In 2018 the Service Desk Institute (SDI) released their Customer Experience in ITSM Report which highlighted that “customer satisfaction is the most significant indicator of success on the service desk”. They found that “Customer Experience (CX) focused targets become a new approach to measuring more emotional, customer-focused agreements between service desks and their customers.”
The problem is how do you improve the ITSM Customer Experience when the dominant ‘support channels’ are still phone and email? Most of the tools focusing on CX simply measure CSAT and NPS but do not intrinsically change the ITSM service delivery methodology. There have been many attempts to provide self-service, virtual assistants and chat bots, but they rarely get used with phone and email (support@) still the most popular support channels despite the fact we are in a modern App economy. In this article we will explore this issue and how a new category of software, ITSM CX Platforms, are looking to help IT Teams drastically improve their customer experience and vastly improve IT team productivity at the same time.
The ITSM CX Problem
In FreshService’s The State of the Service Desk Report 2017, there was one worrying statistic which highlights the ITSM CX problem in a nutshell.
When respondents of the survey, which comprised FreshService customers, were asked to highlight the top channels used for raising tickets, the overwhelming favorite method used is email (support@) at over 70%.
Now think about this for a second. Despite all the advances in technology, all the effort that ITSM tools are putting in to create virtual support agents, chat bots, service desk portals etc, email is still the most popular method for raising a ticket.
What does this mean in relation to CX? It means the user experience for IT support hasn’t changed significantly in 20 years. It also means that what we’re seeing is a behavioral issue, in that unless we develop an easier method to access support, like water running down a mountain, the user will find the easiest way to get support.
Currently the easiest method to access support is email.
But let’s not just take their word for it, let’s look at the 2018 SDI Customer Experience in ITSM Report where they asked the same question.
Once again, the top channels for support are email and phone.
This is alarming.
Look at Chatbots and Virtual Agents at 4% and 2% respectively. These channels haven’t made a dent.
Why is Email & Phone Support So Popular?
Simply put – it’s easier.
Think about your own IT support experience for a minute. You’re sitting at your desk, you need assistance, so where do you go? Many IT teams put a direct dial number on the phone, so that’s an easy option. Alternatively, users think, I know I’ll email someone since I’m to busy to talk, so they start typing ‘support@’ and presto the email address pops up, so that’s easy too. Now think about the Web Portal and Chat Bot – where are they on the desktop? Where’s the URL link? OK so you might be using Slack, but where is the support channel? Do you really think the user finds this easy?
The stats above don’t lie.
The user literally can’t find the other methods. Where is the link? Where is the easy button? For now it’s phone and email because they are the easiest. This simple behavioral reason is why none of the other IT support channels have succeeded – the user can’t find them!
The implication on improving CX is quite profound. Most of the ITSM vendors are inventing great new technology powered by AI and ML, but guess where that tech resides? In the browser of course and there lies the problem. Despite the fact these large ITSM vendors have spent probably millions of dollars and man hours to develop this technology, they aren’t getting used because the user can’t find the URL easily. Ouch.
So how do we fix the problem given the SDI research says emphatically that IT teams rank improving customer experience as number one in importance?
The Problem with Email Support (Support@)
Well firstly, we have to examine the pro’s and con’s of two (2) most popular methods, email support and phone support, then decide whether one should be replaced with a better CX.
In our view phone support is necessary for many urgent IT requests. You can’t remove this channel. But what about email support? It’s the other most popular method, so should you replace this with something else?
The simple answer is yes.
The reason email should be replaced is because aside from wanting to improve the Customer Experience (CX) email support causes a lot of headaches for the user and IT Team.
- You never get the correct information.
- Wrong information causes ‘multi-touch’ issues having to go back and forth with the user.
- The user then get’s frustrated.
- The Engineer has to triage the ticket.
- The Engineer has to categorize the ticket.
- You can’t use workflow rules because you don’t get the ticket type.
- You can’t ask additional questions at the time they log the ticket.
- You can’t get a screenshot.
- You don’t get the device diagnostics in the ticket.
- You can’t activate approvals.
- You can’t use self-service bots.
- You can’t use virtual agents or chat bots.
- It’s a very basic Customer Experience (CX) versus what the user gets on their phone Apps.
As you can see email support really is the most inefficient way to receive support requests. Which is why it’s quite depressing to think that it’s still the most popular method for support.
The Alternative to Email Support
So what’s the solution?
We learnt from running an IT Team managing over 5000 devices that you need to give the user something which is easier than email. Which we worked out is a Desktop & Mobile App (ITSupportPanel™).
Why does it work?
Because now all the user has to do is find the IT button in the task tray and open the App. It’s easy to find and use.
What we learnt is to improve the ITSM Customer Experience (ITSM CX) you need to give the user ‘one pane of glass’ to access everything related to IT. It’s simply not good enough to have so many channels for support, as we’ve seen the user defaults to phone and email anyway. Life should be simple. We believe simple translates to two (2) support channels – Phone and an App. That’s it. The App is like the new roadway where the user can finally have a central place to access whatever you want to provide them. If it’s a chat bot you want to deliver, then place the button in the App. If it’s self service, you can have this integrated in the App as well (ITSupportBot™).
Think about Microsoft Word. Do your users access MS Word via the local desktop App or Office365 browser? I bet 90+% access the App on their desktop. Why? Because it’s right there. It’s the word icon. They open it and begin working. With the browser, you have to find the URL, you have to login, you have to then go to Office, then word. It’s painful.
Easy wins every time.
At Invarosoft™ we believe we’ve invented the newest support channel to finally knock off email (support@) and in the process deliver the user with a powerful CX solution and the IT team a way of getting the right information – every time! We call it an ITSM CX Platform.
The ITSM CX Platform
Think of an ITSM CX Platform as the front-end of your ticketing system. One pane of glass users love.
Our goal is to modernize the IT support experience and deliver a CX which is more representative of what users get in their personal lives with Apps for every possible thing you can think of. It’s time the ITSM world splashed a little bit of ‘App Love’ across the experience.
The ROI from investing in an ITSM CX Platform is enormous.
- Improved CX with a branded App on every device.
- Less Support Calls.
- Less Tickets (Solved by Bots).
- Increased Engineer productivity via less triage and categorization by getting the correct ticket information (Type, Sub Type, Form data, Screen Capture).
- Increased staff productivity.
- Faster resolution times with device diagnostics and Smart Engineer Bots.
- Happier users.
- Happier IT team.
The Features that Power ITSM CX
Imagine having a powerful ITSM CX platform which includes:
- Branded App on every device – Windows, Mac, iOS & Android
- Self-Service Bots
- Smart Engineer Bots
- Chat Bots
- Screen Capture
- Custom Appearances
- Custom Buttons
- Custom Ticket Forms
- Custom Button Forms
- Sentiment Analysis
- CSAT & NPS
- News Flickers
- Push Notifications
- SSO Buttons
- App Links
- Device Diagnostics
It’s not really a competition – yet email is winning.
To conclude, the most pressing issue for IT teams is to improve the Customer Experience (CX). We believe to achieve this we can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. We know it’s important, we have other tools being invented – but the users are still calling and emailing. Give them a new support channel, a modern support channel, let’s move ITSM CX into the modern consumer App economy and delight our users and provide relief to our IT teams.
The future of ITSM CX has arrived.