-zones into consideration, but that too is operated centrally.

  • Virtual Service Desk

    Virtual central desks are usually dispersed among several locations but are centralized using the available technology and internal.

Based on a Business Model

  • Service Desk as Cost-Centric

    It is a model in which the service desk operates under a budget and is considered to be a cost or an expense to the company. The main challenge here is to eliminate the hidden costs that occur.

  • Service Desk as Profit Centric

    The service desk generates profit by charging fees with reasonable margins for the services. The primary challenge here is to establish an accurate and profitable service pricing list.

Based on Type of Ownership

  • In-house

    In-house services are the ones that you run inside the company or an organization. Service desk agents are company employees, and therefore a more extensive level of management is required in order to manage costs, staff, and effort.

  • Service Desks Outsourcing

    Outsourcing simply means providing services from a third party that is not part of your company. This method may cost less and would ensure efficient use of resources. This is because the services provided are based on contract and are determined by volumes and service levels.

Based on Customer Orientation

  • Internal Customers

    This means you’re providing services internally within the same organization/company. The company can have several service desks employees contact for support, such as IT facilities, HR, fleet management, etc.

  • External Customers

    This simply means you’re providing support to customers who bought or used our products or services. The service desk may play a vital role in pre-sales and post-sales experiences.

Based on Communication Flow

  • Inbound Service Desk

    This service desk type receives calls and messages from the customers, and the agents can respond according to their needs. The customer initiates the communication here.

  • Outbound Service Desk

    In this type of service, the service desk agents or teams initiate the communication to the customer in a telemarketing way. They contact the customer in the early days of the service/product usage to increase experience or directly sell services.

No matter what type of service desk you’re managing, robust service desk management software is a must. Check out DeskXpand

Benefits of the Service Desk

The service desk is an operating arm of any business. It is designed to keep the operations running smoothly. Service desks handle everything from providing a seamless medium for organizations to deliver to individual tech support. Here are some key benefits of service desks:

  • Align internal business processes
  • Seamless experience and enhanced efficiency
  • Improve IT asset management
  • Data-driven decisions
  • Boosted overall productivity

What Are the Primary Service Desk Responsibilities?

Some popular service desk roles and responsibilities include serving as a point of contact for all issues in an organization. Service desks are responsible for effectively managing internal employee as well as customer expectations.

It also involves setting a standard for customer engagement and experience. It serves as a communication channel between your customers (or internal employees) and the organization.

Other service desk responsibilities include:

  • Managing complaints and suggestions.
  • Ensuring that the customer can reach you.
  • Ensuring that the tickets are not missed from any channels seamlessly.
  • Pursuing service improvement initiatives in the company.
  • Analyzing and improving the overall team performance.
  • Responding to customer service metrics.
  • Keeping customers involved at every stage of the journey.
  • Enabling self-service options and proactively rescuing service requests
  • Logging and categorizing service requests based on types and priority.
  • Managing and storing service data for further communication
  • Ensuring that no SLAs are breached and that requests are resolved in an appropriate time frame.
  • Enabling teamwork within the staff to ensure that service levels are not breached.

So these were the critical service desk responsibilities. Modern businesses need modern service desk solutions to perform efficiently. Service desks must be intuitive and must have enhanced and automated features.

DeskXpand is an intuitive, automated service desk management software. DeskXpand is designed to overcome all the latest industry challenges. Take a personalized demo today.

Start Your Free Trial Now

4 Strategies to Maximize Service Desk Efficiency

How do you know if your IT help desk’s performance is lacking or just an issue with your tech that is hindering you from reaching your weekly goals? As an admin manager, you must act quickly, decisively, and positively.

With a few tweaks in your workflows and the right plan, your team can begin to see improvement quickly. Here are four ways to help you maximize your service desk productivity and efficiency.

1. Collect the Right Metrics

Everything depends on the type of data you collect. Collecting and analyzing data comes into the picture when you cannot find out the problems with your service flow.

You need to keep an eye on everything. You need to determine if there is a drop in your service levels, your customer satisfaction rating has plummeted, your resolution time is dragging out, or your hold times are creeping upwards. In-depth analytics will help you find out the problem from its core. It will also help you find out agent performance and help them if they lag behind.

Things could be less intense than you thought, or they could be worse than you expected, but it’s a good idea to know exactly where you stand. This way, you can map out a way quickly.

2. Establish Clear Goals

Planning and strategizing clear goals is yet another strategy to maximize service desk efficiency. It is said that “when it comes to customer service, haste makes waste.” Building a deliberate, detail-oriented strategy will go a long way in meeting the needs of your customers.

While framing the strategies, make sure you keep in mind the “SMART goals” approach:

Smart

Once you have metrics in hand, you need to draft goals for where performance should be. Design workflows that enable collaboration between your support employees. The collaboration will bring a loyal customer base and engage employees too. As a manager, you must continuously strive to discover any unmet needs. It would help if you also made sure that your goals and strategies ease your agent’s job.

