of tickets logged via the Self-Service Portal
Taking the Plunge: Delivering Services without Email
For many service delivery providers, switching off email is something they strive to do but rarely succeed with. From the outset of their TOPdesk implementation, East Kent Colleges Group (EKC Group) decided to take the plunge and offer their users a comprehensive, easy-to-use self-service offering instead of email.
We spoke to Martin Batchelor, IT Service Desk Manager, about the positive impact EKC Group has experienced with a self-service portal where everything is just three clicks away.
Workplace experience has greatly improved. There’s more communication within the team, engineers can better manage their workloads, and a growth in knowledge and understanding has taken place.
Removing the path of least resistance
Communicating and assisting users via email can be time consuming. By the time the service desk has established the problem or query, there’s a long, ongoing email thread with information scattered. Feeling this pain of inefficient and unhelpful service delivery via email, EKC Group decided enough was enough.
“We decided to remove the path of least resistance,” says Martin, meaning the ability for users to directly contact operators either face-to-face, via telephone or email. “We needed to find a way that gave us a fighting chance of resolving issues straight away. So, we turned to the self-service portal (SSP) to guide users with both knowledge articles and purpose-built forms. There is now a strict policy that if a ticket is not logged in TOPdesk, it does not come to the service desk.”
Improving efficiency through positivity
However, while EKC Group have taken away an option from their users (email), they’ve communicated it as a positive change: “We didn’t highlight turning off email, instead we approached it as moving to a new process. Saying that you’re removing something has negative connotations and that’s what people fixate on, whereas if you focus on the positives more people will recognise the benefits.”
Rather than migrating the entire group in one go, Martin and his team took a phased approach and ensured that the lines of communication were open throughout. Their efficiency in rolling out this new way of working has had a knock-on effect for the entire Group’s efficiency.
The service desk now has an average response time of three minutes, meaning that they can guarantee end-users that the SSP is, in fact, the quickest way to get help. Additionally, major incident functionality has enabled EKC Group to have a better overview of issues that may be affecting more than one user.
A two-way effect on user experience
The impact of this new way of working has touched both the service desk engineers and end-users. “Workplace experience has greatly improved. There’s more communication within the team, engineers can better manage their workloads, and a growth in knowledge and understanding has taken place.”
Staff now have a holistic overview of what’s being asked of the service desk and thanks to the SSP’s knowledge base, don’t have as many tickets to manage as they once did. Not only has this greatly improved the service desk’s user experience but also that of their end-users. Ultimately, EKC Group have shown that they can still provide options without email.
“The end-user now has information at their fingertips which is regularly updated. But they get the best of both worlds, as if they can’t solve the problem themselves then they are welcome to log a ticket and get help.”