Smart technology is all around us. It’s in our digital maps, suggesting alternate routes and predicting our arrival times. It’s in our fitness apps, tracking our distance, pace, and calories burned (or lack thereof). We may not always recognize the presence of automation, artificial intelligence, or integrated technologies, but they can have a huge impact on our lives.
The impact is not that the technology is unique, impressive, or cutting edge. The impact is that the technology is practical. It enables both convenience and the ability to measure success. In the past, you may have needed a stopwatch, a map, a calculator, and a spreadsheet to properly train for a marathon, and that data will contain some human error. Now, turn on your Apple Watch or Fitbit, start running, and that device will feed back everything you need to know to track and analyze your progress.
The goal of the service desk is to provide a similar experience, both for your service agents and your employees. Your service management platform should leverage similar technology to create one place that automates the experience for convenience, reacts intelligently to needs and goals, and helps you measure the impact of service delivery so you can improve. With the right service management platform, you can leverage this technology in the following ways.
Centralize Services with a One-Stop Shop Employee Service Portal
Employees often encounter a disjointed service experience when dealing with issues or requests that pertain to different departments. If an employee needs to contact the IT help desk for an IT issue, they call or email support. If they need to update their HR beneficiaries, they have to submit a request through HR. Have a need for facilities? That’s another form, email, or phone call to make.
To streamline the service experience, a modern service management strategy should incorporate an employee service portal. With this one-stop shop for any and every service request or issue, employees can submit requests for all of these departments in one place, through your service desk’s service portal. Not only is this beneficial to employees, who don’t have to worry about different channels for communication and different processes for service requests, but it also streamlines processes on the delivery end.
Some requests will touch multiple departments—think employee onboarding. The request might start with HR but also require some purchasing, licensing, and setup from IT and facilities. Pushing this request through the service catalog allows you to collect the data up front. Once you have the data you need, use predefined workflows so that each department can handle its tasks and approvals through one robust workflow engine.
Streamline Ticket Routing with Automations
What happens with those service requests and tickets once an employee does submit them, though? Historically, if an employee emails their requests to an individual or a support address, a support team member would follow up and/or manually route the incident to the correct technician.
If an employee calls a help desk line, they’re likely to waste valuable time waiting on hold, or they have to leave a message. They wait for a response to discuss the issue, and then a technician is assigned to the ticket based on that discussion. It can be incredibly inefficient and disruptive to an employee’s daily routine.
By implementing a service portal, employees can submit tickets that have the necessary data included upfront to make routing tickets a breeze. The portal is designed to collect every piece of data about the ticket on the front end: the requester’s name, the issue, a description, a category and subcategory, a site and department, etc. Based on that info, your service desk can be automated to route the ticket to the appropriate technician AND prioritize it according to those attributes. This way, a tech can immediately start working on the resolution.
Perhaps equally important, you’ll avoid any privacy breaches (a major concern in the age of data). HR requests land in HR queues. Purchasing requests land in finance queues. Incidents that contain the words “breach” or “outage” can be automatically escalated to minimize potential security risks.
Artificial Intelligence Helps You Collect Accurate Data from Requesters
Even with a robust service portal and service request forms, we can’t always expect employees to know the ways that the service desk categorizes tickets in every instance. Since automated routing and priority depends on this data, it’s crucial that we get it right. With the use of artificial intelligence powering items like suggested categories and subcategories, this smart technology will learn from your entire history of tickets, who submitted them, and the ways they’ve been categorized.
AI-powered smart suggestions can recommend these vital pieces of data to the requester with almost 100% accuracy, so you know that tickets are being routed correctly. If, for some reason, the automatically assigned technician still has some question about where the ticket belongs, he/she can comment on the ticket, which will automatically notify the requester.
Incorporating cutting-edge technology like machine learning and artificial intelligence into your service desk can drive greater productivity and data accuracy, which is vital to delivering services in the best way possible.
Save Time for IT Technicians with a Robust Knowledge Base
The benefits of AI in your service desk can be virtually limitless. In addition to suggesting categories and subcategories to employees in the service portal, the same powerful technology can apply on the back-end as well.
Rather than always having to type out the troubleshooting methods or instructions for each instance of a service request, you can build an entire knowledge base, and update it every time you see a new incident that could happen again. It’s not just a library to search—smart technology helps process usage data automatically to ensure you’re utilizing the most helpful articles.
In fact, AI-powered features can actually suggest the appropriate knowledge articles to both IT technicians and even to employees when they start to type their tickets in the portal.
Smart technology can redefine almost any experience if you use it right, and this is certainly true for the service desk. Though service management might look a little different in every organization, the goals are universal: connect employees to the services they need, streamline workflows and processes, and measure your success. Automation technology, artificial intelligence, and smart integrations, when used correctly, will help any organization achieve all of those goals.
Smart technology can redefine almost any experience if you use it right, and this is certainly true for the service desk.
Chris McManus is a senior content specialist at Samanage, where he works with customers to tell success stories in IT service management. Samanage’s cloud-based employee service management platform is smart, easy to use, and inspires companies ranging from startups to global market leaders to simplify complex tasks and automate services across their entire organization.