3. Gather the Right Performance Feedback

Consider gathering feedback from your employees and tracking their performances. Use this information to address specific issues that get mentioned but it can also be used to boost morale. You can try out different customer satisfaction surveys with multilevel responses.

Let your team know when and where they’re doing a good job. You will also need to follow up on the negative experiences to learn where service can improve.

4. Establish Self-service Portal

When the incoming tickets go down, the satisfaction levels go up. And when you offer self-service portals or solutions, the incoming tickets will do down.

A self-service knowledge base with a good UI and UX is an ideal solution to empower users. Some benefits of self-service features include:

  • Easily adaptable
  • Customers will become self-reliant
  • Quick and reliable solutions
  • Support cost reduction
  • Boosts social engagement
  • Increases customer satisfaction & success

Best Practices for Choosing Service Desk Tools: Must-Have Features

Modern businesses must be more focused on providing a unique customer experience. Lately, the support has transitioned from in-person to remote, so customers rely heavily on digital service desk management teams for help.

Organizations are also leaning more towards robust tech solutions to keep their customers connected. They need enhanced service desks to overcome these challenges. But, what makes a suitable service desk? What are the best practices for choosing a service desk tool? Let’s find out.

1. Omnichannel Features

Omnichannel simply means providing multiple channels so that customers can reach out to you at their convenience. Admins and support agents must be able to manage all these channels through a single interface. Some channels that you can provide are:

  • Phone support
  • Knowledge base
  • Email support
  • Support through social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • FAQs

Let customers engage across channels of their choice, and you can manage multiple-channel support from one unified interface with a robust omnichannel service desk.

2. Robust Ticket Management Features

Robust ticketing features are essential to managing the ticketing workflow. These features include:

  • Automatic ticket registration and creation
  • Auto-assignment to a relevant agent
  • Auto-notifiers to keep the customers involved
  • Defining SLA based on priority
  • Collision Detection

Your service desk must register complaints and automatically convert queries in the form of tickets. After acknowledging, service desks must allow you to send an email or notification to your customers stating the same.

3. Collaborative Features

Collaborative features such as a shared inbox improve the overall efficiency and team accountability of your service desks. Other features like bright ticket assignment based on various parameters, readymade responses, lifecycle tracking, fast ticket import, etc., are also essential collaborative features for service-desk management.

Deliver flexible and enhanced support experience

Check out DeskXpand’s robust and collaborative ticketing features. Take a demo today!

4. Self-Service Features

Service desks must always provide self-help options. Most of the time, employees are looking for a quick solution to a simple issue. In such a scenario going through the entire ticketing process would be a waste of time for agents and employees. Hence, a knowledge base comes into play.

A well-articulated knowledge base will help customers resolve issues on their own. It will decrease the burden on your support teams and agents. Your agents will only have to solve complicated issues rather than resolve the simpler and repetitive issues. A knowledge base for internal team support can be a huge plus too.

5. Reports to Track End-to-end Issues

The customers and service desk teams must be able to track the status of an issue at a glance. Once you’ve resolved the issue, its data can be used to improve the support further. Some service desk analytics that you must track are:

  • Average first-time response
  • Average ticket resolution time
  • Ticket incoming trends
  • Ticket roadblocks
  • Real-time ticket tracking
  • Customer survey reports
  • Ticket volume trends
  • Track your ticket inflow

Companies can use the insights mentioned above to evaluate their customer support strategies for the future and get a 360-degree view of your support performances.

Upgrade Your Service Desk with DeskXpand

What if I tell you that there’s an enhanced service desk management system with the latest ticket automation features. DeskXpand caters to all customer support needs from small to large businesses. Find out how you can update your service desks with DeskXpand. Here’s a brief feature overview:

  • Smart ticket management
  • Faster ticket import
  • Collision detection
  • Chat within the tickets
  • Smart ticket assignment
  • Canned responses
  • Measure SLA performance
  • Omnichannel features (email, FAQs, feedback forms)
  • Shared Inbox
  • To-do lists with integrated calendar
  • Self-service (Knowledge base, FAQs, video tutorials)
  • Customization
  • Data tracking and analytics

The Bottomline

DeskXpand is built by professional developers with 14+ years of development experience. We are an ISO27001 certified service desk management software development company. We can help you build and customize products according to your present and future needs.

As an IT solutions and development company, we spend our time looking at the peaks and thresholds in data. We constantly strive to serve excellent experiences to our clients. Data helps us get to the bottom of what will enable us to serve a good experience. We focus on bringing out innovative solutions and not just solving problems.

Our teams experience growing pains as we constantly adapt to new challenges. Yours will too. The important part is that you have the right tools to measure your effectiveness and make the best decision to serve excellent customer service. Begin your free trial and explore our robust service desk management software.

Start Your Free Trial Now

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