Simplified IT service management, part 3

Published February 4, 2013
Last modified February 4, 2013

There’s nothing more customer-centric than actually asking your internal customers how happy they are with your service. Our own Zendesk Benchmarking shows a great customer satisfaction figure of 95% for IT Services generally. But when it comes to collecting feedback at all, statistics from HDI* for service desks in particular are not very encouraging. Only around two-thirds of respondents either randomly or regularly survey their customers when tickets are closed.

There’s a misconception that by having internal customers, you have a captive market. That’s not entirely true. If the people you support aren’t happy with the service they’re getting, they’ll delay turning to the IT team for help and productivity will slip. That impacts the whole business and could even end up with your department being outsourced.

There are several benefits to collecting customer feedback, even as an internal IT department. The obvious one, of course, is being able to learn from any negative comments that are given. But by looking for and sharing the positive ones, you and your colleagues in the IT team are reminded of why you do this job in the first place—it boosts morale in what can sometimes feel like a thankless job and helps you focus on a common goal of providing great service delivery.

But let's zoom out a bit and consider the bigger picture. By enabling satisfaction ratings, you’re enabling business relationship management. The role of business relationship management in ITSM focuses on the relationship between the service provider and its customers. It seeks to understand and identify customer needs and their business requirements. Within the enterprise, this communication is generally between the IT manager and the managers of other business units. They work together to ensure expectations are understood and that services and service levels are delivering the appropriate value for the objectives of the organization. And customer satisfaction is the primary measure.

Reporting on service desk metrics can seem little more than a numbers game at times, but we’ve made it easier for you to change that, and your place within the organization is perhaps one of your greatest opportunities. With access to customer comments, you have the ability to put the human touch to satisfaction data by personally following up with those customers and business unit managers who may not be your biggest fans. For even greater insight, you can extend your reporting to watch trends develop over time and to view links with other metrics. When you notice those trends changing you can respond accordingly and work with your management colleagues to adjust expectations, if required.

With satisfaction ratings in place, your IT team will be on the way to becoming customer-focused and building better friendships between IT and the rest of the organization.

This is the third part in a series that focuses on the Zendesk approach to achieving simplified and powerful IT Service Management. Here's the rest of the series: Part one: Treat Your Users Like Customers | Part two: Change Management | Part four: Incidents and Problems Explained.

Learn more about Zendesk for IT

*2012 HDI Practices & Salary Report, Support Center.