Consulting/Advisory Services

How to create a persona-based service desk

The service desk is the face of IT, and customer service is more important than ever. In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways you can improve first-level resolution (FLR) and strengthen your service desk operations.

Understand contact center trends to improve the customer experience

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, service desk teams across the globe have been quickly adapting to spikes in contact volume, market volatility, and increased uncertainty. Most teams are now working remotely, needing to troubleshoot a whole host of new issues while they manage their day-to-day workloads. Each week, the world is changing, and companies are figuring out how to keep operations running even though nothing is “business as usual.” For many workers, this means learning and adjusting as they go, which means higher reliance on the service desk.

Even in these challenging times – maybe especially in these challenging times – the service desk is the face of IT. It sets the standard for customer experience and has a profound impact on organizational productivity. Under normal circumstances and today, high first-level resolution (FLR) is the goal. This is how we measure success – how quickly and effectively the service desk can resolve an issue on the first call. It’s in times like these that organizations need to get back to the basics and focus on improving their FLR.

The top 10 fundamentals for creating a persona-based service desk

1. Develop a persona-based support model to meet your users where they are

Developing a persona-based support model is all about understanding your users’ needs, preferences, and behaviors to provide a personalized experience that resonates with them through an omnichannel support experience. This involves understanding their roles, technical skills, and service needs. Craft detailed profiles for each persona, complete with their typical goals and pain points. Next, map their service journey to pinpoint opportunities for personalized support. Tailor your strategies to each persona, considering their preferred communication methods and adapting support channels accordingly. Equip your service desk team with the necessary training and tools to engage effectively with each persona. Utilize technology like hyperautomation, AI-powered contact centers, virtual assistants, knowledge-centric self-service capabilities, etc. to enhance personalization and efficiency. Collect ongoing feedback to refine the support experience and adjust personas as needed. Establish clear performance and customer-centric metrics that reflect persona satisfaction and foster a culture of continuous improvement, and ensure that the organization recognizes the value of this personalized approach to secure their support. By doing so, you'll create a service desk that delivers a more personalized, efficient experience that meets users exactly where they are.

2. Adopt a best practices service delivery framework following contact center trends

By building your service desk operations on IT Information Library (ITIL) principles, you’ll arm analysts with an effective incident management process that allows them to resolve incidents according to service-level agreements with the goal of restoring services as quickly as possible and getting the customer back to work. ITIL principles provide the service desk guidance and best practices in incident management, change requests, streamlining communication, and continual service improvement.

3. Coordinate and build trust with escalated support groups

Achieving a high FLR means you’re not only delivering a positive customer experience, but you’re also keeping costs down by resolving issues with lower-cost resources. The minute an issue must go to an escalation group, the cost associated with that contact goes up. Identify ways for the escalated support groups and the service desk analysts to understand more about the other’s work. Design avenues and systems that allow first-level analysts to establish trust with the escalated support groups and gain access to the information and knowledge they need to take on more complicated work. The escalated support groups will be happy to invest in sharing information and ideas proactively because it will inevitably ease their load.

4. Standardize email requests

Email and voicemail are not “best practice” standards. They simply initiate a game of “tag, you’re it” between the requestor and the analyst, often without sufficient information to help the analyst make progress. Instead, create forms that contain fields for all the required information to complete a request and make them mandatory. This will help analysts resolve the issue correctly the first time and reduce the number of times they must call the requestor back.

5. Capture knowledge

Use and maintain your knowledge base tool. Create a metrics output that helps you look at, for example, the ten most frequent incident types in a given month. Often, this perspective will reveal patterns that are easily addressed with a knowledge article that can be made available to analysts. Remember that knowledge is not static, so build a knowledge-capture process into your work, keeping things relevant as technology changes. This will go a long way in turning a reactive service desk into a proactive one.

6. Learn from the numbers

When engaging with a service desk sourcing provider, include specific expectations for FLR via a service level agreement (SLA) in the sourcing contract. For internal service desks, clearly communicate the FLR SLAs and reward service desk teams when they exceed them. Publish the SLAs and make your recognition programs known. A service excellence award for account teams or analyst scorecards for individuals can serve as positive tools for mentoring and reinforcing the behaviors you’re looking for.

7. Build flexibility into employee staffing

Whether your service desk is staffed internally or by a sourcing partner, create a schedule that handles morning and afternoon peak times, including increased demand during off-hours or special rollouts. Customers remember the quality of the interaction with the service desk and how long they had to wait to reach someone. If you can predict an increase in need, plan to meet it.

8. Upgrade your toolset

Your service desk personnel need the tools and information at their fingertips to solve problems fast. Successful service desk technology platforms will include an incident tracking system, a modern knowledge base, analytics capabilities, automation, and artificial intelligence. Staying up to date with the latest technology at the service desk can pay dividends in increased productivity and employee morale.

9. Provide top-notch and ongoing training

The service desk needs to embrace three areas: technology, customer service, and efficiency of processes. Offer formal and informal opportunities for service desk analysts to build capabilities in all three areas. Certifying ITIL foundations for analysts can encourage professional behavior and improve morale. Ensure training is ongoing and proactive so analysts can support their customers as technology changes. Prepare for expected spikes in contact volume related to new software implementations or upgrades. Consider a computer-based training platform, so analysts can access it no matter where they are.

10. Automate

Improving service desk operations and increasing FLR is about continual improvement. Many of the most common issues and processes can be automated. Current contact center automation trends mean that password resets, fulfillment requests, and other time-consuming requests no longer need intervention from the service desk. Automated tools and processes help service desk analysts complete calls faster, enable customer self-service, and reduce call volumes so analysts can spend more time on higher-value or more complicated tasks. Hyperautomation technologies and tools reduce errors contributing to customer frustration and virtual assistants reduce contacts by automatically bringing users closer to resolution. Paradoxically, as an organization automates, its FLR rate may go down instead of up, but the service desk of the future will measure success in new ways, and this reduction will be the harbinger of good things to come.

CAI can help you improve your customer experience and build a successful service desk. If you’re interested in optimizing your service desk for the future, contact us.

Let's talk!

Interested in learning more? We'd love to connect and discuss the impact CAI could have on your organization.

All fields marked with * are required.

Please correct all errors below.
Please agree to our terms and conditions to continue.

For information about our collection and use of your personal information, our privacy and security practices and your data protection rights, please see our privacy policy and corresponding cookie policy.