In today’s tech-savvy society, IT plays a vital role in everyday life – and this is particularly true in the business world. However, it is often the case that little consideration is given to the service desk industry which ensures that IT runs smoothly. As pressure mounts on an already stretched workforce and IT infrastructure becomes increasingly complex, it’s encouraging to see that a recent Service Desk Institute (SDI) survey cites that there has been a level of stability and consistency since 2017.

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That being said, there are some notable changes on both sides of the spectrum. Below are two key takeaways from the SDI report:

A Shift From Traditional to New Technologies

In terms of end-user support, it may come as a surprise that the adoption of traditional channels is decreasing. In fact, telephony has dropped from 98% to 91% – the lowest rate since 2009 – while email and in-person support have both fallen by 10%.

In their place, we’ve seen a rise in alternative channels, such as self-service, knowledge use and FAQs. In fact, the use of self-service was reported to be up by almost 60% according to respondents. This shift is encouraging as it suggests that service desks are aware of end-users’ abilities to be self-sufficient, as well as the continued requirement for traditional knowledge bases.

The trend of service desks offering alternative tools and technologies is a particularly interesting finding as the 2017 SDI report cites the converse and found that the uptake of most technologies fell. What is the reason behind this dramatic shift? Well, over the past two years, there has been a steady increase in the number of tools and technologies entering the market.

This figure aligns with the fact that self-service is becoming more omnipresent in both end-user and corporate environments. Our own Ivanti Service Manager allows both internal and external end-users to submit and track requests through a web-based self-service tool. This not only keeps the service desk open 24/7, it also gives end-users the power to help themselves and quickly resolve issues or queries. Vitally, this improves the user experience and is perhaps the reason why we have seen such a spike in end-users using this tool.

End-User Satisfaction Surveys

Collating feedback is an integral step in understanding end-users’ satisfaction and experience. Therefore, it’s interesting to see that since 2017, there has been a 20% decrease in service desks using email or web surveys. More concerning is that the number of respondents who don’t measure end-user satisfaction has risen from 3% to 8%. Although this is only a small increase, it could suggest that service desks no longer consider end-user satisfaction as a main indicator of success.

However, the results of the recent survey indicate that perhaps this isn’t the case. In fact, we have seen increasing diversity in how service desks professionals gather feedback with methods such as allocating dedicated account managers and conducting telephone surveys.

We have also seen a small proportion (7%) of service desks implement Experience Level Agreements (XLAs) alongside Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This suggests that those using these channels are actively focused on becoming customer-centric and improving the user experience.

The impact of technology has been particularly prevalent this year and this is a trend that is set to continue to affect the service desk industry. With the correct technology in place, service desk professionals can unlock the door to growth and transformation.