The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

How the world-leading research organisation shared the benefits of a Self-Service Portal

Key Facts and Figures

75% Self-Service uptake after 1 year

1900 members of staff

4.7/5 customer satisfaction

Improved Service Catalogue

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world-leading centre for research and postgraduate education in public and global health with 1900 members of staff. With team members doing valuable work all over the world, their self-service portal needs to be available 24/7: service desk employees can’t look over your shoulder when you’re submitting a request from the other side of the world.

The school needed a comprehensive Service Management tool to support their teams – their existing self-service portal use was extremely low, and there was no sharing of processes or workflows between departments, often leading to job duplication or confused end users. Consequently, they implemented TOPdesk SaaS in 2016. We had a chat about the implementation with Service Desk Manager Caroline Fernyhough, Knowledge and Information Manager Daniela Graf and Chief Information Officer Jon Faulkner.

I set an initial target of going from 4% to 30% usage for the Self-Service Portal, but after the first week it was 40% already.

From spreadsheets and sticky notes to self-service

Unfortunately, when the IT department first started using a Self-Service Portal in 2015, customers only used it for around 4 % of calls. And a lot of departments still used spreadsheets and sticky notes instead of going digital.

“It’s part of the legacy culture,” says Caroline, “and we needed a better tool to get the service desk out to the rest of the organization.”

“TOPdesk’s Self-Service Portal is really impressive. It provides everything we want and it’s more economical than other tools. And the company is very friendly and engaging, always looking for the best way to reach our goals.”

A future-focused implementation

LSHTM worked with TOPdesk consultancy for the implementation process. “We want other departments to join us in the future, so we’re taking their requirements into account,” says Jon, “we even talked to people who don’t think they’ll get on board anytime soon.”

“We also worked with the consultant to improve our processes and service catalogue,” Caroline adds. “Our previous catalogue was very technical. We worked with TOPdesk to design one using end-user focus groups, and which as a result is much more customer-focused.”

Let’s look at the numbers

Daniela and Caroline are both passionate about the tool, not least due to its immediate success: “I set an initial target of going from 4% to 30% usage for the portal, but by the end of the first week, it was 40%,” says Caroline, “I was ecstatic! And after six months, it was 62%. Every month I look at the statistics and I’m amazed.” A year on, and the figure’s reached 75%.

“It’s such a clean and beautiful interface that people were attracted by it and could easily find what they wanted. Working with our end users at each stage of development meant that it suited our culture perfectly.”

Her enthusiasm is shared by other operators. “It has really saved them a lot of time. They can get a response to the customers sooner and make the customers happier. Even the simple things, such as the forms within TOPdesk, speed up our helpdesk operations: items are immediately assigned to the relevant operator – all of which leads to a swifter resolution time for the end-user. We also recently added equipment loans: booking equipment went from being a lengthy, manual process to an easy self-service. Customers can see the conference phones available, make their own booking, and that’s everything done!”

Speed of service has improved, and customer satisfaction is going up too. “When we close a call, we send an email asking, ‘please rate your call.’ We’re now averaging 4.7 stars out of 5.”

The Self-Service Portal now processes 75% of calls for the departments that have adopted it.

Getting other departments on board

The self-service portal now processes 75% of calls for the departments that have adopted it.  So far IT, Estates and Facilities, Payroll, Catering, Registry and Communications teams are on board, with the Library due to go-live during March 2018. The next step is to get even more departments to join in.

“Estates and Facilities were early adopters,” says Daniela. “They used to do a lot of copying and pasting from emails. But with TOPdesk, the manager has freed up 50% of her time – enabling her to focus on preventative maintenance management. And the teams get monthly reports about call volumes. That takes a lot of guesswork out of the equation.”

Departments that use the reporting dashboard get more insight into how they spend their time and which tasks take a lot of effort. The reports enable managers to take a more targeted approach to allocating resources. According to Daniela, the success stories haven’t gone unnoticed: “Other departments are starting to see the benefits. Human Resources, Research Operations and Finance have already expressed their interest.”

For Jon, it’s simply about future-mindedness. “We’re moving our departments forward, as well as the wider organisation. The way our customers interact with the service desk is a key part of the school’s digital journey.”

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