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Your service desk should also be an introvert

Atlassian, Culture, Jira, DevOps

Many times when organizations consider service desk options, they focus on external user impact and functionality. While external functionality is important, considerations for internal users should carry equal weight. By internal users, I don’t mean the agents answering inbound calls and working on tickets. I am referring to employees and contractors who run into issues or need general assistance.

Why is more consideration normally given to external users?

  1. Internal users have access to more resources.
  2. If we lose external users, we lose revenue/funding.
  3. Internal requests don’t need to be resolved as quickly.

Internal users have access to more resources

In most cases, internal users will have access to more information and resources than external users. Internal users normally have access to wikis, phone contacts and email lists that are unavailable to external users. Because of this, it is easy to fall into the trap that internal users should have an easier time resolving issues on their own. In theory, this is sound… in practice, it is not. Without a clear path to issue resolution, time will be wasted and internal users will become frustrated by the “glut of resources”.

Your service desk needs a way to bring these resources together in a more navigable form. Jira Service Desk brings together the wiki along with self-service ticket creation. Providing this functionality to your internal users will help them find the resources they need more quickly and with less frustration. This is a key reason an internal facing service desk is important.

If we lose external users, we lose revenue/funding

Once your product or service goes live, external users are the lifeblood of your organization. Whether it is revenue directly from these users (e.g. online retail customers) or budgets dependent on perceived value (e.g. government agencies providing public assistance), waning usage will hurt. This explicit revenue/funding loss is easier to see and point to when making service desk feature and purchasing justifications. A bad external customer service experience because of the wrong service desk can be a factor in external customer loss. Think of it as a head wound that can be pointed out to an EMT.

Oddly, what happens internally is more difficult to measure. While organizations should have full transparency into what is going on internally, this is often not the case. The cost incurred by internal resources not having an internal facing service desk to help them resolve issues and requests translates into lost time, which translates into lost revenue/funding. This will roll into increased time estimates, missed deadlines and unattained goals… as well as decreased support for those precious external users. If losing external users is a head wound, the suffering of internal users is a slowly bleeding internal injury. While it may not be obvious at first, if left untreated it spells doom. A good internal facing service desk will help your organization stay healthy.

Internal requests don’t need to be resolved as quickly

In the service desk world, SLAs are king. SLAs let external users know the protocol and response times that wrap their support request. Adherence to SLAs keeps external users happy, loyal and calm.

SLAs may not exist for internal users. Even if they do, they may not be enforced as rigorously as external SLAs. Where the external SLAs will keep external users, loosely enforced internal SLAs will lead to unhappy internal users. The need for this internal enforcement is another reason organizations need a service desk solution that treats internal customers with the same respect and consideration as external users.

In Conclusion

Service desk solutions are vital to both growing and mature organizations. Focusing only on how a solution helps with the outside world is a dangerous path to go down. Internal users are as important as external users when evaluating a service desk. A service desk that focuses as much on internal users as it does on external ones, such as Jira Service Desk, will help any organization stay healthy.

TAGS: Atlassian, Culture, Jira, DevOps

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