Jan 28

Tools for Tech Support

In our annual research for the HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report, we ask about the tools and technologies support centers are using, and also how the technologies are being used. Since we ask consistent questions from year to year, we can see trends over time. One of the trends we currently see is the decreasing use of the telephone as the primary means of contacting support.
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<div>Although phone is still accounts for the largest percentage of tickets in the support center, that percentage is now 52%, according to our 2015 data, up slightly from 48% in 2014, but down from 57% in 2011, and 55% in both 2012 and 2013.</div>
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<div>A higher percentage of tickets is being generated through online forms (21%), and certainly through email (35%, up from 24% in 2011). </div>
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<div>Also worthy of note: A couple of years ago, we were not able to even include mobile apps as a channel because there was so little data; now in the organizations that offer an app as a support channel—though they represent only 5% of our respondents—21% of tickets are being generated through the app.</div>
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<div>In what is bound to be another shift, more than half of support centers in our survey said they are shopping for self-service (“Tier 0”) tools at the present time.</div>
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  <br /></div>
<div>Incident management tools are used in 91% of respondent support centers, and remote control <a href="https://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/technology/2016/01/tools-for-tech-support.aspx" target="_blank" id="rssmi_more"> ...read more</a> <p>Source:: <a href="https://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/technology/2016/01/tools-for-tech-support.aspx" target="_blank" title="Tools for Tech Support">HDI Blogs</a></p></div>

Jan 28

Tools for Tech Support

In our annual research for the HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report, we ask about the tools and technologies support centers are using, and also how the technologies are being used. Since we ask consistent questions from year to year, we can see trends over time. One of the trends we currently see is the decreasing use of the telephone as the primary means of contacting support.
<div>
  <br /></div>
<div>Although phone is still accounts for the largest percentage of tickets in the support center, that percentage is now 52%, according to our 2015 data, up slightly from 48% in 2014, but down from 57% in 2011, and 55% in both 2012 and 2013.</div>
<div>
  <br /></div>
<div>A higher percentage of tickets is being generated through online forms (21%), and certainly through email (35%, up from 24% in 2011). </div>
<div>
  <br /></div>
<div>Also worthy of note: A couple of years ago, we were not able to even include mobile apps as a channel because there was so little data; now in the organizations that offer an app as a support channel—though they represent only 5% of our respondents—21% of tickets are being generated through the app.</div>
<div>
  <br /></div>
<div>In what is bound to be another shift, more than half of support centers in our survey said they are shopping for self-service (“Tier 0”) tools at the present time.</div>
<div>
  <br /></div>
<div>Incident management tools are used in 91% of respondent support centers, and remote control <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/technology/2016/01/tools-for-tech-support.aspx" target="_blank" id="rssmi_more"> ...read more</a> <p>Source:: <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/technology/2016/01/tools-for-tech-support.aspx" target="_blank" title="Tools for Tech Support">HDI Blogs</a></p></div>

Jan 25

5 Self-Service Myths – Debunked

If you ever bought something from a website, asked for directions from your smartphone, scanned your own items at the local grocery store without using a regular cashier, or checked in at the airline using a kiosk and not via a desk agent, you’ve officially ‘self-served’, and used a ‘self-service technology’ (SST).
<div>      <br /></div>    <div>Generally, customers want, need, and expect some level of self-service to be available to them online – and the feeling that it's their choice as to whether they speak to a person or not. Some surveys claim nine out of 10 customers will always check a website first before emailing or calling for information or help.  </div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>So lucrative is the promise of lower costs, ‘self-service' is a top strategy for many service businesses. But the rush to offering self-service technologies comes with major obstacles and risks. Let's discuss some of the more common self-service myths, so you won't fall into any traps. </div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>      <strong>Myth #1: Customers Will Flock to Self-Service</strong>    </div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>Convenience, accessibility, ease of use, saving time, and the feeling of choice are some of the compelling reasons any of us might succumb to, and then prefer, a self-serve option. We might even flock.</div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>Fear of technology, looking incompetent in front of others, a desire for human interaction, a sense of “it's someone else's job, not mine”, not seeing any personal <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/servicemanagement/2016/01/5-self-service-myths-debunked.aspx" target="_blank" id="rssmi_more"> ...read more</a> <p>Source:: <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/servicemanagement/2016/01/5-self-service-myths-debunked.aspx" target="_blank" title="5 Self-Service Myths - Debunked">HDI Blogs</a></p></div>

