How are You Executing ITSM Continual Improvement?

ITSM continual improvement

IT Service Management (ITSM) continual improvement can relate to any number of enhancements made to service delivery. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, however, by the possibilities of what to improve and how to do it. We’ll walk through an example and show you how continual improvement can be baked into service desk functionality, particularly via Microsoft Teams service desk solutions.

Collaborate With Other Departments on ITSM Continual Improvement   

The scope is large—you could be considering how to improve employee and customer experience and service desk effectiveness and efficiency, or better support department functions like purchase approvals or perform maintenance without system disruptions.

One thing that does help: pick a starting point and break down steps into a process. You’re more likely to see large and small ways to create positive impact. We heard an interesting take on this from participants in a recent Community Open Floor discussion hosted by our Cireson product team.

One customer was able to avoid a flood of service desk tickets from false system alarms and false positives. They switched up the process: the operations team was given responsibility for monitoring systems, instead of the service desk. If an alarm sounds, the operations team chooses which alarms warrant a ticket. Then they create and assign tickets in the service desk solution. The result? Issues are often resolved or addressed before end users can report the issue.

This process gave operations and the service desk a better way to collaborate, act proactively, reduce employee disruption and maintain a consistent flow of tickets (or at least prevent being overwhelmed).

Use AI to Act on Your Behalf and Streamline Behind the Scenes

The above is an example of how processes can be improved via human teamwork. But artificial intelligence (AI), particularly as it is used in a Microsoft 365 Service Desk, capitalizes on Microsoft architecture and Microsoft Teams functionality to build efficiency into the ticketing lifecycle in a way that really frees up the service desk team.

It’s easy for a service desk to become overwhelmed. There are often multiple channels end users can use to request help, including service desk portal, direct email, phone or stopping by when in the office. Some service desks can consolidate these channels into one ticket queue, but it’s likely that there will be outliers. Ticket handling can still involve a fair amount of manual work. There is also the need to determine how to best route and otherwise streamline some of the process not addressed by the solution.

Tikit, a Microsoft 365 Service Desk solution, streamlines nearly every aspect of ticket handling with strategic use of artificial intelligence (AI), tools that further support automation, like templates, along with features that route more granularly, including categories and groups. Because it provides a native Teams experience, Tikit gives employees an easy way to request help and a conversational way to be updated on the status. But it also powerfully simplifies processes so that analysts can operate at a higher level.

AI Deflection: Delegate Requests to a Virtual Agent

Analysts are relieved from responding to every single request with Tikit’s innate AI deflection functionality. Instead, Tikit Virtual Agent intercepts the end user’s request, uses natural language processing to identify related information in the knowledge base (KB) and serve KB resources to end user requesters. Tikit Virtual Agent is great at chatting with end users and maintaining an activity history.    

AI deflection breaks down like this: upon receiving a request from Outlook email or Microsoft Teams chat, Tikit Virtual Agent:

  • Evaluates the request for predetermined phases or keywords.
  • If the ticket can be deflected, the virtual agent finds related knowledge base content, serves it to the end user and resolves the ticket.
  • If the problem isn’t resolved, a ticket is created and assigned, enabling the support analyst to step in and resolve the issue manually. Tikit can create and populate a ticket (with relevant documentation), so the analyst doesn’t start from square one.

AI deflection offers a way to maximize analysts’ time and resources, while providing a high degree of service and attention to end users.

Templates: Automate the Ticket Lifecycle

Many systems use templates, since they save time and support consistency. In Tikit, templates reduce steps and tighten the ticket lifecycle so that analysts can fully delegate repetitive requests to Tikit Virtual Agent. Templates also gather more information during the initial interaction so the analyst can begin working on the ticket. So, if a requester asks for a new laptop, Tikit Virtual Agent asks, “which laptop would you like: option a, b or c?” The analyst can see the selection on the backend and proceed with the ordering process.

This Tikit template series help you understand the degrees of automation templates provide—and how to fully automate the entire process:  

Categories and Groups: Route Tickets to Specialized Support Analysts

Most service desks give you a way to categorize and prioritize tickets. After all, working from one ticket queue isn’t entirely efficient. But Tikit offers more options to categorize and route so that tickets can be placed in directly in front of specific analysts or specialized teams.  

Instead of having different processes for incidents, service and change requests, Tikit treats each request the same, seeking to first deflect requests via Tikit Virtual Agent whenever possible. But Tikit also gives analysts additional property types and the ability to assign a custom name and meaning. This gives you additional data points to work with and more ways to categorize.

Instead of three or so tiers, Tikit also gives you the ability to create specific groups for ticket routing. You can assign tickets to a group, associate a group with a Teams channel, filter tickets by group and create automations based on groups.

You’ll find that these features—and more—in a Microsoft 365 service desk conspire to improve ticket resolution time. But they also create a quality, improved experience for analysts and end users.  

You can see how conversational ticketing in Microsoft Teams operates in this demo video, read more about Microsoft 365 service desk functionality or give it a try for free.

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