When It Comes To Solutions, Size Matters

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    Measure your coat according to your cloth.

    Happy employees make for happy customers. It turns out, universally, that when employees have better experiences, the customers are happy as a result.

    But, in the process of making internal customers (employees) or external customers (the customers) happy, you have to look for a service management solution. And it cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution. You need something that is very specific for the unique needs of your organisation.

    In the last 7 to 8 months, IT has evolved tremendously, coming to the fore remarkable consequences – adapt or die. Especially with remote working as supported by IT. A shift that definitely did not happen gradually and over the years as big changes wont to do. This was spontaneous combustion of technology. An immediate necessity for organisations. As a result, IT is not a back-end product any more.

    Right-sized does not just mean the solution, but also the ROI from the solution. Everyone is trying to do more with less. Organisations are not increasing their resources yet the workload on IT has surely been amped up in less than a year.

    How do you evaluate the ROI of service management solutions? In three ways:

    • Agent productivity
    • Employee experience
    • Extensibility

    Agent productivity

    It is evident by now that the number of agents has not changed while the number of issues has become much higher. The burden of the IT team is higher than it was just a year ago. So, how do you know agents are focusing on the right problems and giving the right solutions?

    For one thing, when a lot of the agents spend time resolving ticket issues which can be automated with many technologies. Most agents spend time on manual tasks that can be avoided or on repetitive tasks. They might even spend time waiting for human intervention in the form of approval which sucks up chunks of time.

    An organisation needs to improve agent productivity by elevating the service experience through automation. Else employees will develop apathy thanks to all the mundane work that they are doing. Instead, it leaves them open to optimising solutions that require intellectual heavy lifting. Redundancies will need to be addressed to figure out what is in place from a knowledge base. Clients will no longer have to wait for so long on their tickets especially when there is a mismatch in the organisation.

    This flips the organisation in the sense that everything then relies heavily on performance management making it easy for you to craft a productivity chart. As an organisation, collating effective matrices for insight with a dashboard means your ratio of incidences to your ratio of agents allow you to draw insights.

    This is where a workflow Automator can help while onboarding employees into different tasks and activities, ultimately using cloud solutions. The roles of (Artificial Intelligence) AI and (Machine Learning) ML either individually or collectively help an agent to quickly resolve predesigned solutions. Where we have both, the organisation has a way to rapidly respond. Now you can deal with multiple issues at the same time with agents being deployed to higher areas of resolution. An organisation can also make decisions based on data.

    The employee experience

    Agent productivity and employee experience are very closely tied together. It is not only about technology to do everyday tasks, but how fast you can deploy solutions and help them be more productive at work. In addition to that would be how employees feel about their organisation? For instance, do they feel productive?

    Fully enabled employess can solve their own issues through a variety of means. On the other end of the spectrum, they need human intervention to even process a ticket. Where enabled but with dependencies, they can resolve overall issues but, they have not adopted the technologies to solve their own issues. Most employees feel that when an organisation does not provide the right tech for them, they would be better off looking at more opportunities that will accomplish this. Especially during these times when employees are required to collaborate under unique circumstances.

    Effective and efficient service delivery also has a critical impact on employees. How do they feel supported, knowing that their issues are resolved. Employees are your internal customers after all. As the head of an organisation, your work is to make sure employees are happy with the service as it deeply impacts productivity in the organisation. Besides, it is good for business.

    If there is a mismatch between how services are being offered versus being unable to solve issues, services will be disrupted. The resulting impact to the jobs is this – if employees feel there is an issue in services, they will not be satisfied, and it will in turn impact their service and jobs. Employee engagement will be affected in that regard.

    There is a ripple effect here. A lack of automation/tools leads to employees not being fully engaged as they lack the basic tools needed to fulfill their objectives. Unhappy employees job hunt. To compound it, you will not have insights. And it could be because your systems are siloed, or you have departments siloed, and it causes employees to be disengaged. These are common symptons of an underlying problem that needs looking into.

    When you do use your insights and embrace technology, it needs to be very simple. People don’t like complex services. A self-service portal seamlessly linked to where employees can get solutions from works wonders. They will easily direct people to the solutions and route those requests from external customers. Encourage them to try the portal and they will encourage others as well too. Make the benefits very obvious as well by giving incentives. But, keep in mind you will also need to be in their faces as well.

    The quality of extensibility

    This refers to the ability to expand and stretch. A quality rarely looked at when searching for a solution. You will be wondering whether your solution can meet the challenges faced with the same management solution. The usual answer is no.

    Yet, solutions need to be flexible enough to work with existing and future solutions.

    When your service management solution cannot do that, it becomes very difficult to resolve issues. Most solutions use data made available through multiple tools. The problem is, if you need another tool to interpret your data, it creates a big loophole. But, there is good news. An open platform has so much value as an extensible tool. You can take the best of both worlds in terms of enhancing and elevating your service experience with multiple tools and have end to end features and functionalities infused.

    For that to happen, you need to look at how it complements the tools you already have. The challenge is that the promise of using mutliple tools creates some level of duplicity. There is something else too. What you lack amounts to requiring people for manual intervention. But the point is to reduce human error. What you need is a fabric where tools speak to each other. This is why you need an open platform. This way, you can build layers on top of it. But when the system is not intergrated, we want one that can complement the other tools.

    For further insights from Antony Muiyuro, Associate Director, Cybersecurity, Privacy & Trusted Technology, Kasi Viswanathan RM, Lead Solution Engineer at Freshworks and Hemalakshmi Balaraman, Product Marketing Manager at Freshworks, click here.

     

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