How to deliver world-class ITSM

Achieving World-Class ITSM Experience

Written by on November 28, 2017

What do companies like Southwest Airlines, Zappos, Ritz Carlton and Amazon have in common? These are the companies that  go above and beyond to exceed their clients’ expectations by offering them an amazing customer support experience. However, when it comes to IT support, a lot of emphasis is placed on the process while the end user is often forgotten. While it is important to implement a defined process for your IT Service Management (ITSM), it is also important to focus on understanding the end users’ requirements and meeting their expectations by delivering a great experience.

“It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.” – Ruby Newell-Legner in Understanding Customers

An efficient ITSM process aims at providing a world-class service experience by incorporating the lessons and best practices learnt from its counterpart in customer support. Usually, companies that are known for their customer support focus on customer satisfaction and customer service excellence whereas internal IT support often tends to ignore these factors.

As Stephan Mann says,

Internal IT support will probably always lag behind external customer service/support Click To Tweet

This, according to him is fine, as long as the gap between the two is understood and regularly addressed in terms of its downward-management.

Achieving World-Class ITSM

ITSM aims at providing world-class IT support and delivery to all employees. According to ICIMS, 76% of job seekers now consider company culture when searching for a new position. The experience that the IT support team provides to employees plays an important role in influencing company culture and productivity. If you are now thinking about what IT support has got to do with experience, the reason is changing workforce demographics and consumerization. ITSM frameworks such as ITIL are undergoing changes to meet rapidly evolving customer expectations. Axelos had recently announced a planned update to ITIL that would focus on integrating ITIL with business practices such as DevOps, lean and agile. Let us discuss some of the service desk roadblocks and how to deliver excellent ITSM service.

World-class ITSM changes the image of IT department

World-class ITSM - Everyone should love the IT guy!

Service desk roadblocks

You might have faced one of the following challenges while interacting with your IT service desk.

  • Poor service culture
  • Lack of collaboration
  • Inadequate staffing
  • Lack of proper escalation process
  • Lack of understanding of customers

These are just some of the hindrances that often prevent your IT service desk from providing a world-class ITSM experience.

4 Ps of service excellence

In order to overcome the above discussed challenges and move towards a world-class ITSM, companies should focus on below items.

  1. People come first – The key to service excellence lies with the people. Companies need IT staff with a mix of technical and people skills. They also need to encourage collaboration and teamwork for faster results. Focus on a service culture in order to achieve peer support and higher customer satisfaction.
  2. Pick the right framework – ITSM excellence depends largely on the process that we implement in our organization. Industry best practices such as ITIL complement other approaches such as agile, DevOps, lean, to deliver world-class hybrid ITSM systems. Take a phased approach while implementing ITSM frameworks. For example, understand the priorities and get the fundamentals right before expanding. In case of ITIL, start with Incident and service request management, later move on to other processes.
  3. Promote self-service  – Millennial workforce expect minimal interaction with human agents. Therefore, self-service technologies such as smart solutions, chatbots, virtual agents, automated repetitive tasks, improve end-user experience and overall service desk efficiency. IT service desk powered by AI & ML technologies are not very far and this will revolutionize the world of IT experience.
  4. Passion to innovate –  IT support is generally considered a thankless job. Therefore, motivate your IT agents to constantly innovate and take proactive measures to avoid major incidents. Automation frees up agent’s time to innovate and deliver better end user experience. In order to improve the morale of IT agents, set clear roles and responsibilities for each and everyone in your team.

Let us look at some of the major differences between ITSM and world-class ITSM

Differences between ITSM & world-class ITSM

“ITSM drives business; world-class ITSM inspires business! Click To Tweet

Building your dream IT team

Hiring the right people and building the team is the first and foremost step. In 1965, Psychologist Bruce Tuckman proposed a theory for group development in an organization. According to Tuckman, all these phases are necessary to build an effective team and deliver great results. Let us look at every stage and map it with IT team’s vision.  Look out for the right mix of the following skills while hiring

  • Empathy
  • Energy
  • Service culture
  • Tech knowledge

Forming – Forming is usually an ice-breaking session to understand other members of the team and commit to the objectives set by the team.

Storming – Storming involves setting up roles and responsibilities, KPIs, team goals and business vision.

Norming  – Once forming and storming is completed, the team is ready to collaborate and get things done. Group dynamics increases at this stage and everyone works towards achieving team goals.

Performing – In this stage, actual results are delivered such as improvement in efficiency and productivity.

stages building a world-class ITSM team

In addition to these stages, swarming technique has been used by IT teams for effective collaboration. Swarming enables agents to share knowledge among them and provide faster resolution without any escalation.

What’s next?

ITSM, when implemented correctly could take you to the pinnacle of service excellence. Times are changing and businesses need to match the evolving demands of customers. Freshservice has been built to deliver a world-class ITSM experience. If you want to try out, start your trial here.

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