Time is valuable to individual employees. Their days are full of responsibilities, and nobody carves out time in their calendars to wait for IT support.Let’s attack that first point. What’s the benefit to self-service for employees? One way to explain the advantage is to look at the consumer world. When your iPhone breaks, the first thing you’re likely to try is a quick search for the problem. Try a Google search for “iPhone won’t turn on” or “iPhone won’t charge.” In each case, you’ll see a link to an Apple support article outlining the potential causes with troubleshooting steps. These self-service articles exist because it would not be efficient for Apple to deal with every support issue with potentially easy fixes, like these. There’s obvious value to FAQ / knowledge articles for Apple support, but the reason customers try this first is because there’s value to them. Why wait on a helpline or make an appointment at an Apple store when you might be able to solve the issue yourself in a fraction of the time? It’s the same idea for internal service within an organization. Time is valuable to individual employees. Their days are full of responsibilities, and nobody carves out time in their weekly calendars to wait for IT support. When you forget a password, or your laptop is running slowly right before a presentation, or a conference room speaker is out, you need an option other than “submit a ticket and get in line.” This is the employee advantage of the self-service portal. Now onto the second point. How do you create universal portal adoption throughout the organization? How do you engrain an employee habit to seek self-service and submit tickets through the self-service portal? This takes a bit of strategic planning, so here are three ways that might help:
One: Grassroots AwarenessThe employee service portal might be digital, as are many IT services that funnel through it, but internal promotion of the portal doesn’t need to be exclusively digital. Hang posters on the walls -- be it a single office, a massive campus, or a global organization -- put something out of the ordinary into people’s physical surroundings and make them take notice. It could be a simple message, branded with your company’s colors, listing the url or simple instructions on how to reach the new portal. Make sure it feels like you’re creating a shortcut for them, because you are. The message is that they’ll get answers faster, not that “we’re handling IT support differently.” If you’re the type of organization that leaves memos in mailboxes, put the launch date in a memo. Put messaging into conference rooms. Create some sort of “celebration” on launch day, even if it’s a few balloons around the office that make people wonder, “What’s with the balloons? Ohhh right, the employee service portal launches today.”
Two: All Roads Lead to Self-ServiceThis is where you can be a bit more forceful. Pick out the service vehicles you’d like to discourage in favor of the portal, and use them to drive your message. How do users normally submit tickets and requests? Common methods of the past include:
- Phone calls
- Shared spreadsheets
- Walk-up to the service desk
Three: Unify the Organization Through the IT Service DeskPortal adoption will start with a concerted effort from IT. If the team leading this initiative can’t get on the same page, how will the entire organization follow? Link to the portal on all forms of IT communication. Put it in email signatures or banners with your internal support team. Encourage leaders to mention it in meetings with employees. Ask for five minutes at the end of a sales or marketing meeting to show off this new tool to those teams. Hold training sessions that are promoted throughout the organization. Take every opportunity to highlight the advantages for all employees!
Employees just want their issues resolved faster. Effective self-service options can reduce the need for live-assistance by 36%. This isn’t going to stop tickets from coming through, but it’ll make sure they come from the same place, and YOU can collect the necessary information from employees if they can’t resolve through self service. The most difficult part of installing a successful employee service portal is creating buy-in from users throughout the organization. Again, the two keys are educating employees, and creating a rollout/promotion strategy that creates some excitement around the possibilities of self-service. If you can successfully achieve these two goals, you’re on your way to a successful portal. Your employees will thank you through improved CSAT scores, and your support staff will thank you for catching the repeat tickets and alleviating the pressure from incomplete tickets and requests on helplines, emails, and spreadsheets. Create a rockin’ employee service portal, complete with an effective service catalog with help from our white paper: Automating Business Processes with the Service Catalog.