A non-telephony Service Desk

An open discussion on issues related directly or primarily to the service or help desk.
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paulfixter
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Thu May 06, 2010 9:34 am

At present, our Service Desk records most of its incidents and service requests as a result of telephone calls from users.

We have a plan to discourage users from contacting the Service Desk by phone and to use other methods, ie self help first, followed by contacting the Service Desk via a web-form, and for the telephone to be a last resort for them.

I have many things in mind, but it would be useful to get hints and tips from others on here who may have gone through a similar exercise for me to consider for my report.

Many thanks
Paul


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swansong
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Thu May 06, 2010 9:40 am

I have no experience of this, but my view (based on judgement, not experience) running a SD is always a compromise based on quality of service against the cost of that service.

The users perception of the SD and therefore IT would be based on the quality of the service, not the cost of providing that service, so I think you might have to undertake a good PR expercise before committing to this.
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paulfixter
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Thu May 06, 2010 9:46 am

That is a very good point, thank you. I was planning on a PR exercise, butyou are quite right, this is a very important thing to consider and one that we must get right to explain the reasons why we are doing it and what the benefits will be.
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UKVIKING
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Thu May 06, 2010 11:00 am

Paul

I have a comment

If you prohibit or restrict the use of telephones for users to call in tickets, what is the method to contact you if the issue is the fact that the system /network / etc is down for that office and individual and how do they contact you

It will be one of the first questions I would ask if the SD that supported me told me that
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mnsmith
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Fri May 07, 2010 6:58 am

Paul

Another thing you have to be careful with is the amount of information collected via the web form. It would be a complete waste of time logging incidents via a web form if all they say is "the system is giving me an error" because you'll have to phone the user back - they may as well have called you in the first place.

In addition, you need to think about how you handle critical services. It has been known for critical incidents to be reported via e-mail, which don't get picked up for a couple of hours. If it's critical and broken, the safest way to report it is always via the phone but users don't appreciate this.

Hope that helps

Mick
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thechosenone69
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Mon May 10, 2010 10:48 am

Paul,

Further to what other said. Have you thought of the following nightmare. "All the users logging the incidents as high priority".

If you are welling to discourage users from using the phone and refering to the self help portal then you should start charging for those phone calls. In my opinion that would be the best solution.

But before you take any advice. Can you please share with us the reason you want to do this? Are you short on staff? repetitive incidents? annoying users?
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paulfixter
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Fri May 14, 2010 6:17 am

thechosenone69 wrote:
But before you take any advice. Can you please share with us the reason you want to do this? Are you short on staff? repetitive incidents? annoying users?
Thanks again for eveyone's help.

There are various reasons for doing this, short staff and inabaility to get through to the Service Desk being two reasons.
However we are already doing lots of other things, such as proactive incident management (ie preventing of incidents being reported in the first place by identification of things like training issues etc).
Furthermore we are utilising mature Problem, Change and Availability Management processes.

But the first thing our users consider is to pick up the phone, so were are wanting to make more use of other technology at our disposal such as online Knowledge Bases, self service etc.

All the best
Paul
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thechosenone69
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Fri May 14, 2010 6:58 am

Paul,

Investing in Proactive Problem management is definitely an enabler to reduce incidents coming to the Service Desk since you are short on staff.
As for the inability to get through to the Service Desk I suggest the 2 following solution:

1- Outsource those calls to a company. Try googling "Office response". You can divert your phones if not answered within agreed times or before it breaches the agreed answer time, outside of working hours, when your service desk is not available etc.. This way you will keep a good image about your self infront of your customer showing that your SD is always available for them and can charge them more for that.

2- Influence behaviour. You have a variaty of options here, you want users to start using the webportal. how are you going to convince them. Carrot or stick? I usually prefer the stick. Start charging per incident, or you can provide an emergency SD service. Get an Automated Call divert system and if the call is urgent give the option to the user to dial a number that will transfer him immediatly to a SD agent (In that option make sure there is a message that informs the user that this service is chargeable). So if the user doesnt want to wait then the option to refer to the portal or if its urgent then let them pay for it.

Paul, what I am trying to say here, see what is the best option for the business. Do some surveys, see which solution would your users or customer chose, advertise for this service. Also keep in mind that you want to keep the users happy, you don't want to upset your users or customers.

I hope this is helpful.
Ali Makahleh
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Swinng
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Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:11 am

Hi

We are also a service desk looking to move forward and away from the just calls and e-mail

We were looking at implementing a Instant messaging tool

I was wondering if anyone can send me in the right direction to get some white papers on the use of Instant messaging in a Service Desk and implementing it

Swinng
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Timo
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Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:09 pm

I vote for a service desk that is phone-less, email-less, customer portal-less, walk-in-less and overall contact-less.
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vz-r_Dave
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Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:46 am

Looking at this from a more personal view I think it's very important to have somone to talk to when things go wrong.

There is simply nothing more frustrating to an end user if they have to fill in web based form to report an issue if it is urgent/ or if they want to vent their frustration.

The SD is the single point of contact, it should be invested in and the end user will always prefer to speak to someone rather then a self help. Time and money can be easily wasted on attempting to develop web based methods.

IMO if you stop this service your going to loose faith in the user/customer assuming this is internal and your customers are the business area's.

I believe in a more personal service for the end user. Phone call's and walk in's (assuming local SD) are extremely important for bridge/relationship building. Web based is the complete opposite.

I agree with Timo :-)
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