IT Service Desk

By Christoph Goldenstern, Kepner-Tregoe

 

In IT Service Management (ITSM), when users call the service desk for help, they expect their issues will be resolved completely, correctly and immediately. Nothing is more frustrating than hearing, “We’ll have someone call you back…”, except, perhaps, calling again (and waiting in the queue), because the issue wasn’t solved the first time. Both situations are not only aggravating for your users, but also costly for your service-desk operations. Enabling your service desk agents to resolve issues more effectively and consistently at the frontline will not only improve the customer experience, but also will reduce costly escalations. 

Service-desk agents don’t necessarily need significant amounts of technical expertise or understand complex IT infrastructures to be effective supporting your users. They need to know what information to look for and how to diagnose the situation at the outset so that the “knowledge tools” available to them can be used effectively. Kepner-Tregoe has developed a workshop called KT Frontline that is designed to provide your service-desk agents with the foundational skills to respond to user issues and requests quickly and effectively, providing a more consistent support experience to your users, and saving your organization money.

KT Frontline is a 1-day workshop specifically designed for service-desk agents and frontline support. It is light on theory and instead uses gamification and team-based experiential learning to develop practical skills that can be applied immediately. Your frontline team will learn to:

Understand the issue during the first contact

If the service-desk agent can identify and describe the actual issue during the first contact, then he or she will be more likely to solve the problem immediately or route the issue to the correct subject-matter expert. Poor diagnosis is one of the leading causes of support requests being handed-off multiple times among support teams – wasting resources and causing increased delays for users.  

Ask the right questions

IT issues are rarely as simple as they seem. Technical dependencies, complex business processes and variations in the behavior of users can make it difficult to separate unrelated symptoms (red herrings) from actual issues. The KT Frontline workshop will help your service-desk staff learn how to ask the right questions to capture the information they need to diagnose and troubleshoot issues accurately.  

Separate and clarify

It is easy to think the user’s problem has been solved without realizing the problem was misidentified and the agent is solving the wrong problem. The contact has endedand the ticket marked “resolved;” however, the user calls again and is agitated that the issue request must be re-opened. Your service-desk staff must know how to recognize multiple issues and separate them to ensure each is resolved thoroughly.  

Recognize impact from unnecessary actions

Effectively resolving user issues requires that service-desk agents understand the consequences and implications of their actions and recommendations. With KT’s simulation-based learning, they will know how to review the outcomes of different actions and choices and identify what actions yield the desired outcomes.

Find cause

Most service-desk staffs are taught their role is incident-and-request management (only) and that problem management is another person’s job. The user doesn’t care about this artificial separation - they want their issues solved. The KT Frontline workshop teaches your employees how to analyze possible causes meaningfully within the context of the service desk role.

Your service-desk staff is the face of your IT organization to your employees and other users. KT can help you give them the tools and skills they need to do their jobs more effectively – improving user experience and helping you control operational costs. To learn more, visit www.kepner-tregoe.com.

 

Read more Kepner-Tregoe Articles about Service Desk

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5 Facts about problem solving that will improve your service desk

 

About Kepner-Tregoe

Kepner-Tregoe has empowered thousands of companies to solve millions of problems. KT provides a data-driven, consistent, scalable approach to clients in Operations, Manufacturing, IT Service Management, Technical Support, and Learning & Development. We empower you to solve problems. KT provides a unique combination of skill development and consulting services, designed specifically to reveal the root cause of problems and permanently address organizational challenges. Our approach to problem solving will deliver measurable results to any company looking to improve quality and effectiveness while reducing overall costs.