Service Desk Management T-K Use Case
4 min read
Key Challenges in Services Desk Management
With growing reliance on technology in their daily lives, Service Desk customers – whether they be internal employees or external clients – expect support services for their technical issues to be straightforward, efficient, and swiftly available. On the other side of the table, Service Desks professionals are navigating are fighting the fast-changing currents of today’s trends on top of long-standing pain points to deliver quality service with resources available. Here are key challenges facing Service Desk providers today:
Ineffective, time-consuming reports: A study by the Service Desk Institute identifies reporting as a key pain area for Service Desk managers. Existing pipelines may be manual and time-consuming, requiring managers to repeatedly collate data from various disparate, imperfect systems. The resulting reports are often a maze of tables, charts, and dashboards that obfuscate the relevant insights. What is going on in the operation? What are the problem areas and what should be done to address them? Traditional BI reports are unable to identify where under-capacity and inefficiencies occur.
Too many siloed solutions for IT requirements: As Service Desk are asked to provide a growing variety of solutions and communication channels for their customers, these diverse demands are met with separate IT systems that become difficult to manage. Tickets, calls, emails, and chats may be handled via separate systems. Customer satisfaction may be tracked by another. Workforce management tasks such as shift scheduling may exist in yet another environment entirely. Like the patchwork of numbers and figures that do not form a coherent report, these isolated systems do not ‘talk’ to each other and tell a narrative of the current state of a Service Desk.
Everybody says automation is the key to the future, but how? Digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are some of the biggest buzzwords from the past few years, and they remain the definite most popular ITSM topics in 2021. What is less clear, however, is how exactly Service Desk providers can adopt automation and self-service solutions into their existing operations to expedite their workflow and improve the customer service experience amidst growing demands and pressures to contain costs. Previous costly investments in such solutions may have delivered subpar results that do not live up to expectations.
Pressure to reduce costs amidst relentless demands: And lastly, the fundamental, ever-present problem of delivering quality service, meeting SLA benchmarks, and keeping all parties involved in the operation satisfied while containing costs. While forward planning and initiatives to implement new processes are crucial for the future, more than half of Service Desk professionals surveyed reported firefighting their heavy workloads to be their top day-to-day priority. Between large backlogs and costly SLA penalties, some of the most pressing fires facing an operation require immediate action.
T-K Solution – an Intelligence Engine
Service Desk-related data sources are often disparate and imperfect. Examples may include complex ticketing and workflow management systems, or technician names that do not stay consistent across platforms.
T-K by CKM Analytix integrates with existing data streams and harnesses what’s available to provide actionable insights towards reducing operational costs, improving service quality, increasing desk efficiency, and fostering employee and customer satisfaction.
Figure 1. T-K’s Modules
“For the first time in my career, we were able to concretely pinpoint root causes of our problems, say this is what we’re going to do to fix them, and know for certain whether we are seeing results. Things are just embarrassingly obvious when you have the data” – Service Desk Manager
- Capacity Management monitors service levels, work demand, and desk capacity to identify mismatched staffing
- Category Metrics reveals areas ripe for digital transformation
- Process Mining increases transparency and uncovers inefficient operations
- Repetitive Work identifies opportunities to eliminate and automate unnecessary work
The Effort Model, a set of proprietary CKM algorithms, sifts through these murky data sources to identify who has done what, and when. By quantifying human effort estimates, we enable our clients to make decisions that are uniquely driven by their own operational data.
The Capacity Management builds on top of the Effort Model by monitoring incoming demand relative to agent availability, enabling workforce optimization across the desk or within specific workgroups by finding areas of over- and understaffing. Key performance metrics are monitored alongside demand and capacity, showing the effect of mismatched staffing on desk performance. When does, say, peak call abandonment occur? How can agents be rescheduled to address this issue?
Category Metrics tracks activity across various categories of work and identifies opportunities for automation and self-service solutions. Categories may be based on raw data or categorized based on work notes, descriptions, comments, or other free-text fields. What are the most demanding types of work? What areas would benefit most from digital transformation efforts? For instance, Password Resets tasks may be a ripe candidate for automated solutions, yet still take 5% of the desk’s full-time resources to address per week.
Through interactive maps of processes and efficiency analysis, Process Mining points to process bottlenecks and inefficient rework. Are incidents taking more back-and-forth than necessary to resolve? Why? Where is the effort being wasted?
The operation can be more efficient at tackling work, but not all work is truly necessary to begin with. Repetitive Work identifies opportunities to eliminate unnecessary work. A leaner operation may mean reduced staffing needs for a workgroup, allowing resources to be reallocated to address issues in other parts of the operation while maintaining service quality.
Conclusion – Tracking Progress in T-K Real Time
Each T-K module tells a story that comes together into an overarching narrative of the current state of a Service Desk operation, and how to address key challenges going forward. With an approach driven by past and current real-time data, T-K produces efficiency gain and reduces operational costs with proven, demonstrated results.