Cure Your Service Desk With Customer Experience

One of the best TV comedies in the UK over the last couple of years has been The IT Crowd. It is about a fictional IT department and plays to all the possible IT stereotypes. One of my favorite scenes is from the very first episode in which a ‘user’ is left waiting for their call to be answered for an excruciating amount of time and then another ‘IT professional’ is shown speaking to a ‘user’ in complete technology gobbledygook. Yes, this clip is funny but surely these are all extreme cases and only slim comparisons can be made to Enterprise IT today? 

I have to be honest here and say that during my time as an enterprise management consultant I saw all that happened on this clip, but surely modern day IT organizations don’t suffer from these problems? Well, maybe not to the same extent but how often have you heard, or even whispered, these famous words when working with the IT service desk or help desk:

 “Have-you-logged-a-ticket?”

With the advent of IT Service Desk solutions many IT professionals have become obsessed with tickets and metrics such as number of calls, average time to resolve an incident etc. In fact ITSM metrics are one of the most popular inquiries that we get in the operations space at Forrester and while they can be great from a cost understanding perspective, do they really show whether the Service Desk is doing a good job for the people it serves? Put simply, the job of IT today is to support, guide and advise on the use of technology which increasingly underpins the vast majority of capabilities in an enterprise organization. Five years ago, the people we served did not have any other real choices of where they sourced their technology support needs, but with the pace of technology innovation fueling BYOT trends – this is changing, rapidly and IT needs to change rapidly to avoid becoming a dodo. 

We need to start assessing IT’s value from a people-centric perspective and a good place to start is with the IT Service Desk as this is the main ‘window of value’ between the IT organization and the people it serves. How? Well one of my focuses for the past couple of months has been to take Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CXi) research and adapt it to an assessment that can be used by IT Service Desks. Essentially the framework asks a number of simple, but insightful questions such as:

  1. Did the ‘interaction’ meet your needs?
  2. Was the ‘interaction’ easy?
  3. Was the ‘interaction’ enjoyable?

Asking these questions lets us understand perception – the first element of measuring customer experience. In order to assess how sick IT service desks are today we then took these adapted CXi questions and created a survey based on our Forrsights methodology, and released it to information workers globally.

If you would like to learn more about how sick IT service desks are from a customer experience perspective and how to apply CXi to your organization, then please join us at Forrester’s EMEA Forums on June 10-11 in London, UK. As always, any comments are welcome and you don’t need to log a ticket.            

Comments

I agree to this...the

I agree to this...the assessment has to go beyond just the number of tickets and bring int he perspective of user satisfaction. Though speed (in terms of number of probleme rsolved) is important but if the user is not satisfied and the issue recurs then one has to look whether we are treating the root cause or just the symptoms.

analysis

First thing I thought of, when reading this, is if we could create a metric that assessed this - how good is the service desk doing - without requiring, for example, a survey that the end users need to take.

Would a combination of metrics work - for example, first time fix X time to close ticket or some other ratio that could be base-lined and trended?

mmmmm.....now that would be cool.

rob

Surveys, surveys, surveys....

Hi Robert,

I am with you in regards to surveys. I feel that we are 'forced' to fill in far too many......but customer experience is based largely on perception and so it would be difficult to capture this via a metric. Whether you use surveys, discussion groups, brown bag lunches etc, the key is to engage and communicate with your customer of IT services/employee. Emerging approaches to human behavior monitoring are making it easier to understand experience but it's still no replacement for person-to-person communication.