ITSM

Live Chat: How It’s Boosting Employee Engagement Inside the Service Desk

Live Chat: How It’s Boosting Employee Engagement Inside the Service Desk

When it comes to internal support, sometimes employees just need a way to reach out to your team, and responding with “do you mind submitting a ticket?” leads to submitting a ticket pretty much every time someone has an issue—even in circumstances where it may not be all that necessary.

As an IT pro, it’s nice to have detailed information in a ticket, but if you’re inundated with tickets, you can keep dreaming about improving those slow first response time metrics.

The good news is IT service management is getting smarter, and one way is through the adoption of live chat for internal support. Here’s how chat is changing IT service management for the better and how you can benefit.

A Direct Communication Channel for Instant Interaction

Instead of having employees submit a ticket and waiting hours or days for a response, chat offers the opportunity for real-time communication ahead of a ticket submission. When it comes to requesting information quickly, leveraging chat within your employee service portal not only provides instant interaction with an agent, but also captures critical details and comments that may not be provided when emailing in a ticket or submitting a request using a service request form.

This opens the door for both service desk agents on your team and employees (requesters) to improve productivity by providing a more convenient alternative to forms or email submissions. Any back-and-forth communication needed to capture the full details of the request or issue happen instantly.

Increased Emphasis on the Employee Experience

One of the main benefits of chat is the impact it can have on the employee service experience and employee satisfaction with IT. Studies have shown that customer satisfaction rates with chat have risen to over 83% in recent years, and is proving to be a more scalable medium than email or phone support for many organizations.

When it comes to improving the employee service experience, service portal adoption plays a crucial role as well. According to Microsoft, 75% of global respondents have used a search engine to find answers to service-related questions before calling an agent, and 74% have used a self-service support portal. The IT service desk can provide a similar experience in the workplace.

By offering a fully integrated chat solution for requesters within the service portal, you can help promote portal adoption. Employees can begin their search for answers through the resources available, but also have the security and support of an agent available for real-time chat.

Controlling Unnecessary and  Necessary Tickets

Because we don’t live in a perfect world, sometimes questions or issues come through the ticket queue that could have easily been resolved with a quick conversation. On the flipside, there may be times where what starts out as a simple request over chat needs more time and attention.

By implementing chat within your employee-facing service portal, you can help to bridge this gap. Chat can serve as a great first stop for employees asking for help, and hopefully their issue can be resolved within a few minutes of initiating the conversation. Chat also can benefit service desk agents by eliminating the need to duplicate effort if an incident needs to be created as the result of the chat conversation. Through SolarWinds Service Desk, chat logs can automatically be saved and converted to incidents at any point, giving agents the convenience of creating an incident at the touch of a button, already prefilled with data they need.

Improved Productivity for IT and Employees

Implementing chat as another channel for delivering employee services can have a positive impact on productivity, including:

  • Agents can field numerous questions at one time, ensuring a timely response
  • Conversation threads can automatically be converted to incidents at any time, saving time for service desk agents
  • Chat can alert service desk agents when help is needed, helping to improve first-touch-resolution and time-to-resolution metrics

Chances are, employees are already using chat to communicate with you in one way or another, so why not leverage it to its fullest extent? According to a recent SolarWinds survey of IT professionals*, over 60% of IT professionals already use some method of chat for internal services, from the casual direct message on Slack to a true live chat portal.

While chat provides convenience for employees internally, it’s really only as valuable as its ability to seamlessly integrate it into your IT service management solution.

For more ideas on how to achieve true employee engagement throughout your organization, check out our white paper The Power of the Portal to see even more use cases made possible as a result of implementing a modern service portal.

*ITSM Survey on THWACK.com of global SolarWinds customer base in September 2019; 215 total responses.


Tim Lawes serves as Manager of Solutions Engineering, ITSM at SolarWinds. ITIL 4 certified, he brings 10+ years of training and consulting experience in the software industry, helping customers find creative solutions and implement ITSM best practices.