The webinar referenced in this blog post has now taken place. You can watch this on demand here.

The corporate IT landscape is changing rapidly, because employees – buoyed by their personal-life, consumer-world experiences – are increasingly expecting more from their IT departments. However, these consumer-world influences do more than just affect employee expectations around IT devices, apps, and cloud services (what we would traditionally view as the IT service demand-side).

The IT-support “supply-side” is changing too, with the need to meet increased employee expectations around omnichannel access and the overall quality of the employee, or customer, experience a key pressure on the future of IT service desks.

Like ITIL, it’s a people, process, and technology thing

Part of the required IT-support change is people-capability transformation that’s preempted by a mindset shift – with the need to understand that employees, “the end users,” now also expect to receive their often-superior consumer-world service and support experiences in the workplace.

Think of it as the “consumerization of support” rather than the more device-focused “consumerization of IT” that has both plagued and improved IT departments for the last decade.

Consumerization is thus driving the replication of business-to-consumer (B2C) support capabilities and technologies in IT departments. It’s far more than just “a good thing to do” – it’s ultimately the only way for IT service desks to truly replicate the superior service and support experiences that employees receive outside of work, and now demand at work.

Take knowledge management for example

Knowledge management should already be a staple IT service desk capability – allowing service desks agents to extend their personal know-how and capabilities, and to help end users (or customers) more quickly, thanks to the collated knowledge and wisdom of others. But this is an old-school expectation of knowledge management.

Knowledge management now has secondary and tertiary roles. Firstly, it should already be the backbone of IT self-service and self-help facilities, allowing customers to access frequently asked question (FAQ) information or the solutions to common IT issues and needs. Then, in line with how IT support is changing on the back of B2C customer-support successes, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) – and, in particular, machine learning – requires the collated knowledge for a third use case. Knowledge will be a valuable information source for the new technology, including chatbots. Without it, how can chatbots answer end-user questions?

Is your service desk’s knowledge management up to the job of supporting all three of these modern IT support needs?

Three knowledge management issues and tips to get you thinking…

…And maybe to leave you interested in a forthcoming webinar, called “5 Ways Technology is Changing IT Support Forever, with IT service management (ITSM) industry luminary Ivor Macfarlane:

  • Knowledge management isn’t easy if you don’t focus enough on your people. Great! So, I’ve built up the increasing importance and need for knowledge management only to throw this issue at you! But you probably knew of its existence already – as many organizations have had one or more knowledge management initiatives that have failed to deliver the promised benefits. Don’t be disheartened though, there are numerous tips and techniques to leverage here, such as recognizing that knowledge management is all about people and engendering the required behaviors and people change. No doubt Ivor will have many more.
  • Don’t do “half a job” with organizational change management (OCM). It probably won’t even get you half the desired result! Instead, fully commit to OCM, understanding that people need to be “brought along” with the change. From selling the change (explaining the “What’s in it for me?”), through providing frequent and consistent communications in respect of what’s happening (and will be happening), to providing the required level of education and training. Repeating as necessary.
  • Don’t treat knowledge management as an add-on process or activity. Even if it’s just viewed by people as such, then it will never work as well as it could. Why? Because it won’t be seen as the real job people need to do. For instance, knowledge management activities such as article creation will be pushed down people’s prioritized to-do lists. Possibly falling off the bottom under the pressure of other critical service desk activities. So, get knowledge management embedded as part of the business-as-usual way of working. It’s the only way to really make it work.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg

There’s so much more that needs to be said about how to get knowledge management right, and Ivor is the man to say it.

Plus, there’s also self-service, chat, machine learning, and chat bots that need to be talked through too. Why? Because too many organizations made the same, or very similar, mistakes with self-service as they did with knowledge management. And who’s to say that history isn’t about to repeat itself with the growing use of chat and the introduction of machine learning and chatbots?

Want more free advice?

If yes, please join ITSM.tools’ Ivor Macfarlane, SDI, and Zendesk on Thursday 13 July 2017
14:00 BST for a webinar entitled “5 Ways Technology is Changing IT Support Forever. This will talk to how:

  • Self-service offers a wealth of benefits to employees and the IT department, plus how to reap them through high levels of employee adoption
  • Chat has become very popular in the consumer world and that it’s now time to replicate its success internally
  • Knowledge management, if done right, plays a key role in both increasing the “stickiness” of self-service and the overall efficiency of service desk operations
  • Machine learning is transforming external support, and customer experience, with an internal support transformation soon to follow
  • Chatbots, like self-help, can be used to benefit both employees and the IT department – that they are the scalable support capability that never sleeps or takes vacations.
Please click here to register and we look forward to hosting you.

The webinar referenced in this blog post has now taken place. You can watch this on demand here.

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Jonathan Munn is Zendesk’s resident event evangelist for EMEA – spreading the word on the importance of great customer service, whether internal or external, week-in week-out at both IT service management and customer service conferences. Prior to this, Jonathan has been a longtime contributor to the IT service management community, working at the Service Desk Institute and cofounding Conference in a Box and Keen – a one-to-many training platform. Throughout his career, Jonathan has been at the coal face of customer service and a builder of better customer experiences.