• March 28, 2017

Perception vs. Reality

There’s a big misconception about the efficiency and use of self-service IT tools. 

It’s Sunday afternoon, and you take a quick look at your to-do list. First up, you need to check Amazon to find out why your Prime order didn’t arrive as planned yesterday. Next, a quick call to Apple to investigate why your iPhone battery isn’t holding a charge.

When you open Amazon’s app, you get an immediate notification that a winter storm delayed shipments nationally. Your delivery will arrive tomorrow—and your next order will qualify for free, one-day shipping. When you call Apple’s customer care, they’ve already diagnosed the issue and, within minutes, they’ve overnighted a new phone.

Now, let’s compare those experiences to the ones employees often encounter with their own IT support.

In many enterprise organizations, the IT support process is confusing and reactive, and self-service tools are underutilized. In fact, one 2016 report found that 65 percent of IT departments have implemented self-service tools, but only 24 percent say those tools are successful and well-accepted.

Even more perplexing is the fact that many IT support groups assume that the combination of cloud-based apps and tech-savvy users will require them to be less involved with resolving employee issues. The reality: HDI’s annual Support Center Practices & Salary Report found that 63 percent of support organizations saw ticket volumes increase in 2015. At the same time, 62 percent of enterprise organizations said they had no plans to expand support services options.

The Very Real Risk of Status Quo

It’s clear that a significant gap exists between the experience support teams think they need to deliver and the experience employees want IT support teams to offer. That’s creating issues today, but the problem will only become more acute as employees increasingly expect work support experiences to match the ones they receive as a consumer.

As a 2016 Gartner report concluded: “The traditional IT service desk will not support rapidly evolving digital workplace needs, which include increasing employee engagement, exploration of new ways of working, and exploitation of consumer-oriented technologies.”

This means one thing for enterprise IT teams: The current way of doing things—a process that’s often reactive, confusing, and misaligned with UX expectations—must change.

IT Support of the Future: A UX-Driven Experience

As consumer services and cloud applications become easier to access and use, employee expectations around support services will, too. They’ll expect support services to be easy to access and convenient to use. They’ll also expect those services to be available in the place—or on the device—that supports their individual needs. And they’ll expect those services to adapt with them as their needs and their work challenges evolve.

The question you need to ask is: Are you ready to deliver that kind of experience?

Becoming more predictive and UX-centric in how you deliver service operations can go a long way toward helping you make the transition from reactive support to proactive employee empowerment. This approach allows you to anticipate infrastructure and application demands—and resolve IT problems—before they occur. And if employees do have issues and service needs, having a user-friendly experience will only improve employee engagement and productivity.