Self Help Mantra

Industry Transformations3 minutes readJul 5th, 2016

The Self-Help Mantra

‘The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm’ states a Swedish proverb. This thought seems to resonate everywhere – self-help books, self-service restaurants, customer self-service, and now self-service IT support. Gone are the days when IT support was routinely complicated by language barriers between agents and end users. The new generation of users is self-sufficient and prefers to take matters into their hands-quite literally. They prefer to ‘fix things’ themselves instead of reaching out to the service desk agent. Self-service IT support is in!

So, what are the benefits of self-help IT support? And can every industry afford to take this route? What about say, the technology-intensive and highly regulated financial services industry? Is self-service IT a viable option here? Let’s explore.

Self-Service IT Support

Each service ticket that reaches your IT Helpdesk is tied to a resolution time and cost. When your users resolve IT issues themselves, ticket volumes, support costs, and resolution time come down. Service desk agents can then support more complex issues and strategic business initiatives.

Financial services institutions rely extensively on technology, which means that downtimes are expensive and have consequences more far-reaching than just financial losses. Downtimes mean incomplete transactions, dissatisfied customers, loss of reputation and even customer churn. The fact that this industry is highly regulated makes fast resolution of IT issues mission-critical. Self-service IT support syncs perfectly with the needs of this industry, but with a catch.

Financial services institutions handle very sensitive information and giving employees access to certain systems and product documentation can result in unscrupulous activities with extensive consequences. Although remote, this possibility cannot be discounted. Also, not all self-service IT support initiatives are well-received by employees. Some fail due to poor planning and execution, some due to user inertia. The net-net of this discussion? Self-service IT support works, but has to be implemented with proper planning and effective controls in place, especially in industries like financial services.

Some Best Practices

When your program delivers what users are looking for, it finds instant acceptance. A good start will be to identify IT issues that are amenable to self-service IT support. Typically, the top 25 requests resolved at Level 1 are good candidates for your program. The next step is to create user-friendly knowledge articles with clear instructions in non-technical language, including visual aids such as screenshots. These are to be organized logically so they can be easily accessed. These articles must be continually revised and updated based on feedback from users and a formal process for this must be put in place. It is equally important to promote your self-service IT support program in the organization. Emails, posters, social media, Influencers, reminders – whatever it takes to get users interested.

So how do you go about setting up this self-help portal that resonates with your internal users? Implement it and keep iterating till you get it right? Definitely not. Things are changing at nanosecond pace in the financial services space today. You either get it right the first time or you just don’t get it. A poorly done self-help portal which does not excite and entice users is a sure way to repel your users from the self-help program forever. Play smart and let proven technology service providers help so you get it right, the first time, every time.

Tags-   Self Help IT