Jan 25

5 Self-Service Myths – Debunked

If you ever bought something from a website, asked for directions from your smartphone, scanned your own items at the local grocery store without using a regular cashier, or checked in at the airline using a kiosk and not via a desk agent, you’ve officially ‘self-served’, and used a ‘self-service technology’ (SST).
<div>      <br /></div>    <div>Generally, customers want, need, and expect some level of self-service to be available to them online – and the feeling that it's their choice as to whether they speak to a person or not. Some surveys claim nine out of 10 customers will always check a website first before emailing or calling for information or help.  </div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>So lucrative is the promise of lower costs, ‘self-service' is a top strategy for many service businesses. But the rush to offering self-service technologies comes with major obstacles and risks. Let's discuss some of the more common self-service myths, so you won't fall into any traps. </div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>      <strong>Myth #1: Customers Will Flock to Self-Service</strong>    </div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>Convenience, accessibility, ease of use, saving time, and the feeling of choice are some of the compelling reasons any of us might succumb to, and then prefer, a self-serve option. We might even flock.</div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>Fear of technology, looking incompetent in front of others, a desire for human interaction, a sense of “it's someone else's job, not mine”, not seeing any personal <a href="https://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/servicemanagement/2016/01/5-self-service-myths-debunked.aspx" target="_blank" id="rssmi_more"> ...read more</a> <p>Source:: <a href="https://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/servicemanagement/2016/01/5-self-service-myths-debunked.aspx" target="_blank" title="5 Self-Service Myths - Debunked">HDI Blogs</a></p></div>

Jan 22

The Future Is Now

<div>In a 2012 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/supportoperations/2012/06/the-support-center-in-2017-and-beyond.aspx">post on HDIConnect</a> about the future of the support center, I wrote:</div>    <div>      <em>        <br /></em>    </div>    <div>      <em>Service desk analysts will be monitoring dashboards showing the behavior of networks, cloud-based infrastructure, and applications. They will be responding to alerts from tools that will show the status of storage, the availability of applications, and the state of the infrastructure. When there is an interruption in service—or the indication that one is about to happen—they will determine quickly whom they must contact and by what method, be it by phone, through a microblogging tool, or by live chat. That contact, as often as not, will be to the customer service team of the company that provides the service, making many support centers the liaison between an organization and its service providers. This requires a new and different set of skills for support center management and staff, who need to become focused on the business needs and initiatives of their larger organizations.</em>    </div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>Yesterday, HDI received a request for help from a support center manager who is trying to sort out differences between an internal service level agreement (SLA) and the SLA's from the cloud providers the manager's company is increasingly working with. The future, it would seem, has arrived.</div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>Next month, HDI's webinar will be “<a target="_blank" href="http://www.thinkhdi.com/topics/library/webinars/2016/alerts-monitoring.aspx">Fix It Before the Call: Best Practices in Alerts and Monitoring</a>.” Using state-of-the-art monitoring assists the support <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/supportoperations/2016/01/the-future-is-now.aspx" target="_blank" id="rssmi_more"> ...read more</a> <p>Source:: <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/supportoperations/2016/01/the-future-is-now.aspx" target="_blank" title="The Future Is Now">HDI Blogs</a></p></div>

Jan 20

Talk, Type, Touch, or Tweet – We’re Listening

Spoiler alert – the fact you are accessing and reading this article is known to an unknown number of entities. If it’s any comfort, the information about your visit to this website will never be read by a human. However, it sure is a candidate for scrubbing and scrutiny by a computerized reader!
<div>      <br /></div>    <div>Whether you are talking on your smart phone, typing on a tablet or computer and accessing the web, touching a room service button, or tweeting your latest opinion or experience – someone's listening.</div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>It's how the digital world we live in operates by default. A simple trade – some information about you, in this case your Internet address, and if you have logged into an account, then add to that your name and contact information, in exchange for an incentive, i.e. a reward.</div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>Don't click away; it's too late now.</div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>So what's in it for you to read further?  Well, an insight into how and why businesses collect and analyze big data, and the chance for you to incorporate some of their tactics into your own IT service delivery and support strategies.</div>    <div>      <strong>        <br /></strong>    </div>    <div>      <strong>From "The Baby" to "Digital Valet"</strong>    </div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>In the first 50 years of information technology <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/technology/2016/01/talk-type-touch-tweet-listening.aspx" target="_blank" id="rssmi_more"> ...read more</a> <p>Source:: <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/technology/2016/01/talk-type-touch-tweet-listening.aspx" target="_blank" title="Talk, Type, Touch, or Tweet - We're Listening">HDI Blogs</a></p></div>

Jan 20

Talk, Type, Touch, or Tweet – We’re Listening

Spoiler alert – the fact you are accessing and reading this article is known to an unknown number of entities. If it’s any comfort, the information about your visit to this website will never be read by a human. However, it sure is a candidate for scrubbing and scrutiny by a computerized reader!
<div>      <br /></div>    <div>Whether you are talking on your smart phone, typing on a tablet or computer and accessing the web, touching a room service button, or tweeting your latest opinion or experience – someone's listening.</div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>It's how the digital world we live in operates by default. A simple trade – some information about you, in this case your Internet address, and if you have logged into an account, then add to that your name and contact information, in exchange for an incentive, i.e. a reward.</div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>Don't click away; it's too late now.</div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>So what's in it for you to read further?  Well, an insight into how and why businesses collect and analyze big data, and the chance for you to incorporate some of their tactics into your own IT service delivery and support strategies.</div>    <div>      <strong>        <br /></strong>    </div>    <div>      <strong>From "The Baby" to "Digital Valet"</strong>    </div>    <div>      <br /></div>    <div>In the first 50 years of information technology <a href="https://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/technology/2016/01/talk-type-touch-tweet-listening.aspx" target="_blank" id="rssmi_more"> ...read more</a> <p>Source:: <a href="https://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/technology/2016/01/talk-type-touch-tweet-listening.aspx" target="_blank" title="Talk, Type, Touch, or Tweet - We're Listening">HDI Blogs</a></p></div>

