Your IT service desk and the end user experience

Resolution times are a standard way to measure the performance of your IT service desk, but what about the end user experience? This measurement goes beyond time bound targets for your IT service desk provider, such as response and resolution times, and instead measures the quality of your service desk.

Happiness + productivity = a quality end user experience

Why bother if SLA targets are being met? End user experience is really important. If end users have a good experience, they’ll get more value from the service desk and more value from the technology you provide. This metric is about ‘happiness’ and productivity, it asks ‘did the user get the resolution they wanted, and did this have a positive impact on their productivity?’

Service desk ticket resolution times vs. quality resolutions

Not all ticket resolutions are the same! While users want a speedy resolution they also want the best resolution for the issue they have. Focusing purely on time can, in some cases, result in users not getting a satisfactory resolution and this might affect productivity. When service desk analysts factor in the end user’s happiness, you get much better outcomes.

What makes end users happy?

Below are some of the things that our customers report back when rating our IT service desk:

  • Being listened to: perhaps the most important thing a service desk analyst can do is listen to the end user. Service desk analysts who listen get a much better idea of what the issue is, how it might have come about, what the user may have done to resolve it, how important a resolution is to them, and what impact it’s having on their productivity (and the business overall). The analyst then has all the information needed to prioritise the ticket and offer the right resolution that has the best outcome for the user.
  • Expectation management: most people understand that the service desk team has to prioritise tickets and that some issues take time to fix. However, they do want a realistic idea of when they can expect a resolution. Sometimes service desk analysts need to explain why a resolution will take a certain amount of time, and also why a ticket is a lower priority than others. By managing expectations in this way, users are happier with the service they receive.
  • Good communications: users also want to be kept informed about progress. Updates can be delivered in a number of ways, such as a portal that allows them to track the progress of their ticket. With regular updates the service desk team can provide reassurance that the issue is being addressed in the timeframe agreed.
  • The right resolution: end users are generally happy to wait longer for a ticket resolution if that resolution is better in the long run. This balances ticket resolution times against productivity. A quick resolution would seemingly result in the minimal amount of lost productivity, but if the resolution isn’t aligned with their specific needs they may not be able to return to maximum productivity.

KPIs like ticket resolution times are still a useful way to measure your service desk’s performance, but end user experience should also be part of how you measure its value.

One important point to consider is that when end users are not happy with the service desk, they will often try to avoid using it. This can mean trying to resolve the issue themselves, finding shortcuts (that might not be secure), or simply being less productive as they work around the IT problem.

How do your end users rate your service desk? If they’re not fans it might be time to change the focus of your end user support to an user-centric approach, or find a new provider who already puts end-users first.

Download our free checklist to benchmark your IT service desk and find out how well it performs against industry standards:

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