Research shows most companies IT teams spend 30 percent of their time on basic tasks. In today’s digital age, when transformation is the name of the game, that means a lot of wasted time—time that could be better spent on driving the company forward. For that reason, it may be time to consider automating your service desk—turning the “time suck” of employee tech support into a well-oiled automation machine. The following are just a few benefits of automating your service desk.
Automating Your Service Desk: Onboard More Quickly
I have a friend who once worked for one of the largest electricity providers in the country. On her first day of work, she showed up to find an empty cubicle. It turns out her hiring manager had put in a ticket for a workstation the same week she was hired, but it was still making its way through the company’s bureaucratic support ticket system. It would be another week before she got her computer, and still two weeks more before she was able to load the programs she needed to do her job. This is, in layman’s terms, a total IT disaster. And yet this scenario happens in companies throughout the country every single day due to both legacy era processes and IT teams burnt out on the daily support ticket grind. Studies show it takes IT teams an average of 24+ hours to respond to a ticket. That’s far less than the weeks my friend experienced, but far more time than anyone has in today’s fast-paced business world.
Automating your service desk allows you to make employee onboarding a far easier process. Using software like ServiceNow, managers can create tickets to purchase required equipment, set installation dates, obtain approvals, and check the progress of the ticket transparently before the employee arrives. After all, the first thing my friend thought when arriving to the IT debacle was that she had made a mistake taking that job. And in today’s competitive marketplace, no employee can risk losing a quality employee based on poor IT service.
[One caveat: No matter how good your onboarding system is, it will still be slow if your culture doesn’t allow for quick approvals. Check for legacy-era processes when implementing any of these automation tools.]
Automating Your Service Desk: Save Time for IT
The average internal IT team gets nearly 500 support tickets every month. These could range from password lockouts to software install to larger security breaches. Imagine if the low-hanging fruit of those requests—the simple things like user authentication and password resets—could be done automatically without involving IT at all? Yes, the calls could be logged for future reference. But employees could manage the process themselves automatically without ever having to hand it off to an overwhelmed IT team in the first place. That’s what automating your service desk can do for your company.
Automating Your Service Desk: Improve Satisfaction
All of us rely on IT every day to do our jobs. We need, at minimum, network connection and a screen to work on. When those things don’t work correctly, we don’t just lose productivity. We lose respect for our companies. We get frustrated. Inevitably, that results in turnover. That’s why automating your service desk is so important. With improved processing times, teammates feel a stronger belief in their company’s abilities, and feel stronger about serving them well. Tools like Spoke allow employees to ask questions—and get instant answers—using AI. The tech helps build an easy-to-reference knowledge base that continues to build over time.
Companies like Autodesk are automating their own service desks, including self-service password resets, internal Help Hub portals, and documentation and routing via Slack to positive results. Even beyond the time saved, the company is able to pull lots of data from the documented support strings to find out where employees are experiencing the most issues—where IT teams are spending the most time—and proactively fix those problems. This is truly the power of AI and service desk automation.
So, what types of things should you consider when automating your service desk? Start with things like ticket progress updates (saving time on phone calls from frustrated employees or IT team members), customer satisfaction surveys, asset management, password resets, and other support that AI chat bot might support. Take time to measure your success, including the number of tickets logged and satisfactorily closed, a reduction in time to close, and an increase in customer satisfaction. And as I already mentioned, make sure your company’s internal process approvals aren’t lagging in the legacy era; if so, your investment in service desk automation will likely be wasted.
In digital transformation, we can become so fixed on providing top-tier tech to our customers that we neglect to provide it to our teams. Automating your service desk is one incredibly easy way to give them the support they need.
The original version of this article was first published on Converge.