In this “era of the customer,” people are more digitally savvy and purposeful than ever in the decisions they make.
That goes from the brands they support to the products they buy to the apps and technologies they use on a daily basis.
We want what we want, when we want it, and how we want it. We want our experiences to be seamless and transparent. And, according to CMO.com, we expect the companies we interact with to be “customer-centric” – focusing on our needs and expectations at every point in the customer journey.
With this savviness and increased level of expectation comes a willingness to experiment and try new products and services if our wants and needs aren’t being met.
In recent years, this has notably impacted the cable TV industry thanks to the rise of streaming TV packages that offer much of the same content as cable offers, but at a variety of price points and with more flexibility and control for subscribers. And the trend isn’t slowing down, with pay-TV providers experiencing their worst subscriber losses ever in 2017.
Similarly, this expectation has begun to translate to the workplace as well. Employees are consumers too, so we’re accustomed to service experiences that value our input, provide transparent communication, and make our lives better. However, more often than not your IT team may not have the best practices in place or even the technology to ensure that the internal service experience meets these expectations.
So, as the employee mindset continues to shift into that of a consumer, how can companies keep up? Let’s take a look at a few consumer brands that provide some of these essential services and how those can translate to your IT service desk.
Transparency and Satisfaction
Lyft’s Simple-to-Use App Offers Driver and Ride Transparency
When you need to catch a ride from point A to point B, you’ve got options. Taxis, friends, public transit. But why are consumers flocking to ride-sharing services like Lyft?
When you open the app and identify your pickup spot, you can choose what size ride you need, view a map that displays the locations of nearby drivers, and see the estimated wait time for a car to arrive to your pickup location. Select your destination, and you’ll see the estimated fare for your route up front. Request your ride, a driver accepts, and then you see what type of vehicle they’re in along with the license plate number, what their rating is (out of 5 stars), and their ETA. You can keep track of their progress on the map within the app. With one click, you can tap to call your driver if something comes up.
Once your ride’s a wrap, with a simple tap of the finger you can rate from one-to-five stars how satisfied you were with your ride and your driver.
ITSM Service Portal Provides One-Stop Shop with Ticket Resolution Transparency
With an employee service portal, you can provide everyone within your organization a one-stop shop for all available services. Much like Lyft provides a simple way to request a ride, the service portal makes it easy for employees to request exactly what they need to get their work done using the service catalog, whether it’s a new laptop, a software license, or an update to their benefits — or they can find solutions themselves with a robust knowledge base.
The service portal also facilitates better communication, from start to finish. IT team members get the information they need up front to better fulfill service requests thanks to customized request forms. Smart technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning can suggest categories for incidents based on historical data to ensure accurate data.
And, much like the ability to track the progress of your Lyft driver headed your way, the service portal lets employees keep track of the status of their requests and provides them with clear SLAs (ETAs) so they know when to expect a response and a resolution.
Riders can rate drivers based on their ride experience with a simple 5-star rating system, and with a modern service desk you can have employees rate their service experience with a simple thumbs up or thumbs down Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) rating.
Excellent Customer and Employee Service
Zappos is an Industry-Leader in Customer Service
I mentioned that we’re in the era of the consumer. That means companies are realizing the need to provide their customers with more than just a good product or a cheap service. Zappos is a leader when it comes to providing its customers with high-quality customer service. Order the wrong size? No problem, here’s a free return shipping label — no questions asked. Need to update your email address? Simply log into your account and make the change yourself.
With customer service literally front and center on its site, Zappos makes it incredibly easy for customers to get the answers and support they need at any point in the purchase process. Live chat functionality, an incredibly robust FAQs section, easy-to-locate contact information, shipping/returns information, and a feedback form are all available 24/7. So no matter what day or time you’re trying to buy or return those new shoes, you’re covered.
And, when you’ve selected the item you want to purchase, you can select multiple shipment options with estimated arrival dates so you know when to expect your items to arrive.
ITSM Provides a Consumer-Like Employee Service Experience
Much like Lyft, many of these best practices can be applied with the creation of a service portal. But specifically in this case, the knowledge base I briefly mentioned above comes into play.
A robust knowledge base can offer an incredible amount of value to both your technicians and your employees. As your IT support staff continuously documents solutions and troubleshooting methods for incidents they’re resolving, the knowledge base offers a way to store these documentations. When new incidents are submitted, technicians can quickly and easily find previously used solutions. Best of all, as you build up historical data, AI and machine learning can recommend suggested solutions articles that are most relevant to the issue at-hand.
With an employee-facing knowledge base, you can provide that 24/7 service availability to employees by empowering them with DIY resolutions at anytime, from anywhere. If the solution they need isn’t yet available in the knowledge base, your ITSM solution can enable them to submit requests via the service portal or email (with email requests automatically feeding into the portal).
Just like a consumer wants to know when their Lyft driver will arrive or when their Zappos shipment will be delivered, employees want to know when they can expect services to be fulfilled. Service Level Management allows you to set those rules that fulfill your commitment to employees so they receive the resources they need within an acceptable and clearly communicated time frame.
IT doesn’t have to look within itself to find the best practices for a better employee experience, these practices are all around us in the consumer world.