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Self-service, self-help give better experience

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The uptake of both self-service and self-help services have grown due to a need to improve user experience and save time.
A survey of 25 000 mainly UK-based service desk professionals by Ivanti and the Service Desk Institute (SDI) found that, while end user uptake has been slow because of a continuing preference for “the human touch”, respondents cited several major benefits of these services such as “better user experience”, “reduced call volume”, “24/7 support” and a “better perception of the service desk”.
Key findings of the report include:
* 74% of service desk professionals use self-service (a 10% increase from 2013) and 58% offer their users self-help;
* The largest motivation driving the implementation of both self-service (90%) and self-help (81%) is “improving services to the end user”;
* Uptake on the end-user side is slow, with 83% of users preferring to call the service desk rather than use self-service, and 88% preferring to call the service desk over using self-help;
* Respondents overwhelmingly claimed this was due to a preference for “the human touch” (72% regarding self-service and 88% for self-help) but a lack of marketing awareness within the service desk could also be a factor (because professionals are struggling to build an understanding of the role and value of these tools);
* The biggest obstacle to implementing both self-service (50%) and self-help (53%) within organisations is time, closely followed by a lack of appetite from end users and the business (43% self-help and 40% self service).
Ollie O’Donoghue, SDI industry analyst and author of the report, comments: “As industry trends change and new generations enter the enterprise IT user base the demand for self-help and self-service capabilities will undoubtedly increase. Both have an integral role to play in supporting the modern service desk, and organisations armed with the experience and knowledge of a vendor organisation, and supplied with the right tools, will undoubtedly overcome the obstacles facing them when implementing these tools.”
“The motivations that drive an organisation to improve self-service and self-help technology vary considerably. However this report has raised a very important point – that the customer (and what they want) must be at the heart of any strategy,” said Kevin Smith, senior vice-president at Ivanti. “This is why meeting business and user demands is our priority when developing service management technology.
“Modern service delivery requires that stakeholders inside and outside of IT must be continuously engaged. Our solution, with workflow automation and Cloud-based or on premise deployment options, enables IT to quickly configure a world-class solution that actively increases customer satisfaction.”
The overall aim of the research has been to shine a spotlight on self-service and self-help by analysing the motivations of organisations that implement these tools as well as understanding the challenges they face and what benefits they achieve. The research has also worked to understand the ambitions of organisations that are yet to implement these services, and analyse the obstacles inhibiting their progress. Results were compared and trended where possible against findings of previous research conducted by SDI in 2013.