One question Service Desks must ask to win over the business

To remain relevant in the age of cloud and consumer IT, Service Desks must be prepared to constantly address whether they are delivering what the business needs, rather than simply supporting corporate-procured technology.

Finding out what user community really wants can be difficult. We recently highlighted a research piece which indicates some of the top IT challenges business leaders are prioritising. However finding this valuable information is in reach of the Service Desk if it asks one question.

“What’s the most frustrating thing about business IT?”

If asked in a conversational way during a Service Desk call, this open question is a good ice breaker. Businesses often make the mistake of asking customers “is there anything we can do to improve” but this rarely creates results because it is asking too much of customers.   It is human nature to complain rather than offer positive feedback, so this question is likely to quickly reveal the areas which Service Desks can focus on.

Where/when should you ask this question? A Service Desk call with a swift, successful resolution is the ideal starting point, as customers are more likely to give a minute or two extra. Trust your Service Desk staff to ask the question when they have rapport with the customers – trying to shoe horn the question in, especially on a call that has caused frustration, will do more harm than good. It’s also a solid question to drop into an email communication, or ask via social media, to engage the community.

It is important that the information gathered is recorded, tabulated and shared with people who can action change – whether they are part of the Service Desk or an external party – otherwise those giving feedback will feel it was a pointless exercise. Communicate any changes made as a result of the exercise back to customers and remind them how the process works – this may encourage further dialogue. Delivering the experience the business wants is a challenge for Service Desks, but the starting point can be just one simple question.