The Service Desk Institute recently researched the phenomenon of having several service desks in one organisation. The interesting thing about this research is that it provides numerical proof of what is happening in this area.
Their research reveals that 90% of the questioned organisations have more than one service desk. This means that almost every employee has to ﬁrst consider where they send their request when they need service.
This often goes well for most, but it is not uncommon for someone to end up at the wrong service desk. The numbers back this up: 55% of organisations report that between 3% and 12% of their employees go to the wrong desk. For 7% of organisations, this number even exceeds 12%.
This can cause quite a bit of frustration, not to mention unnecessary expenses. A simple solution seems to be bringing together the various service desks to form a single service desk. Yet many organisations are wary of closer collaboration between supporting departments.
The same research names fear of change, cultural diﬀerences, politics and different ways of working. These are real obstacles that need to be conquered. It is, therefore, not advisable to have the diﬀerent service desks start working together all at once. Experience teaches us that it is wiser to take smaller steps.
A possible ﬁrst step towards a shared service desk is setting up a shared digital portal where people can send in requests and view service information. This makes it easier for your colleagues to ﬁnd what they need. A relatively easy next step is to bring together the various desks’ front offices in a single space.
Again, this makes things easier for colleagues. The additional beneﬁt is that in the front oﬃce, people get to know each other naturally (around the water cooler) and start to share knowledge. Step three usually follows automatically: Things that are not going smoothly and aﬀect both service desks are often easily improved through better coordination or set ups. This does not all need to be done at once; just start with what’s most bothersome.
The most important thing throughout all these steps is to keep thinking from the perspective of the colleague or customer you want to help. How do they experience the services? Because what we want in the end is to be proud of our customer satisfaction.
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