IT service desk teams face a growing number of challenges arising from hybrid work, an increasingly complex IT industry, and evolving employee expectations. Service desk managers must find new ways to grapple with higher costs, tightening budgets, and changing talent needs that impact their ability to provide essential services. Despite these problems, digital employee experience (DEX) solutions provide an opportunity for companies to modernize their IT service desk strategies and invest in technology that will enable them to adapt to the new world of work.
Service desks confront new problems
The shift to remote working has significantly impacted the IT service desk. Teams have shifted from solving issues with end users in person to doing so remotely. Many organizations have also reported a rising number of tickets raised by employees, with an average of 20 percent of employees contacting the service desk weekly.1 On top of higher ticket volume, there is an increasing level of complexity across incidents as the number and types of devices and applications proliferate.
In addition to remote work, service desks often lack the right tools to efficiently remediate end-user issues. Nearly half of all cases on average are ultimately resolved by Level 2 or Level 3 IT support.2 This is often because Level 1 support does not have visibility into data, remediation actions, or automation that is necessary to diagnose and fix device problems. These escalations increase ticket costs for the service desk and negatively affect the experience, engagement, and productivity of the end user. For the issues that do get resolved at Level 1 support, self-service is an opportunity that most companies are not yet taking advantage of as IT departments are burdened with expanding ticket queues.
These difficulties create a stressful environment for IT service desk teams. IT leaders struggle to find the right talent in a market where churn rates continue to worsen. The cost of replacing talent exceeds the annual salaries of Level 1 and Level 2 support workers, and budget constraints are widespread.
DEX solutions empower all levels of support
DEX solutions tackle the above challenges by improving IT service desk efficiency and focusing on the end user. This starts with empowering Level 1 and Level 2 support with tools to facilitate first call resolution and reduce escalation rates. Instead of manually capturing device information and history through a phone call with the end user, DEX solutions display comprehensive device health information associated with tickets to provide insights into what could be causing the issue. This information is analyzed to perform root cause analysis, which can pinpoint the reason behind the problem and provide one-click fixes that historically required manual intervention.
DEX solutions allow service desks to pursue a shift-left strategy, where tickets are handled at lower tiers to reduce costs and mean time to resolution. This entails self-healing and self-service capabilities, which can solve issues before tickets are raised. Self-healing can detect and remediate issues automatically, while self-service provides end users with the resources they need to solve issues themselves, including one-click fixes that are provided based upon what is happening with their device. This frees up bandwidth for higher levels of support to focus on strategic initiatives, such as introducing automation to playbooks and manual tasks.
Self-healing and self-service will not solve all tickets that arrive at the IT service desk. When intervention is required, DEX solutions may provide remote support capabilities so that Level 1 and Level 2 support can take control of the device to remediate issues. Through integrations with ITSM platforms, this can be successful in enabling Level 1 and Level 2 support to handle complex tickets that are handled at Level 3 today. This focus on shifting left lowers costs and improves the uptime and satisfaction of end users. As service desks adopt end-user outcomes and satisfaction as KPIs, shift-left strategies can serve as a differentiator for IT organizations.
IT service desks can be business partners
When IT service desk teams look to DEX solutions to improve efficiency and better support employees, they must partner across functions to ensure successful implementation. From finance to human resource departments to specific lines of business, providing a positive digital experience is a top priority as it leads to employee engagement, productivity, and retention. The positive outcomes of a successful DEX strategy yield benefits for all functions and individuals within a company.
What this means for IT leaders is thinking about ROI not only from a ticket cost-reduction perspective, but also from an employee uptime perspective. IT service desk managers must effectively communicate the value of DEX solutions to obtain cross-functional buy-in and support. As DEX solutions focus on the end user and incorporate sentiment analysis and employee feedback, IT service desks can align their success metrics with other functions to play an increasingly strategic role in supporting their company’s mission.
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