Service Request Management Tips: 20 Simple Tips for the IT Service Desk

Service Request Management Tips

Most organizations need service request management, but this is ITIL terminology. So, they might not call it “service request management,” with a name like “business-driven change,” “ticket handling,” or something else used instead. But no matter what “the provisioning of new IT services” – which, of course, might not be called services and simply hardware, software, and access provision – is called, many service request management tips are available to IT service desks (or help desks).

To help these IT service desks, this article shares 20 service request management tips.

From not overlooking #selfservice options for service requests, to providing training, to categorizing service requests on receipt, this article shares 20 service request mgmt tips for success. #servicedesk #ITSM Share on X

20 service request management tips

  1. Understand the benefits of service request management standardization – many factors, including best practice adoption and technology use, will contribute to offering “better, faster, and cheaper” IT support capabilities related to service request handling.
  2. Employ a fit-for-purpose help desk or IT service management (ITSM) tool – service request handling can be done manually or using existing personal productivity tools (such as email). However, an ITSM tool offers best practice capabilities for increasing service request management efficiency and effectiveness.
  3. Don’t overlook self-service options for service requests – implement a self-service portal where end-users can log service requests, receive automated service provisioning, and track their request status in real time. Having a user-friendly interface and an intuitive flow is critical for the success of a self-service portal in service request management terms.
  4. Service catalog use – ensure that service requests align with the services listed in your IT organization’s service catalog. This should be seamless when self-service is used.
  5. Provide support staff with continual training – including for new service request types and changes to service request management best practices. Also, educate end-users on how best to request services across the various request intake options.
  6. Separate different ticket types – treat service requests, incidents, changes, and problems separately to ensure the different ticket types get the proper focus and handling.
  7. Standardize the service request logging process – employ standardized forms and procedures for common service requests to streamline processing. Recording service requests in a standardized format makes provisioning easier for service desk agents and facilitates service request management reporting and analysis.
  8. Categorize service requests on receipt – this helps with request prioritization and service request management reporting and analysis.
  9. Automate service request routing (during ticket triage) – automatically route service requests to the best team or individual. This automation was rule-based in ITSM tools but increasingly employs machine learning capabilities that leverage historical data and patterns.
  10. Automate the service request fulfillment process – using automation tools for repetitive service request management tasks such as software installation speeds up request fulfillment, reduces costs, and improves employee experiences.
  11. Use knowledge management for service requests as well as incidents – utilize a knowledge base and knowledge articles to help IT staff and end-users (via self-service) address common service requests more quickly.
  12. Provide clear communication on service request handling progress – in addition to providing access to a request’s status via the self-service portal, keep the requester adequately updated throughout the service request lifecycle (your ITSM tool might allow end-users to set their preferred communication methods and frequencies).
  13. Regularly monitor service request trends – to identify demand changes and any recurring service or provisioning issues that might necessitate problem management or continual improvement.
  14. Employ an end-user feedback mechanism to understand what is and isn’t working – importantly, look beyond operational efficiency to understand service request management outcomes.
  15. Allow for process flexibility – sometimes, the standard service request process won’t apply to a situation. So, there’s a need to be flexible and to adapt practices for the unique or unexpected. This article on intelligent disobedience explains more about empowering IT staff to make decisions based on the information they have.
  16. Consider additional technological enablement – certain service-request-enabling capabilities might not be within the corporate ITSM tool and require additional software. For example, adding remote support capabilities makes provisioning non-office-based worker service requests easier.
  17. Measure service request management performance – monitor service request management key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess and improve service request handling efficiency.
  18. Recognize the need for vendor management capabilities – some service requests will require third-party involvement. To help ensure effective delivery against end-user needs, proactively manage the vendors and suppliers involved in request fulfillment.
  19. Leverage continual improvement practices – to improve your service request management capabilities, especially in meeting changing business demands related to IT services.
  20. Consider mapping services to roles – this makes it easier to understand whether a service requester needs what they’re requesting. It also makes it easier to say “no” when the requested service isn’t used by anyone else in the role or to cost service provision based on everyone in the role, not simply the requester.

If you have any tips to add to my service request management tips list, please drop them in the comments section below.

Further Reading

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Stephen Mann
Stephen Mann
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Principal Analyst and Content Director at the ITSM-focused industry analyst firm ITSM.tools. Also an independent IT and IT service management marketing content creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT service management professionals.

Previously held positions in IT research and analysis (at IT industry analyst firms Ovum and Forrester and the UK Post Office), IT service management consultancy, enterprise IT service desk and IT service management, IT asset management, innovation and creativity facilitation, project management, finance consultancy, internal audit, and product marketing for a SaaS IT service management technology vendor.

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