Jira Service Desk (JSD) is a very popular solution for IT service desks across many industries. Service desks that love it often echo some of the following comments:
- Dead simple service ticket creation
- Convenient people tagging
- Seamless integration with Confluence (and other Atlassian suite products, for that matter), which is the backbone for so many knowledge base software
- Very helpful collaboration and communication tools
Even with such a robust tool, it’s an ongoing challenge for service desks of growing enterprises to meet or exceed SLA requirements. It is in the best interest of both the vendor and the customer that SLAs are part of the relationship for the following reasons:
- They reduce risk for both sides of the relationship
- They standardize communication
- They triage support to ensure that problems are solved in an orderly manner
Before we share our tips, here are some general thoughts on how to structure and work within the confines of an SLA.
- Ensure that the level of support set out in the SLA is reasonable for your internal or external customers needs
- Train staff to fully understand their role within the scope of the SLA
- Avoid using availability as a measure of service quality
- Keep it simple!
Onto the tips…
1. Build a robust Knowledge Base
The knowledge base is the foundation of your support team. Without this, it is impossible to deliver upon an SLA. By robust, we mean a few things. Consider the following:
- Ensure that knowledge is up-to-date and verified.
- Where there are knowledge gaps or knowledge is out-dated, make it easy for an admin (or others) to quickly add to knowledge on-the-fly.
- Use knowledge formats that are suitably matched to the frequency of access – for example, you wouldn’t keep the company office address stored in a video.
- Use rich formats such as images or videos to enhance comprehension.
- Invest in technology that makes your knowledge base searchable, wherever it is. If you use JSD, most likely you use Confluence. But all your knowledge might not be stored there. If it isn’t you’ll need to come up with a strategy that unifies your search capability across repositories.
2. Aim for First Call Resolution
First call resolution (FCR) is exactly what it sounds like. When an issue is raised, the problem is solved after the first call. But to achieve this holy grail the key is to focus on ensuring that your customers (whether internal or external) have the most delightful experience possible. The most delightful experience is one where the issue is closed.
To target First Call Resolution, the most successful support desks that we’ve witnessed are the ones that include a self-serve support option. Self-serve support desks are powered by both a robust knowledge base and technology that makes it instantly searchable and accessible. This will help deflect service tickets from entering the support queue.
3. Reporting and Analytics
How better to measure support desk success than with a set of metrics to track performance and iterate to reach optimal service for the support team and their clients? Here are some of the common metrics that we at Obie.ai have seen used in practice.
- Uptime (you know, the “nines”)
- Mean Time to Repair/Resolve/Respond/Recovery (MTTR). You may want to track all of these metrics as they represent various stages in the support journey.
- Cost Per Ticket (CPT), which is the ratio of operating cost to ticket volume.
- Customer Satisfaction. Often a simpler system involving “thumbs up/down” is better than scales of 1-5 or 1-10.
We hope that these suggestions give you and your management team some ideas on where conversations regarding SLAs for your JSD-powered service desk should begin as you plan to accelerate your support team.