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Hi, I’m Nikki, and I used to be a systems administrator. I want to share a few things that made us successful with our service desk here at Atlassian. In this new blog series, I’m going to give you the secret to creating an awesome service desk for your customers (hint: making it simple).

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

-Albert Einstein

This is Part A of the series, if you haven’t done so, go to the right-hand pane of this page and subscribe to the JIRA Service Desk blogs–keep reading and I’ll give you more reasons why.

Start with the customers in mind

Customer Portal

JIRA Service Desk Portal

Don’t make it hard to request help. Customers want a simple, central portal to submit and track all of their requests. They should never be forced to go through a complex, heavy process to open a request. If they are, you’ll find your agents continually bogged down with requests by email, instant messages, and walk-ups. Stop this from happening by giving your customers an easier way to request support!

Pro Tips!

  • Think about your customers’ language when creating request types. Don’t use terminology that’s only used internally by your agents.
  • Add frequent and common requests first. Focus on what requests are important to your customers.
  • For requests that are not as common, organize them by function.
  • Sample and interview your customers to determine if your descriptions are clear. Each request should be obvious.

Simple forms

JIRA Service Desk Request Form

As a customer looking for support, the last thing you’d want to do is fill out a form that requires a checklist of information. Give your customers a simple request form in a language that make sense to them; they’ll love you for it. How beautiful is that? Only two fields for a hardware request make it effortless.

Pro Tips!

  • When configuring your request form, focus on what information is required from your customers. Nothing more!
  • Allow the customer to set the priority only if the request is impacting productivity or an internal system.
  • Assign preset values and use hidden fields to automatically triage requests into queues for your agents (more on that in my next blog post (wink)).

Take it to the next level

Some IT teams have long, extensive service catalogs and this can make opening the right request very confusing for your customers. Organize similar requests in your catalog with categories. The customer portal will automatically organize your requests, giving your customers a simple way find the right request form, every time.

JIRA Service Desk Categories

Pro Tips!

  • Set the URL to something easily remembered, try using a short link service. At Atlassian, we use “go/IThelp”
  • Print a banner with the URL to your customer portal and hang it up over your service desk team!
  • Market your customer portal by adding the URL to your email signature. Your agents and customers will be able to reference the URL in a familiar location.

By now, you’re ready to take the first step to creating an awesome experience for your customers with the portal. In my next blog post, I’ll talk about how you can make the lives of your agent much simpler, too. We’ll take the overhead out of triaging tickets and figuring out priorities, and show you how to support a global service desk model. By the way, have you subscribed to the blog yet? (smile)

If you haven’t tried service desk yet, give it a try for free and see for yourself how simple it can really be.

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