It is fair to say that Digital support looks and feels very different today than when it was conceived in the 1990s. Back then, when you had an issue, you had to stop working, pick up the phone and call the helpdesk. Once through the joy of the standby music, you would end up speaking to someone who was not going to fix your problem — but rather give you a ticket number and ask to wait for someone to call you back. More disruption, lack of productivity and a generally soul-crushing experience.
Much progress was made in the 2010s. You can now use other channels — such as chat — which are much more convenient and allow for multitasking. You also find that the service desk agent is usually able to fix your issues within 20 minutes or so. Often, your requests are solved immediately and automatically, and you can find most knowledge information on the portal. This sort of automated omnichannel service desk is the holy grail for most organizations.
So, job done, right?
Not quite. We are still far from where we need to be. Employee surveys routinely show that when asked “Would you recommend someone joins your company because of the quality of IT,” very few people answer “Yes.”
Let’s be clear, users tend to be satisfied with the service (with CSAT scores of 80%+), but they are not excited about it. Why is that?
The disruptive nature of today’s user experience
A study of user journeys clearly shows the disruptive nature of today’s user experience:
Many issues are preventable, yet we let them happen.
System: “Your password has expired, click here to reset.“
When an issue occurs, we put the onus on the user to report, even though we know the issue happened.
System: “Error 53421. The system was not able to complete your request.”
To report an issue, a user often needs to leave their working environment.
User: “I need to leave Salesforce to log on to ServiceNow to get my issue resolved.”
Low cognitive load
To fix the issue, the user is expected to be present, even though it is often not required.
Agent: “Can you share your screen as I work through your issue?“
The experience is highly dependent on the quality of the agent, including their customer-facing, technical and language skills.
User: “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what you’re telling me.”
On completion of the fix, the user is expected to provide feedback, which is yet another task which prevents them from doing their job.
System: “Please fill out our 12-question feedback survey.”
Around 50% of users prefer to suffer in silence, refusing to engage with the IT support experience. They’ll Google the issue, try to fix it themselves, or live with the pain of faulty IT. More importantly, organizations miss the opportunity to show their employees that they care about them.
In conclusion, if you have bravely transformed your support model to an automated omnichannel service desk, reduced dissatisfaction (DSAT) and increased satisfaction (CSAT), then congratulations!
Performance, not productivity
Now it’s time to move to the next level: a support model which is pre-emptive, proactive, point-of-need based, captive-free and agent independent, with a low cognitive load and that effortlessly measures user sentiment.
Technology is the enabler
We have the solution — and with AI and analytics, the technology now exists to lift the employee experience to the next level.
You have the opportunity to move users from simply being satisfied with the service to being happy about the service. What are you waiting for?
In the last 20 years, Sébastien Vibert has helped organisations digitally transform, delivering improved experience to their customers, partners and employees, whilst providing significant cost savings.
He introduced a SaaS contract in 2009, SIAM-based models in 2012, hybrid cloud C2B platform in 2014, and Experience Level Agreement (XLA) in 2016. He is always looking at the next big idea to give his customers the edge.
He is a Martinican living in London with his wife and two children.