Best practices for running an effective service desk

When a service desk is efficient and proactive, the positive impact is felt across an organisation. No longer is the service desk reactive, or only seen as cost centre, it can make an entire organisation more efficient when the right strategy is put behind the service desk.

An effective service desk can proactively prevent downtime. Find new ways for employees to manage their workloads. Look for ways a company can save money, and even increase profitability through service delivery improvements.

If that sounds like the service desk of your dreams, then here are best practice methods you can use to improve your organisation’s IT service desk.

Download our guide, How to drive IT Service Desk efficiencies, here to get more advice and support >

Service desk improvements – where to get started

1: Define what winning looks like 

  • Does your service desk have and meet targets?
  • Are your staff satisfied with the service they receive?
  • Do they hit minimum SLA or KPI metrics?

If you aren’t sure, or don’t know the answer to those or similar questions, then it’s time to redefine your service desk and what success looks like. Unless you measure outputs, it is impossible to know how to make improvements and what the service desk – whether internal our outsourced – should aim for.

Ideally, at a minimum, a service desk should adhere to an SLA and customer satisfaction scores. Your staff and stakeholders need to know the minimum turnaround times they should expect when a system goes down or an incident happens. Beyond that, look for ways the service desk can make a positive, proactive contribution to team activity and targets.

2: Map out a plan 

Take a view towards where you want your whole organisation to be in the next 1 to 5 years.

  • How can technology help you achieve those goals?
  • What technology is holding you back?

For many organisations, legacy and on-premises technology is slowing them down. Older systems are more expensive to maintain and when your company is responsible for hardware too, that increases upkeep and security costs. It also represents a much higher risk factor than more secure cloud-based technology.

Look at where you are and the target destination. Then work with your service desk and IT teams to map the journey. It might also be worth working with a trusted external IT partner to look at the most effective solutions for your goals.

3: Take incremental steps 

Until you start making changes, it is difficult to know how effective new technology rollouts are going to be with your team. New software and systems often require new processes. Which means your staff need to be trained. All of this should be factored into any service desk implantation plans.

It is also one of the most effective ways to successfully implement new technology and processes. One of the main reasons digital transformation projects fail is a company attempts to do too much in a hurry. Instead, take a steadier pace and make sure staff and stakeholders are fully bought-in to new ways of working before making further changes.

4: User experience 

The most successful service desks put the user first.

When your user community contacts the service desk they should feel like a customer, not a problem. One of the advantages of outsourcing to a trusted IT partner is your team are always put at the heart of the solution. IT specialists take care and attention to solving problems and helping staff to overcome challenges.

5: Automate processes 

With the right systems in place, an effective service desk can handle a large volume of calls and tickets, whilst also managing long-term projects. Users are keen to try and solve their own problems, so make sure there are systems in place to ensure they can find answers to questions and even implement simple solutions themselves.

An IT service desk can play a valuable role in your organisation. It can empower your team and find solutions that make it easier for your team to work more efficiently, cutting costs and workloads for everyone, which should have a positive impact on the business overall.

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