Faith Nyamande on episode 11 of The BEST ITSM Show by Appfire

“How do I streamline our service desk processes?” Find out in this episode of Appfire Presents: The Best IT Service Management Show by Appfire. Appfire’s Faith Nyamande joins Kerry O’Shea Gorgone to talk about how streamlining service desk processes boosts visibility into workflows and helps you scale, how it improves the end-user experience, what’s required, and how to get started.

About the guest

Faith Nyamande is Product Marketing Manager (ITSM) at Appfire.

About the show

The BEST ITSM Show by Appfire brings you expert insights for IT service delivery, so your employees and customers have what they need to succeed. Get the right tech and tips for the right job at hand. Look like you’ve come from the future with all your new ITSM smarts. Every episode is a brisk 10 minutes—less time than it takes to provision a laptop or troubleshoot a tech support issue.


For your convenience, here is the transcript of this episode:

How do I streamline our service desk processes?

Kerry:  Today we’re going to talk with Faith Nyamande, product marketing manager ITSM at Appfire, about how to streamline your service desk processes. Stick around for 10 minutes of awesome. 

Faith, thanks for joining. First things first, why do we super care about streamlining processes?

Faith:  Thank you for having me back on the show. I suppose one of the main things and reasons why we care about streamlining our service desk processes is just to make the whole process a lot easier for everyone involved. That’s your support team, the end customer for the support team, and if we’re talking about ITSM, it could be internal customers, which are other team members that they’re supporting, or it could be external customers if your business is supplying these services to external customers. As well as making the process just better for the business, continuously improving and getting better, and just being more agile and more scalable as well. 

Kerry:  The why is pretty straightforward. How do we do it, how do we streamline our service desk processes? Does it have to be really expensive and time consuming? 

Faith:  It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. It depends on the needs of every business or enterprise. Every business will have different things that they want to improve. 

For example, you might have a very specific goal. Such as we want to improve customer satisfaction, or we have noticed a dip in our retention rates recently and we want to improve that, or even we’ve noticed a high turnover in support team agents, how can we make the processes better for the support agents so that they love what they do and they’re able to be more creative in their role. 

The first step is actually sitting down with your teams and talking about what processes could be improved. You could also ask your customers through a questionnaire and get that live feedback from them as well. Then implement that into your business.

One of the things you could look at is selecting and implementing a service management software tool, for example, if you don’t already have one. Or looking at ways that, if you do already have one, you could personalize this tool to the specific needs of your business. For example, if you use already Jira Service Management, are there any complementary apps or add-ons within Jira Service Management that you could implement into your instance to make it really tailored to the needs of your business, your customers, and your support team.

Kerry:  One of the things I hear a lot, no matter what tool people use, is they have trouble surfacing projects or replicating workflows, things they do over and over again, and yet things seem kind of buried in there. How can you surface some of those things so that they’re easier for the people who need them to access?

Faith:  That’s a good question. Visibility into workflows is a big challenge for a lot of businesses and enterprises. Jira Service Management is a tool that can be used to effectively predict and plan high variability work that occurs across ITSM and ESM teams, and also maps these against wider goals within the business. It also helps in terms of centralizing these processes and making sure that they’re not scattered across different teams. 

We have a whole catalog of apps within Appfire that can complement Jira Service Management, but there are lots of apps that can help with this. One that springs to mind is the Enhancer Plugin for Jira, which has a lot of workflow and other tools that are specifically catered to ITSM and ESM teams that give a lot of insights. For example, we have a feature called the time and status feature, which tells users and managers exactly how much time has been spent in a specific status. 

Kerry:  I’d bet some people hate that one. 

Faith:  I know. I think it’s a love-hate feature. Over time, it’s really good at spotting bottlenecks and what issues are arising, and it means that teams can improve over time on these.

Kerry:  You mentioned Jira Service Management. Does that work with Jira Software as well, the different Jiras? 

Faith:  Interestingly, we find that in modern enterprises today a lot of teams are having to collaborate across platforms. You might find that your service desk team is using Jira Service Management, but then your developers are using Jira Software, but they need to collaborate on different projects, such as onboarding a new starter, that’s quite a popular thing that happens in every single business.

The SLA, the service level agreement functionality, which is available within Jira Service Management isn’t available within Jira Software. We have the Time to SLA app, which works across both Jira Software and Jira Service Management, as well as lots of other added features that teams can use to create service level agreements that work for their customers and mean that they always meet their customers’ needs and, hopefully, over time improve CSAT scores and other KPIs as well across the two platforms.

Kerry:  Just connecting up the things that people are already using in your own organization, I would imagine, will help streamline things.

Faith:  Definitely. And boosting collaboration across teams and getting those teams out of their rigid silos so that they can collaborate and learn from each other and just make overall business processes run a lot smoother as well. 

Kerry:  How do you make things more scalable? I know when people have a small team, everything is very manual and they start out that way, everything is super custom, every time is the first time. What about when you’re growing and you need to take things to the next level if you want to stay productive?

Faith:  That’s a really good question. We find that with smaller companies, like you mentioned, a lot of processes are very manual. Let’s look at the service desk example. You might find that support teams are manually copying and pasting replies to their customers, which works potentially within a smaller team, but once we want to scale is no longer feasible. We have an app called Canned Responses, which allows users to create dynamic templates and automated actions just to really streamline these processes and automate them as well. 

We find that a lot of the reasons why support agents might churn, like I mentioned earlier as a reason why companies might want to streamline their processes, is because the work is repetitive, they’re not able to be creative or look beyond the manual tasks. Our app Canned Responses allows teams to be able to automate those processes and actually spend less time just putting out fires and more time actually helping customers and improving their processes over time. 

Kerry:  It’s not just copy and paste messages. It can actually take the actions that need to happen at a certain point in the activity or instance. 

Faith:  Exactly. It just makes the process a lot more seamless and ensures a standardization of these processes as well. So, a customer knows that whenever they’re getting in touch with that specific service desk team they’re always going to get the same level of service, no matter who the particular issue is assigned to within the team.

Kerry:  That’s important because a lot of what we’ve been talking about is how streamlining benefits your team internally, but it ultimately benefits the end users as well.

Faith:  Yes, absolutely. It all goes towards improving the overall process and boosting customer satisfaction, and just really being able to help customers, which is the whole purpose of a service desk, of course.

Kerry:  So, look at your baked-in functionality in Jira Service Management and Jira Software, but then also consider things like Canned Responses and Time to SLA. What other things can we plug in to make it better, where can we find all the things? 

Faith:  Within Appfire, we have a whole category of ITSM apps that are really tailored toward making these processes less repetitive for teams, giving managers and executives more insight into the workflows, and just improving these processes over time. Reporting functionalities, dashboards that can be used to really get down to what’s happening within these processes and how we can improve them and make them better for the wider business. Then over time how we can map what these teams are doing with the wider business goals and be able to drive the wider business goals forward through that.

Kerry:  For a lot of companies, customer satisfaction is kind of the metric to follow that you get fired or promoted based on, so keep an eye on that one. 

Faith:  Definitely, there’s a lot of pressure. 

Kerry:  Check out Appfire.com for information about all of those apps. For more episodes of The Best ITSM Show by Appfire, visit Hub.Appfire.com. There’s a great episode where Faith talks about the difference between enterprise service management and ITSM, so go and check that out as well. We’ll see you next time.

Last updated: 2022-06-26

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