What’s the key to improved IT service desk performance? Ultimately, it probably boils down to the same things that drive service and support success in any organization. If this is the case, why not take a service and support lesson from one of the world’s most successful business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations to see how it tackles this issue/opportunity? After all, some of the best examples of success are copied every day, and imitation is the best form of flattery.

Learning from an exemplar B2C success story

Let’s look at one of the most well-known brands in the world: Amazon. The online retail (and, of course, cloud service provider) giant is one of the largest companies in the world. For those who have even a cursory knowledge of Amazon’s management and operations, will know that Jeff Bezos’ company built its success on four pillars that run throughout the organization: 
  1. Customer centricity
  2. Continuous optimization
  3. A culture of innovation
  4. Agile approach
It just so happens that these four pillars fit well with service desk operations, too. Let’s look at these pillars in more detail and see what our IT service desk operations can learn…

1. Customer centricity

Ultimately, your service desk users are the reason you do what you do, so put them at the heart of what you do. If something isn’t working for them then it isn’t working for you.

In 2018, a primary driver in creating a great service desk is to always make sure your end user’s – or customer’s – journey is the easiest it can be. And when encouraging customers to use new service desk capabilities, such as self-service, ease of use has to be a key facet.

Thus, when designing new IT support services, keep this in mind. Otherwise you’ll likely lose customers because they won’t be compelled to use those services, thus rendering pointless all the hard work your team has put in trying to improve IT support operations.

2. Continuous optimization

Continuously improve your IT support services – and don’t let excuses, lulls in motivation, or other priorities take away from this goal. Making these services as useable as they can be is key to customer centricity and continuously offering the best IT support services possible.

This can also be applied to the way you organize your team, too. Constantly optimizing your operations not only improves services for your customer, but also helps make your life as a service desk member or leader easier.

3. A culture of innovation

Creating a culture of innovation is the hardest pillar to implement. You can’t simply flip a switch to generate the desired culture of an organization or an IT services desk. It takes time and a good deal of effort. Plus, culture requires buy in from all team members. So, needless to say, creating the right culture requires a longer, concerted, more detail-oriented effort.

However, if you’re able to build a culture of innovation, you’ll create a workplace that supports continuous optimization.

To help develop a culture of innovation, here are some points to consider:
  • Include your colleagues in strategy meetings, and provide them with a platform where they can share ideas of their own in a non-judgmental way
  • Create a platform for the free flow of ideas from anyone. In so doing, you’ll likely create a sense of inclusion for those within and served by your department
There are, of course, other ways to bring about a culture of innovation and if you would like more examples, then please let me know if the comments section and I’ll respond.

4. Agile approach

Finally, attempt to build an agile service department.

Why? Because it takes the focus away from processes and usually helps make implementing the other three pillars discussed much easier.

Additionally, agile operations means that you can respond more quickly to your customer’s needs (potentially as they change), and do so with the flexibility they might expect. This will lead to less frustration for everyone and a much more productive IT service desk.

In a nutshell, the four pillars espoused by Amazon also help to deliver an improved IT service desk operation. Making appropriate improvement efforts, even in one pillar at a time, will most likely means that you’ll drive better results from your service desk and your IT department.

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Nancy is the president of TOPdesk US, currently responsible for leading the division’s business development, client acquisition, and customer services efforts. Prior to launching TOPdesk’s North American division in 2015, she led the organization’s expansion efforts in Belgium for eight years and was responsible for the startup and expansion of TOPdesk’s operations there. TOPdesk develops, markets, implements and supports standard user-friendly service management software for IT, facilities management, HR, maintenance, complaints registration and the service desk for all sized organizations.