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Benefits of a Self-Service Help Desk

Benefits of a Self-Service Help Desk

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Published by TechExcel
Too often, service desks are plagued by the lack of a centralized, accessible knowledge base, requiring support agents to escalate calls, consult colleagues or struggle through complex key word searches to find answers - ultimately producing negative support metrics. Learn how a Self-Service Help Desk can help solve many of these problems.
Too often, service desks are plagued by the lack of a centralized, accessible knowledge base, requiring support agents to escalate calls, consult colleagues or struggle through complex key word searches to find answers - ultimately producing negative support metrics. Learn how a Self-Service Help Desk can help solve many of these problems.

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Published by: TechExcel on Aug 18, 2011
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ServiceWise Self-Service
White Paper
n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1Self-Service: A Necessity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1What About Knowledge? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
How Self-Service Affects Costs
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2Will Self-Service Drive More
to the
Desk? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3What cost savings are
realizing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
In Closing
. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Benets Revealed
How oering a self-service portal benets the Service Desk
1ServiceWise Self-Service
White Paper
IT organizaons connue to face ght budgets and headcountrestricons that threaten to reduce the quality of service. This istaking place while IT’s role is being expanded to be the singlepoint of contact for both IT and non-IT related issues. In addion,the credibility of the IT help desk is based on key metrics that areoen affected by lack of adequate resources. Metrics includefirst call resoluon, call handle me, escalaon rates and averageme in the queue. These metrics are used as gauges to determinethe end-user’s or customer’s level of sasfacon and the supportteam’s success.Too oen, service desks are plagued by the lack of a centralized,accessible knowledge base, requiring support agents to escalatecalls, consult colleagues or struggle through complex key wordsearches to find answers - ulmately producing negave supportmetrics. Today’s companies have discovered knowledge manage-ment as a soluon to improve the producvity and efficiency of thier service desk teams. But using the service desk soluonalone can be considered reaconary - your teams must wait forthe phone to ring or an e-mail to arrive before the end-user orcustomer can receive a resoluon to his or her problem. Thenext step in improving support - both quality and cost - is toprovide access to this support knowledge directly to the end-users or customers. This will enable them to proacvely answertheir own issues and easily escalate to a support team memberif necessary.
IntroductionSelf-Service: A Necessity
Self-service is important in many industries - from your localATM machine to online banking - people oen prefer to finda soluon or complete a task without assistance. Companiesare providing self-service opons on their corporate websites so customers can solve their own product and serviceissues. For many of the same reasons, IT service desks arediscovering Web self-service. Escalang employee expectaonshave resulted in increasing demands on the service desk. Plus,companies have more complex IT infrastructures than everbefore - complex networks, mulple integraons, a plethoraof applicaons running in global environments - creang moreopportunies for end-users to contact support. These newlevels of support drive hiring increases in the help desk,and come with escalang expense. Even if these highercosts were acceptable, they are not a long-term soluon.You can’t buy your way out of your IT support burden byincreasing your support staff.As support management knows, most queries are similarin nature and oen inefficiently sasfied. Does someonereally need a live person - the most expensive method of support - to explain how to reset a network password?Of course not. Nor does an employee want to wait in aqueue for 15 minutes to get an answer. Gartner esmatespassword reset costs range from $51 (best case) to $147(worst case) per incident for the labor alone. So, theinflecon point is providing this type of support via achannel that is most convenient for the end-user orcustomer - 24 x 7 web self-service.
 What About Knowledge?
It’s not enough to put the informaon on your intranetand ask your end-users to go find it. You need to makethe informaon mely, accurate, easy to find, and in theformat that most end-users want. To do this, you needto knowledge-enable your self-service portal. You mayor may not have already provided knowledge to yourteams in the service desk. Knowledge should be accessiblethrough dynamics FAQs that are updated with the mostrequested informaon, and a knowledge-base search.The knowledgebase should include a ranking system to ensurethat the most relevant informaon is easily accessible.Just imagine if there was a problem with your department’snetwork printer and everyone on your team called theIT service desk with the same issue. The support teammember would have to research and fin the soluon onceand then convey it to every caller that experienced theproblem throughout the day. Is that an efficient process?Use the self-service portal to post warnings and outagesto end-users. Overme this will reduce the call volumeassociated with duplicate issues. The win-win here is thatend-users are more producve and sasfied, you’ve reducedyour support expenses, and the knowledge-enabled self-service soluon remains a centralized point of contact. Themore a self-service tool is used the lower the transacon costto you.
2ServiceWise Self-Service
White Paper
How Self-Service Aects Costs
Let’s look at a hypothecal service desk to get a feel for the magnitude of the types of savings, which can be obtained via self-service calldeflecon to the web. We will need to make a few assumpons for example purposes:
First, let’s assume that due to the nature of our business we can only offset 10% of our monthly call and e-mail volumesto self-service.
Second, we need to assume that 10% of our end-users are willing and able to use our knowledge-enabled self-service portal.
Figure A
shows how our example service desk can recognize $74,000 in savings per month by diverng just 10% of its monthlycall and e-mail volume to online self-service.In
Figure B
we take a look at how incremental increases in our end-user base using self-service affects our support costs. In thisscenario a 15% call deflecon rate delivers even greater savings - nearly $120,000 per month.As you can see from the examples, the return on investment (ROI) from knowledge-enabled self-service can be significant. As weall know, every support situaon is different, and the amount of savings and percentage of calls that can be avoided will vary. Oenwe find that the cost of providing support, per call, is much higher than we esmate here. In fact, industry experts have reported thecost of a single technical support call to be as much as $45, making the potenal for savings even higher.Of course there is no free lunch...there are many other factors to consider such as the inial investment in self-service funconalityand knowledge-enabling your organizaon. It’s important to recognize that invesng in self-service will only lead to an increase incost reducon if it is given proper set-up and maintenance.
e Bottom Line

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