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Improving Service Desk User Experiences

Every interaction with your company, from your clients to your employees, affects how your company is perceived. Per the User Experience Professionals Association, User experience (UX) involves a person's emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership.” In this world of the digital business, user experience is the one thing that no department can avoid, yet few departments are able to measure.

Different Users – Different Experience

Poor user experience is encountered every day, whether it is a door opening the wrong way, your computer crashing, or a web site taking more than 7 seconds to load your coffee order. In business, user experience fails are often centered around End User Support services, or slow access to internal systems - essentially, your IT support team becomes the brunt of a thousand bad user experience jokes.

There is a solution. Through combining the insights of User Experience professionals with the expertise of Solutions Architects specializing in End User Support Services, you can develop a Service Desk solution that meets the needs of a broad user audience. There are three simple questions that I use to start the process:

  1. Who are my users?
  2. What are some of the biggest challenges they face?
  3. How do I measure ROI?

Who are my users?

In your business you have users defined by many different traits. You can't look at them from a single point of view. They may be female or male, a technophile or a technophobe, but there are a few types of technology users you can expect to see, and they often cross categories.

  • Millennials - have had a variety of technology integrated into their lives since birth. They don't know how to function without their digital lifelines. They are laid back. They like their apps and they know how to use them, and often, only how to use them.
  • Generation X - have assimilated technology, much like the Borg, learning what they can, making it better, and rarely setting any aside, just in case it can be used tomorrow. These users may have half a dozen devices all used for one or two tasks, just because it is the best at that task.
  • Baby Boomers - have acquired technology as a means to an end. They don't love it, they don't hate it - it just is. They don't entirely trust technology, but fully admit that the world can't run without it. They are driven to learn and use what makes them most efficient and most profitable.
  • Only Office Equipment Please - users only want to use work equipment for work. They don't care if it is the best, but they don't want any of their personal data on anything of yours - or vice versa.
  • Mine's Better Than Yours - users must have the latest and fastest, and just can't stand it when something doesn't work. They need to have the best, fastest, and most connected – and are willing to pay for it and manage it – as long as you keep it connected for them.
  • Mine? Yours? Does it Really Matter? - users who use what they have without care as to whether it is office or personal equipment. It's all about getting the job done – with a side of muddled data.


What challenges do they face?

With the users categorized, you can start identifying their specific challenges. While some of your users depend on their mobile phones or tablets, others depend on their laptops. But all of them need connectivity to your services - and the list of devices keep growing. Whether its email, cloud storage, phone calls, text messages, or device security, they count on your systems to keep them connected and secure whenever they are working at a task.

The key issues that all corporate end users face include:

  • Cloud connectivity - whether its AWS, Azure, One Drive, Dropbox, Google or Box, users need constant access to their data. BYOD users face the largest challenges here, as an IT team can rarely support everything that may be in a user’s pocket or on their desk.
  • Integrating the right new technology - just because something is new, doesn't mean it is better than what your team already has integrated into your other systems. But let's face it, users love the new, the shiny, and the unique! They also disparage IT management that doesn’t get as excited over the latest gadget or solution and can become stubborn about using the currently provided equipment and software.
  • BYOD - users all have their favorite technology which may or may not be compatible with the infrastructure that is in your business. This makes the job of IT exponentially more difficult - but users still expect to have the Service Desk team capable of connecting their device to your data. When was the last time you used a Raspberry PI device to emulate a desktop computer or print server?
  • Personnel Data Security - With users wanting to use their own devices or using work devices to complete personal tasks and access personal accounts, the risks associated with data security, both the individuals' and the businesses, becomes more and more challenging. With the launch of GDPR, any employees or clients as citizens of EU countries have a new set of rules that need followed with their data. Can you support it?

How do I measure ROI?

Measuring the ROI of your service desk is often difficult. It isn't all about how many calls are answered within an hour. Its about client satisfaction, and about how many calls they have to make in the first place. By breaking down your ROI calculations into key pieces, you can better make decisions that will affect the widest percentage of your user base (Millennials will be 75% of the workforce by 2025!). These decisions in turn affect user satisfaction, and the overall user experience with your company.

Some areas where you can break down your ROI include:

  • Tracking changes in customer behavior – are users less aggressive to your staff, more willing to use company equipment, follow security protocols, lower dependence on shadow IT, etc.
  • Identifying what services can be measured, and therefore improved - how long to complete a repair, how many of the same repair is being made, how many times passwords must be reset, how many of the following scores can you improve
    • Net Promoter Score (NPS) - how likely your customers are to recommend you
    • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) - does your customer like your service enough to not look for other alternatives (aka... Shadow IT)
    • Cost per conversation - the cost per contact multiplied by the number of interactions in each conversation
    • Cost per contact - the cost for a company to answer each customer
    • Retention rates - percent of active customers that are still active today
    • Contact rates - percent of active customers who contact support in a typical month
    • Contact rates by area and issue - the breakdown of your contact rates by location and issue type
  • Indirect returns - on a service desk you have the opportunity to collect vast amounts of data about your customers. Each interaction gives your team the chance to talk about products they like, languages they use, what they think of the competition, how they like working with your team, what related products they seem coming in the future, their "if I could have" dreams, etc. When tracked, this data gives you deep insight into your customers that can be used for identifying improvement areas as well as future product planning.

Great Experiences Matter

It isn't enough to just provide support - the user experience of that support must be great. As the Millennial generation takes over the workforce with their focus more on self than company, it is imperative that we provide this group of socially focused and connected, individuals with positive experiences so that we can leverage their commitments to the brands and services that they enjoy. And everyone else will appreciate the better user experience as well!

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Heather Williamson

Senior Director of Program..

Posted on July 03, 2018

Categories: Managed Services