• March 3, 2017

The Consumerization of IT Support: A Simple Framework to Optimize UX

How can you shift the story and deliver a great IT UX to your employees? 

Many enterprise IT departments live in an idealistic fantasyland where they believe the IT support services they’re providing meet or exceed users’ expectations. User surveys and industry research, however, paint a very different picture. In fact, as a recent Hewlett Packard Enterprise infographic shows, there’s a significant gap between the perception of the quality of IT support services and the reality of the value workforce users extract from them. (See this Hewlett Packard Enterprise infographic.) Specifically:

  • 85 percent of IT decision-makers believe they deliver support services users want, yet those same decision-makers admit that low user satisfaction and a lack of user support tools present a significant barrier to effectiveness.
  • 83 percent of IT organizations indicate that expanding options is important to IT and their users, yet 62 percent of organizations have no current plans to expand options.

If that’s not bad enough, there’s this: In a guest post for CIO.com, Peter Bendor-Samuel, co-founder of an advisory-research firm for Global 1000 enterprises, related the experience most IT organizations’ departments deliver to the same one cable companies do. If you’ve ever interacted with a cable company’s support services, you’d know that’s not a complimentary association.

So, how can enterprise IT organizations’ departments rid themselves of that reputation and bridge the gap between how they view their support services and how their employee users view them?

For starters, less emphasis should be placed on implementing specific services or shaving costs in the interest of greater efficiency. Instead, focus must be placed on delivering a user experience that centers around engagement, personalization, and productivity.

Delivering that kind of experience starts with creating value built on three core principles:

  1. Simplicity: In a world where people benchmark technology against the experiences they receive from consumer companies like Amazon and Apple, the onus is on IT to deliver support services that mimic the simplicity of those experiences. The services you provide should be intuitive and easy to use—regardless of how complex the support issue is.
  2. Variety: Certain support channels are better suited to address certain user issues or challenges. Because the people you support will vary significantly in preferences and requirements, there’s no single communication channel or service that will be right for everyone. Offering a variety of engagement methods will make the services you offer easier—and more enticing—to use.
  3. Accessibility: In some larger, technology-dependent organizations, it’s becoming more common to offer walk-in support centers that allow users to communicate their issues face-to-face and receive a more immediate response. That approach may not be right for your business, but the broader point is that the more accessible your services are, the more likely someone is to make effective use of them.

Again, the key here is not to think about the totality of services you could or should offer. Instead, you should think about the experience your users—the employees you support—want to have. When you frame your thinking that way, it becomes easier to repackage your support in a way that drives value for the user—regardless of how, when, or why they need your help.

Like this user experience story? Read more about delivering a great customer experience and starting your customer experience transformation.