A help desk is supposed to be just that: a center of help to the users across a business. 

Yet as IT executives are all too familiar, these services can become a technology backlog of misused resources and inadequate communication. Not only does this impact the IT team internally, but it also influences employees’ ability to perform critical job functions with less friction.

Frustrations and feedback often arise at the most inopportune times, leading IT teams scrambling to put out fires. At the same time, leadership pieces together plans to improve service delivery and demonstrate value to stakeholders. Even as services evolve and changes are applied to optimize processes, ascertaining whether these modifications make a difference in end-user productivity and perception is a challenge. 

Common methods like customer satisfaction surveys (CSATs) are a great baseline even when applied to employee experience (EX), but they often lack deeper insights into performance. What’s more, the number of companies no longer measuring satisfaction increased from 3% in 2017 to 8% in 2019, an alarming industry trend. Those service desks that do use CSATs heavily rely on email and web-based applications to collect their feedback with limited to no personal interactions. Managed services can provide a better way.

Where Surveys Fall Short in Assessing the Employee Experience

IT teams often serve two masters: external customers and internal employees. The result is either split resources or individualized teams dedicated to CX and EX experiences. Both can be costly, and more weight is often admittedly given to CX results.

Traditional surveying methods fall short of providing gainful knowledge to improve EX outcomes. Relying on other KPIs, such as the number of tickets resolved or the cost per ticket, can help measure team performance but not employee perception. Baseline expectations and satisfaction do not always go hand in hand; achieving standards in an SLA has more meaning to IT managers than the end-users they serve. There is a clear gap in defining, measuring, and creating value for a help desk and a company’s employees. Closing this gap is not as impossible as it may seem to today’s leaders. The key here is to acknowledge that while CSATs and SLAs have their place, they cannot tell a complete EX story.

Consider the use case of new software rollout. The business determines that employees may be more productive with a new solution, and IT gets to work deploying the program in line with all established SLAs. But where 90% of leaders think this is enough, only 53% of employees believe their needs are met. Where does this disparity come from?

Many factors are at play here, but some of the more common include inadequate communication regarding changes, convoluted training materials, and lengthy disruption of existing workflows. These are not KPIs tracked as part of an SLA, and most CSATs are too high-level, short, or generic to capture the real obstacles employees face. 

Discovering and Confronting Success in an IT Help Desk

Surveys can certainly be incorporated and expanded to help enhance measures for analyzing outcomes. But having a system in place to capture one-on-one feedback to direct help desk support from staff can provide more valuable insights. Engaged feedback loops, detailed ticketing, and more time (not less) spent working with employees to find a resolution are just part of the solution.

In this effort, CTOs and help desk leadership should also explore refreshed meanings for the success of their teams. SLAs can remain in place to hold team members accountable and monitor efficiency, but demonstrating the value of a help desk requires metrics based on external deliverables as well. 

IT teams can achieve success by curating metrics to more accurately capture new needs and existing concerns from employees so the problem areas can be addressed at their core, freeing time and effort for IT teams to move forward. Capturing new needs and existing concerns will help increase EX as employees feel heard regarding the tech they use. 

Going back to the example of a software rollout: management may have the best intentions with desktop upgrades, but if most users are disrupted from their work and wish they had a mobile solution instead, you would expect to see employee satisfaction decrease. By analyzing this feedback data for trends, businesses can show staff that they have been heard and fine-tune solutions moving forward.

“The average cost to replace staff in technical roles is 100%-150% of the annual salary, considering separation, recruitment, and productivity costs.”

Elevating EX Outcomes Through Managed Data Services

A data-driven approach to measuring EX creates value across an organization. But problematically, many help desks find themselves beyond taxed when it comes to their own resources. Just keeping systems running properly and infrastructures secure is enough to manage. Using existing resources to collect, analyze, and adapt services to improve EX in a data-centric model is often impossible. Managed services can provide needed help desk outsourcing with assistance beyond ticket management and volume mitigation. Most managed services teams have advanced training on specific systems and situations, allowing employees to be connected with the right resource for their issue the first time. MSPs are also motivated to provide quantitative insights to demonstrate their efficacy. 

Representatives can be instructed to spend time confirming additional aspects of the interaction. Resolving the issue should be most important, but the added flexibility of time and staff that stems from a managed service provider opens the door to more significant insights. These insights can be captured consistently and provided to internal management for consideration and refinement. Help desks receive more insightful content around the value of their services as well as EX metrics across departments, software, and locales. 

IT is not solely focused on technology solutions. It’s also responsible for limiting overhead to keep core functions operational with a minimal cost. Many leaders are hesitant to outsource these critical tasks out of concern for loss of control and burgeoning expenses. The good news is that MSPs are often more cost-effective, efficient, and measurable than traditional global help desks. They also perform well in hybrid situations to create scalable outsourcing of technical support without added internal expenses. 

The average cost to replace staff in technical roles is 100%-150% of the annual salary, considering separation, recruitment, and productivity costs. Eliminating this cost via managed services is critical. 

Positive employee experiences also improve, with less downtime lost to training or shortages in specialized resources. The data aggregated in the process also serves to demonstrate its own ROI. Managed services, just like internal IT, is about more than just technology. It’s about creating connections and correlating data to improve business operations. Leaders can achieve this while assessing and prioritizing employee experiences to point change management in directions that benefit everyone, not just key decision-makers. MSPs become a resource for staffing, technical expertise, and employee sentiment data. 

Astreya: Managed Service Desk takes the guesswork out of EX assessment by blending quantitative and qualitative data for a complete picture of employee attitudes toward IT services. From user support across enterprise IT to advanced analytics, Astreya designs solutions that create insights for customers to transform tomorrow while taking care of today’s tickets.

Set up your appointment with an Astreya professional to learn how we can customize your managed service desk needs.