Jan 18

Support Center: Incidents versus Requests

ticket types received by support centers - incidents and requests

In the HDI 2015 Support Center Practices & Salary Report, we show the breakdown of tickets (work orders) in several ways, one being the division between Incidents and Service Requests.
About half of the 803 respondent support organizations measure incidents and service requests separately, while just short of 24 percent do not. Another 27 percent distinguishes between them, but don’t have measurements for each. (This is somewhat of a puzzle. Why draw the distinction between them if you do not have metrics for each?)
Many people think that all the support center does is break/fix work, but the data shows otherwise.

  <br />A little over half of the work that comes into the support center is for incidents, while over two-fifths of the work is for requested services.
The good news is that support centers are increasingly aware of the importance of both distinguishing and measuring incidents and service requests. If we look back on previous years' research, we can see the increase in the percentage of support centers that measure incidents and requests separately:
<ul><li>2013 - 39%</li>
  <li>2014 - 43%</li>
  <li>2015 - 49.5% </li>
</ul><p align="left">This is good news for  support centers. It shows that they are adopting industry frameworks better, and that they are trying to better show their value to businesses. It is also good news for IT and other service providers, because improvements in the quality and stability of services can be better measured if incidents are measured separately.</p>
What about your organization? Do you measure incidents and requests separately? If not, why not?

…read more Source:: HDI Blogs

Jan 14

Is, or Was, Your Organization Ready for Self-Service?

curve showing effects opf using level zero solvable

You can’t escape the growing interest, and adoption levels, of self-service for corporate IT. And there are definitely self-service benefits to be reaped via a number of different self-service capabilities. But is your organization actually ready for self-service success?
Or, if you’re reading this after an unsuccessful self-service initiative, was your organization ready for its self-service launch? And instead of blaming the self-service technology for the low adoption levels, might it have been more to do with the corporate IT organization’s level of preparedness?

  <strong>Self-service technology is at best only part of the answer</strong> 
An organization might have spent a considerable amount of time, money, and thought selecting the right self-service technology. It might have also invested in ensuring that the self-service capability is something that end users would want to use. 
But end users still might not use it. Not because they don't want to use it. Not because it's difficult to use. But because they can't find the help they need, or because what they do find doesn't actually help them. It's the equivalent of buying a new car, teaching someone to drive (and the benefits of driving), but failing to fill the tank with fuel.
So self-service readiness is about more than the technology and the education of end users. It's also about ensuring that there is sufficient fuel, especially for self-help, to power the required end user journey. This is where the concept of level zero solvable (LZS) can help with self-service success.

  <strong>The need for the “level zero solvable” approach</strong> 
Sadly, a common mistake made <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/servicemanagement/2016/01/is-or-was-your-organization-ready-for-self-service.aspx" target="_blank" id="rssmi_more"> ...read more</a> 

Source:: HDI Blogs

Jan 05

New Hires: From Acceptance to How Can I Help You?

If you manage a Service Desk there is a good chance you will need to do some hiring, replacing, or backfilling of employees with new hires. When hiring a new employee, there are many different routes to getting them on calls. Some organizations have a 2 to 4 week training program, and some throw the new hire to the wolves and have a sink or swim approach. The best approach I have come across is the Phased Approach, and it has been successful for us.

  <strong>The Phased Approach</strong>

Don't try to train your new hires on everything at once. I'm sure you have lots of applications and tools they need to learn. To get them on the phones and feeling comfortable, start off with password resets or something very basic. The new employee will not only learn how to reset a password for your company, but will learn how to use your ticket tracking system, knowledge management system, and any other tool that is used in the process.<br /> <br /><strong>Practical Example: What We Do</strong>
In my organization we have our new analysts on the phone within 4 days as we follow the Phased Approach. Once we get our new hires setup technically, we train them on our easiest phone queue (password resets).  <br />
<ul><li>
    <strong>Day 1</strong> is spent setting up their PC, an introduction to the company and employees, online training, and reviewing policies and procedures, making sure they have access to the main applications and </li>
  <li>
    <strong>Day 2</strong> is spent learning our ITSM system. Our analysts <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/supportoperations/2016/01/new-hires-from-acceptance-to-how-can-i-help.aspx" target="_blank" id="rssmi_more"> ...read more</a> <p>Source:: <a href="http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/supportoperations/2016/01/new-hires-from-acceptance-to-how-can-i-help.aspx" target="_blank" title="New Hires: From Acceptance to How Can I Help You?">HDI Blogs</a></p></li></ul>

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