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How to transition from Email Ticketing to User Self Service

Posted by InvGate on July 17, 2015

Email Ticketing User Self Service Is Count Von Emailticketov draining the value from your Service Desk?
Drive him out with these 7 Simple Steps to User Self Service.

Are your end users addicted to email? Do they prefer to send you an email with their IT issues instead of reporting them via your Help Desk self-service portal?

If so, you are not alone, and it has to stop!

Don’t get me wrong, email is great for many things, but if it's the core method for your internal users to report issues and make service requests, you are putting your IT organization at a huge disadvantage.

Some businesses even purchase a Service Desk tool solely to help their technicians better manage internal issues reported via email. But again, they are missing out on a huge amount of value that a Service Desk can bring.

Why is Email Ticketing such a drag?

  1. You are double handling requests, sifting through a jam packed inbox, cherry picking issues and reassigning them. It´s time consuming and inefficient.
  2. You are not getting the information you need from the user to solve their problem. Instead you just have to hope their email includes enough background and details to deliver what they need.
  3. You are not getting maximum benefit from your knowledge base. Users will never see or utilise the wealth of useful information available to them to solve their problems.
  4. Users are not aware of the services you offer (and those you don't) resulting in a unmanageable mish-mash of requests that you need to figure out how to handle.
  5. Users do not have good visibility of the progress and history of their requests, leading to impatience, disappointment and dissatisfaction.

I know, it sounds like a depressing situation, especially so when management direction is to maintain the "status quo" and keep email as the central pillar in IT service support strategy.

But do not fear, we are here to help you drive a stake right through the heart of Count Von Emailticketov, and free you from his evil blood curse.

7 Steps to wean users off Email Ticketing, Convince Management and Supercharge your Service Desk!

Step 1 - Choose the right tool

Be sure you're packing a super intuitive end user portal, that is clearly laid out, presents the Service Catalog in a logical way and integrates the Knowledge Base so useful information is accessible at the time of ticket creation. This foundation is critical to engage users and build adoption over the long term.

Step 2 - Prepare solid content

Ensure the Self Service Portal is filled with well structured and comprehensive content. The three key things you need to do are...

  1. Give your Service Catalog a logical structure so people can find the services they are looking for without effort.
  2. Include knowledge base articles that target users' most common questions or issues. Try to just focus on those that generate most requests first, and expand with more content later.
  3. Name your services, custom fields and templates using ‘plain speak’ that end users will understand, eg. don’t assume users know the difference between hardware and software. Utilize notes or comments where needed as a guide.

Step 3 - Show them the money (and the tools too!)

Given all of the benefits outlined above, your organization has the potential to gain a huge benefit through this initiative. In fact, research from HDI shows that users auto-logging their requests will save you 27% in the cost of each resolved ticket alone [1].

So engage your stakeholders and discuss the benefits of the project. But don’t ONLY focus the discussion on ROI, go with your Service Desk POC (proof of concept) in one hand and your flooded inbox in the other. A visual presentation of the two systems side by side is a powerful tool to win people over.

Step 4 – Make a small trial

Make a trial of the system with a small number of the "right users". Identify a subset of users that are going to get the most benefit from this change, and add to those a few of the "thought leaders" in your organization. These are the people that will embrace new technology and are going be to vocal around the water cooler to convince the sceptics.

Also, think carefully before asking stakeholders from Step 3 to participate. These are early days, there may be teething problems, and senior management could be converted into your biggest sceptics as they rely heavily on email to get what they need fast.

Step 5 - Learn, improve, iterate.

Don’t assume you’re going to nail it on the first round. More than likely you will find gaps in your knowledge base, dodgy Service Catalog items or incomprehensible jargon in your custom fields. Record these issues as they arise, make changes quickly (HINT: be sure to choose a tool at Step 1 that makes that easy) and follow up with users to confirm your improvements. A trial of around 30 days is often enough to develop a solid proof of concept.

Step 6 - Get approval and then act.

Consult stakeholders, get buy-in, and then "Push the Button". Cut off email ticketing. Be sure to provide advanced warning of course, but don't open the door for people to make unnecessary noise and that could derail the project. Julie from accounts might think she cannot live without emailing you about her IT problems, but she will adapt as quickly as she did to being logged into Facebook all day, especially if you get steps 1-5 right. Objectively, this is the right choice both for IT and the End user, and the backlash is rarely as bad as you think, so be valiant and get it done.

Step 7 - Ride the wave

During transition work hard to show the project's true value. Continue to fine tune and attack teething problems quickly. Be prepared for an additional temporary workload and make sure staff are ready to accommodate. If you deliver on the promise of a better organized, faster and more efficient service for end users, you won’t ever look back.

Wrapping it Up

It wasn’t as hard as it seemed, right?

Forget about a tangled inbox of a million email chains, unfulfilled requests and upset users, and enjoy your new, more effective, helpful and better organized IT support organisation.

Choosing the right tool is your first step.

Ready to see a preview of this brave new world? Check out this special example we’ve prepared just for you.

 

Topics: email ticketing, end user portal, help desk, IT Management, IT management, service desk, Service Desk Software, user self service

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