IT service desk solutions can help service providers streamline, automate, and deliver efficient services to employees in their organizations. For years, IT leaders have chosen tools for specific functionality such as incident/ticket management, a customizable service catalog or workflow engine, and an easily maintained knowledge base. These are all terrific pieces to help connect employees to things that they need, but only if employees actually know how to use them.
One piece that sometimes goes overlooked in the hunt for a service management solution is the ability to build an employee-friendly service portal. Not only will it give employees a one-stop shop to submit a ticket, request a service, or search the knowledge base, but it also allows the service providers to collect the data they need to expedite service delivery. The service portal opens the door to start leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to track employee behavior and lead them to smart solutions.
Here are five of our favorite employee service portal stories from Samanage customers:
I initially sent out a survey to find the pain points for our users. I found that it was really around communication and transparency. The portal has allowed us to create that transparency for our users.”
-John Sudduth, Director of IT at MWRD
Now, the service desk can actually communicate through Samanage for any follow-up questions or updates on the status of tickets. In addition, employees can see where their tickets and requests are at any time simply by logging into the portal.
MWRD has also driven IT purchases through the service catalog, and employees can access these forms in the service portal. It’s helped them track spending on IT devices to build quarterly and annual budgets.
If we didn’t have a service portal, we would have had to increase our staff, otherwise people would be on hold for too long.”
-Susan Bonville, Director of Customer Support and Operations, FirstHealth of the Carolinas
FirstHealth’s story is one of our favorites. They used the service portal as a proactive measure for an event that was about to cause thousands of tickets, and they prepared meticulously with an entire rollout strategy. They used on-hold recorded messages and signage throughout the organization to drive employees to the portal, avoiding the strain of crowded support lines.
“Even when you look at personal habits, I’d much rather go and enter a request into a system than wait on the phone for 20 minutes,” says Bonville, and she proved to be right, as FirstHealth employees made a seamless transition to the portal. Over the first six months, the organization turned over 25,000 potential phone calls into tickets through the portal. FirstHealth’s story shows why portal adoption is such a vital step in the service management process.
The portal has been key. It’s given our customers access to see previous tickets, where their ticket is in the process, and even resolve some of the issues on their own. Also, if we want to share those tickets with other departments or team members, we can easily include a group of people or reassign, so users are getting feedback in real-time.”
-Steve Hiersche, Sr. Systems Administrator at SmartPak Equine
SmartPak Equine has used an employee service portal to collect information on requests up front, which helps them deliver faster services. But as Hiersche explains, it’s also helped employees avoid waiting for support altogether by giving them direct access to self-service options in the knowledge base. Since users can track their tickets through the portal, they can see when there have been updates or reassignments, and they’re always in the loop.
We’re getting a lot of really positive feedback on people’s visibility of the ticket, how clean it is, and how easy it is to use.”
-Eric Gazaui, VP of Business Systems, Loot Crate
Loot Crate is growing quickly, and so are internal service needs — ticketing in particular. Prior to Samanage, Gazaui and his team used a clunky ticketing system, which drove employees back toward email requests, preventing them from collecting the information they needed. He says it had gotten so bad that they often relied on asking coworkers who sat around them for solutions to simple problems. The service portal has relieved that pressure.
We weren’t sure how people would react to being told they had to go to the portal for tickets, but customers loved it because it was very simple and easy to use. It instantly started getting positive feedback from both customers and technicians.”
-Stephen Dobson, IT Service Delivery Manager, University of Sunderland
The University of Sunderland is a large, multi-site facility for higher education. For a long time, there was no structure around ticketing — IT tracked incidents through emails and sometimes sticky notes. They had an outdated solution that requesters hated to use.
After implementing Samanage, Dobson and his IT team rejected email submissions, driving requesters to the portal. The fact that people enjoyed the portal experience helped Dobson and his team respond quickly and effectively, all within one service platform.
The service portal is a great way to ensure that service providers are fully maximizing all the capabilities of your service desk solution. It allows you to collect the information you need to respond to and resolve tickets quickly. It connects your organization to the knowledge base, and it opens the door for smart technology to create effective and efficient shortcuts for employees and support teams.
If you’re looking for ideas on portal adoption campaigns, watch our on-demand webinar with FirstHealth of the Carolinas to see how they turned thousands of support calls into opportunities for self-service with some creative portal adoption pushes.
About Liz Beckner
Liz is a technical point of contact for SolarWinds Service Desk customers, providing expertise on ITSM best practices, APIs, integrations, and security. She's ITIL® 4 certified and has never met a dog she didn't want to adopt.
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