ITIL is not a fancy term that IT people use to impress or somehow mislead their colleagues from the business and marketing departments. Short for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, ITIL is a collection of best practices for building and managing IT services and assets. To be more specific, it describes tasks, processes, and procedures that a company can apply to create a sound IT strategy, deliver more value to its clients, and keep its IT infrastructure in the best condition possible. ITIL is a well-known industry standard – so we, at Comarch, have adopted it too. Why?
For example, service desk is an ITIL practice. As defined in ITIL 4, its purpose is “to capture demand for incident resolution and service requests”. You often hear that a service desk is a single point of contact between the service provider and the users, which is true, of course. But it is very rare for someone to say: “A service desk is the face of the company”, and yet IT IS – its influence on how clients perceive a given brand is monumental.
All service desk agents must know precisely how their clients run their businesses (so that they can prioritize the most pressing issues and communicate with them most efficiently). Thus, their skills in regard to asking clients the right questions and listening to them carefully are often more important than their technical abilities. But, of course, everything agents do matters for the quality of service in the end.
So, why do we care about ITIL so much? Because it helps us improve the quality of our service desk, and it reminds us constantly that no matter how good we are at something, we can always do better. Below you’ll find five examples of ITIL-based rules that our teams follow closely to provide our clients with the best service desk possible.
1. Focus on value
Paradoxically, a service desk is not just about solving problems. Here, clients expect high quality, individually tailored IT services and low costs. A service desk is not only a single entity in this sense, but often the very first point of contact for many end-users. Thus, its agents are responsible for creating a general “feeling” of IT support provided by a given company. That is why, at Comarch, we focus both on the technical competencies of our service desk agents and their interpersonal skills.
2. Start at the beginning
In the world of IT, we can’t assume anything. We need to make tests, so that we know what works and what doesn’t. Therefore, at the very beginning of cooperation with a new client, we need to analyze their IT environment. And so, we create or review procedures for a service desk, check escalation paths, identify bottlenecks and introduce our suggestions on how to facilitate some of the processes. In other words, we opt for evolution instead of revolution. Our goal is to simplify, not to make things more complicated. After all, one of the most critical success factors for a service desk is to reach a high buy-in rate of the end-users.
3. Progress iteratively with feedback
We want to know that clients are satisfied with our services – and we want to improve our solutions in any way we can. Thus, not only do we measure our work with KPIs co-defined with the client (by sending them weekly or monthly reports, or by making status calls), but we also send them customer satisfaction surveys. As helpful as KPIs are, sometimes they are not enough – especially when it comes to evaluating human to human communication. Surveys allow our users to inform us about what they think/feel we should do to make our services even better. Combined with the KPI reviews, they provide us with a more detailed understanding of our clients’ experience.
4. Adapt to changes quickly and keep it simple
The business environment changes every day, so a project can scale up or down at any given moment. This means a client may come to us and say that they need our service desk to be available at different hours or in a different language. We are perfectly aware that we must be able to adapt to such changes and provide our clients with what they need ASAP. Plus, as we said before, our goal is to make things simpler. And so, no matter what features we add, we’ll do our best to make our processes and procedures easy to understand and highly transparent. If we (or our clients) find any process elements not useful, we will eliminate them. Simple as that.
5. Optimize and automate
We believe in working smart – not working your fingers to the bone. That is why we automate tasks that are repeatable and easy to deal with. As a result, we have more time to focus on tasks that require detailed analysis. Our service desk agents are encouraged to share their ideas for automation, such as creating scripts or macros.
Comarch’s Service Desk is available in English, German, Polish, and Russian (operating within hours agreed with the customer). For more information, go here