A new service architecture can predict additional solutions in order to prevent return visits.

As long as there has been IT there has been a Service Desk. It may have gone through many guises, from IT support, to HelpDesk and encompassed everything from revolving technical problems and requests to new equipment onto user training and advice.

But outside of the work environment, when everybody is simply a consumer, how often does an individual turn to this level of support?

Like all IT evolutions, Service Desks have been slowly going through a transformation from being reactive to proactive, introducing the latest in technology breakthroughs – such as virtual agents, backed by AI – with the aim to resolve a user’s issue with minimum interaction and in the shortest possible time.

The days of service level agreements (SLAs) where IT issues are resolved within hours, or sometimes days, are dwindling. A user, or a customer now has an expectation – even if that is a misplaced expectation- that they can contact the Service Desk, express their concern in the most minimum terms, “I can’t print” for example and expect that the IT support team can press a few magic buttons behind the scenes and voila, all is well.

This utopian view of IT Service, from the users point of view, may appear a bit tongue in cheek, but it’s underpinned by a shifting perception that IT is moving from being challenging and complex, to one where it is utilitarian. For a generation IT vendors of all guises have continued to reinforce ‘ease of use’ as a key selling point, even if they were extending the truth in the early days, but that message has now gotten across to the end user.

The end user is technically literature, up to a point, they can shop for their choice of electronic shops, they can message, connect with friends, listen to music and send their photos around the globe with ease. Rarely do they pay any attention to the technical complexity of what has to happen ‘behind the scenes’ in order to make all of this work. In the same way that fewer and fewer consumers consider the complex inner working of their car – they get in, they travel, and have an expectation of reliability, safety and comfort that would have been alien to consumers less than a couple of decades ago.

What this means is that modern day Service Desks need to streamline the processes from initial engagement to full resolution in the minimum number of steps. A user will contact a Service Desk now as a last resort, this means by the time they connect they are already at their technical wits end with whatever problem is preventing them from going about their personal or professional business.

A Service Desk has to initially respond within seconds, via live chat that is fulfilled by a human, or the most human of virtual agents. Conversation must take place in plain English, techno speak is a no, no and the user must not feel talked down to or made to feel technically inept in any way. Sounds easy, but incredibly complex to do, without the necessary toolsets and workflows.

Going back to the ‘I can’t print’ scenario, many issues such as this will be common themes and Service Desks, backed by AI, can now interrogate the former case load and determine patterns, meaning that if in the past a user who can’t print returns a few days later with a secondary issue, such as ‘I need to print to A3 as opposed to just A4’ the AI will offer up additional assistance in advance, preventing a return visit. The more the Service Desk ‘learns’ the better it becomes.

The world of Service Desks is evolving. Users having to wait and be number ‘5’ in the queue is no longer acceptable. Users expect fast, accurate and correct resolution, without the need for return visits.

A business that invests in this new Service Desk workflow and architecture will keep users positive, productive and working. Which is how IT was always supposed to be.

SCC provides extensive next generation service desk solutions through its new Service Now Practise.

Further Reading

SCC Service Desk

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