Hello everybody and welcome back to the Cognixia podcast. In this podcast, we get together every week to discuss a new topic around emerging technologies and try to learn something new in the process. In the past few weeks, we have built an active community of listeners who join us every week to learn new things and we are super grateful for all the love & support coming our way through this podcast.
In today’s episode, we talk about automation and one of the most common areas in an organization that does not often get its due – the helpdesk.
What can embracing automation in the helpdesk get you?
Two very important things.
Improved productivity and improved customer satisfaction.
Helpdesk as a function sees a lot of tasks that are repeatable and hence, automate-able. The best part, it is not even that expensive – in monetary terms and otherwise. For example, resetting passwords, unlocking accounts that got locked, assigning access to folders and applications, prioritizing and assigning incidents and service requests, managing tickets, etc.
Now, imagine these tasks were automated so you didn’t need to have specific individuals whose responsibility was performing these tasks. Can you see how many bottlenecks would get eliminated, how quickly and efficiently so many tasks could be performed, and how easier life would get for the helpdesk team as well as the stakeholders? It would also free up the bandwidth of the helpdesk professionals to work on more complex queries and issues that actually require human intervention – resetting passwords and assigning accesses, not so much.
Now, what happens when you use manual workflows in your helpdesks despite having tasks that can be automated?
First, your user satisfaction and trust take a hit. You know those people who have to keep sending emails and keep calling or reaching out to your helpdesk team on the company’s internal messenger, yeah, we have all been through that at some point, haven’t we? It only leads to frustration and delays for everybody. Why put everybody through that, when the task can be automated and completed in a jiffy?
Second, you lose time – yours as well as your customers’. This time lost could have been spent on doing more productive activities instead of on administrative drudgery. Your customer could have spent the time they spent following up with the helpdesk team doing something more productive. They could have used the time they lost during the time their query was not addressed in something productive.
Third, you lose energy. Let us accept it, those repetitive tasks we are talking about are frustrating. Waiting for them to get done is also frustrating. While a customer waits for the helpdesk executive to find the time to address their request, they are losing precious energy and time, that would otherwise have been used to learn a new skill, talk to the client, and generate a new lead, etc. Similarly, the helpdesk executive could also have channeled the energy into something else.
Fourth, you lose out on issues and projects that will escape through the cracks in your manual workflows. Tickets that got missed, queries that remained unaddressed, you know what we are talking about. Let us accept it, it is these repetitive tasks that usually form the majority of the workload of helpdesks, and it is so easy to lose track of the burgeoning incoming requests, making missing a ticket or query just a matter of time. Automation helps you sidestep the limitation of manual workflows big time.
Fifth, you lose out on opportunities for knowledge sharing among the team. With manual workflows, the helpdesk team got so busy resetting passwords and unlocking systems for the customers that they did not get an opportunity to share what they learned or talk about the unique case they encountered where the system malfunctioned funnily, or how one of them resolved that almost unsolvable system error one of the customers was getting.
Sixth, and most importantly, the team loses its reputation and reliability. Now, this is an expensive affair, won’t you agree? If the customers are convinced that the helpdesk team is unreliable and cannot be trusted, it is a major problem for the team and will always cause friction. We don’t want that now, do we? At the same time, your customers are also losing face in front of their customers because they are not able to deliver what they promised on time.
And this is why we say, embrace automation. Don’t just embrace automation, prioritize it. Consider automation as an important priority. Consider automation as a valuable tool for co-creating value. Consider the helpdesk team as an important business function and not an accessory or support function.
But how do you prioritize this automation for your helpdesk?
Let us give your four key ways in which you can prioritize automation for your helpdesk to co-create value for the business:
- Actively work to use your team’s skills more effectively
- Plan and get a grip on the heavy and spiking workloads, observe the patterns
- Accelerate the issue and incident resolution process
- Strive to be a helpdesk hero for the customers
So, you can see more clearly now how automation will help you achieve all of these, right?
With the discussion so far, we are sure you understand the immense benefits of helpdesk automation packs, but let us highlight them for you to make a good business case for it. Here are some of the top benefits of helpdesk automation:
- Faster response times
- More accurate, automatic reporting
- Improved user-communication
- Skyrocketing productivity
- Increased staff satisfaction
- Focus on the user
So many benefits, one simple cause – workflow automation and orchestration. At the end of the day, we would say it all boils down to one very simple thumb rule – if you can automate, you should automate. One very important thing everyone must understand also is that the initial cost of automation is usually quite high, higher than continuing manually for sure. But the return on investment of this initial cost of automation is always rather quick, it’s automated, after all, isn’t it? Instead of looking at it only from the monetary perspective, look at the things you achieve by embracing automation – improved efficiency, reduce errors, increased productivity, soaring levels of customer satisfaction, faster adaptation to change, and so much more. Makes more sense now?
Well, with that, we come to the end of this episode of the Cognixia podcast. Now, we need to tell you this before you close. This month we have some special promotions going on, it’s Ambitious August and we want to support all of you in achieving your career goals. So our live online instructor-led courses are going up on some very cool discounts, including ITIL 4 Foundation, a very important course if you are looking to embrace automation in your helpdesk function. ITIL 4 Foundation is your gateway to pursuing a flourishing career in IT service management and is the first step in the ITIL 4 certification pathway. So, don’t lose this opportunity, and reach out to us now!
Until next week then! Happy learning to all of you and happy August! Thank you for taking the time to listen to us.