3 tips to improve your service desk customer experience

Service desks must improve customer experience to remain relevant to the business

Service desks must improve customer experience to remain relevant to the business

Service desks must deliver a positive customer experience otherwise customers will find help elsewhere. Learn about the legacy which stops service desks improving customer experience and how to start afresh.

Metrics and incentives
Many service desks pay lip service to the customer experience.  You can tell your staff about the importance of customers, but if the targets you enforce are all efficiency-based, this is what your staff will prioritise.  

If you target staff to close calls in a certain timeframe, you are encouraging speed, not quality.  Yes, all service desks must be mindful of their response times, but the key to improving customer service is making sure measures such as customer satisfaction and NetPromotor are given equal billing alongside efficiency metrics.

Try this simple exercise: look at the numbers you target service desk staff against and categorise them either as “efficiency” or “service”.  If the former heavily outweighs the latter, you will find quality and therefore the customer experience is always secondary.    

Improve system speed
How many times have you dialled a contact centre to be greeted with these dreaded words: “I’m just waiting for the system to load”.  Slow, antiquated service desk software is a major barrier to the helpdesk customer experience.  Not only does it frustrate the customer by wasting their time, it also breaks the flow of the conversation, making it harder for your analysts to build rapport. 

Ask your service desk teams if they ever encounter the “slow system” problem and to estimate how much time they waste on each call waiting.  It might only be 10 seconds, but multiply that number by 100s of calls to understand the amount of time you are wasting, and how bad the customer experience must be.

This is why we’ve worked so hard to made Richmond ServiceDesk so fast and feature-packed compared to other service desk software solutions.  Slow systems cripple productivity and ruin the customer experience.  

Stop and listen
Service desk, thanks to methodologies such as ITIL, have been taught to structure support calls. This means logging all the necessary customer and asset details and prioritising accurate record keeping.  The problem is that in their eagerness to follow these processes, service desks often make the process far too long for customers.  This is frustrating if the customer has a simple question that can be answered in a sentence or two. 

Make sure your service desk staff start every call by asking a question and LISTEN to see if they can resolve the issue swiftly.  Customers are happy to run through a few formalities if they already know the problem has been solved. 

To better understand customer experience, you must think like a customer. What is the experience at each stage in the process? Thinking more broadly, consider the customer journey (this article from Instrktiv offers a solid overview of how to understand and improve the customer journey.) Once you have this intelligence, you can reverse engineer the solution. The problem is that most service desk built their processes to satisfy the support process, not the customer experience. Reversing this culture takes time, but it’s a vital piece of work to ensure the service desk continues to deliver value to the business.