If you have experience in IT, you know that minor issues and anomalies in IT services can easily become a huge bottleneck for technicians. Without the right IT service desk technology, manual processing can bog down your resources and cause unnecessary waits for those needing help. As a result, end-user satisfaction will start to fall as people suffer through long hold queues and waste valuable work hours trying to resolve issues instead of focusing on their own projects. In this article, we will discuss three challenges faced by the IT service desk and how you can overcome them.

1: Reducing Issue Overload

Time is money – that’s especially true when it comes to IT services. Without processes in place to effectively answer everyday questions or address minor issues, high-volume IT departments can easily spend hours answering phones or requests sent by multichannel support systems. This leaves little time in their workday to address larger issues and act proactively to prevent any potential problems.

One way to resolve this challenge is to use an ITSM platform built for the public sector and create an easy-to-use self-service portal with a rich knowledge base. An IT self-service portal is a place where users can go first and look up their own answers to try to resolve their issues. If they can’t find what they need within the knowledge base, they can hit a button within the portal and request support online. If you need inspiration, you can have a look at some stellar portals here.

How the City of Avondale, Ariz., Improved IT Service Desk Outcomes with a Self-Service Portal

For the City of Avondale, Ariz., their IT Service Management (ITSM) platform (TeamDynamix) plays a critical role in helping several branches of the local city government to work better together.

According to City of Avondale CIO Jeff Scheetz, the TeamDynamix platform has transformed service delivery for the city, “We have much better communication now, and tickets are getting handled much faster. The TeamDynamix platform saves everyone a lot of time and helps us make sure that nothing gets lost in the shuffle.”

Using a Self-Service Portal to Facilitate Requests

Prior to implanting the new IT Service Desk platform (TeamDynamix), Scheetz said people would have to call or email the help desk with service requests. Now, rather than managing all the emails and ticket requests, they have the portal, as well as workflows and automations, to ensure everything is being handled quickly and efficiently. “The workflows ensure that the requests are handled efficiently and provide additional reporting capabilities,” he said. “Before, it was hard to prioritize tasks without a full view of what was going on.”

Now, government employees can submit IT service requests through a self-service portal, as well as find answers to common questions and problems within the growing knowledge base. When service requests are submitted, they are routed automatically to the appropriate team member for a response based on the nature of the issue. Team members are automatically notified when tasks that affect them are completed or require their involvement—and comprehensive dashboards give IT leaders full visibility into the status of all service requests.

2: Reducing Long Resolution Times and Lost Issues

Customers want their issues to be resolved quickly and accurately. But without proper communication tools, IT departments can struggle to meet service level commitments. In addition, it can be hard for IT leaders to gather data and have visibility around where there can be improvements and efficiency gains. A good way to see if you have an issue here is to track SLAs. You can do this using a technology package within your ITSM that allows you to flag tickets that are approaching deadlines to meet the SLA.

Next, following a formal ITIL framework will help expedite resolution times. Incident and request management ensures that you can keep track of the status, giving clear visibility into timelines and deliverables. Consequently, if any incident or request takes too long to resolve, the incident management solution will alert IT service staff right away.

3: Preventing Recurring Issues

Recurring issues are a common problem for IT service desk departments. These types of issues can take up a significant amount of time for IT staff, delaying progress on other initiatives. In many cases, users report the same kinds of incidents – for example, several employees might complain about losing access to the corporate database. If you are using only a basic ticketing system, you might find yourself replying with the same solution repeatedly. With a self-service portal and knowledge base, people can search for their issues and find their own solution without ever needing to submit a support ticket. You can also communicate with a broad group of people by combining tickets and even converting tickets to a project.

To build a proper knowledge base you can follow the principals of Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS®) and resolve issues faster while optimizing IT resources. By promoting self-service as the primary method for customers in need of IT support you can save time and money.

Taking These Lessons to the Enterprise: Enterprise Service Management

When other city departments at Avondale, Ariz., saw how the TeamDynamix platform helped improve the delivery of IT service, they realized they could streamline their own processes using this same type of approach, Scheetz, CIO, said. They are bringing on Human Resources, Facilities and Finance.

In addition to streamlining workflows and improving communication among city employees, Scheetz said the enterprise service management platform approach provides key insights that help leaders manage their departments more effectively, “We can see trends and patterns that help us deploy our limited resources in a more intelligent manner.”

For Scheetz, the system has added a tremendous amount of value to the city, “Everybody has a limited staff,” he said of municipal organizations. “Having a system like TeamDynamix makes a huge difference.”

To read more about the City of Avondale’s experience check out: Customer Spotlight – City of Avondale.

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