The dreaded call spike from a new version of software is the nightmare all Service Desk professionals have experienced. Service Level metrics, staffing and productivity all suffer when we deploy new versions of software, especially when the User interface has changed. Remember “Where is the Print Button?” from the new Office 2007 ribbon? That simple interface change stimulated a 47% rise in Service Desk calls for a 90 day rolling period in countless organizations. Answering ‘spike’ questions disrupts service levels, creates staffing challenges, and causes delays in agents resolving more complex diagnostic issues. By using pre-emptive intervention and a continuous ‘User Adoption Campaign’, Service Desks are able to smooth the implementation change for End Users and minimize the Service Desk metric levels.
Continuous Campaigns is a way to think about the solution from an End Users’ perspective. Like an advertising agency, we need to ‘touch’ the ‘consumer’ 13 times to change behavior. If we are going to do that, we need tools and programs that intersect with the End User (aka Spike Caller!) at every point in the users’ learning progression in the their new application environment. The chart below illustrates some of the resources that can be deployed in concert to minimize disruption and enhance productivity.
User Adoption Tools (UAT) are the key to running Continuous Campaigns that will keep spike calls to a minimum. UAT materials can be as simple as what the Service Desk has always known as a ‘Cheat Sheet’. These 2 page basic How-To guides are essential for Agents, so why not for ‘Consumers’ (aka End Users)? How about a short commercial that gives a preview of the new software? A Tip of the Week email as the product is launched? Or Lunch and Learn Topic slide presentations? Deploying a range of resources that can get in front of questions as they occur or stimulate questions when we are ready to take them is a good thing for both the User and the Service Desk. New user interfaces and changes to software design are as frustrating to End Users productivity as it is the Service Desk efficiency!
Our job is to get IT Users back to work! … and get them up to speed on new software quickly. Think about how you can contribute to Continuous Campaigns and how you might build User Adoption Tools that pre-empt the spike that will occur AGAIN with Windows 10 and Office 2016.
Keith Gibson, CEO
Keith is a 15 year veteran of the Service Desk industry where he has focused on the role of Knowledge in the support equation. His experience includes very large as well as startup service desks. He has worked for IBM, KPMG, Sykes Enterprises before founding his own business over 15 years ago. Knowledge Accelerators was founded with the belief that once table driven applications accelerated application deployment, the speed an organization can adapt to changes is then constrained by the speed knowledge can be assimilated by the end ‘consumers’ of the knowledge.
Contact Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org with your experiences and ideas for enhancing User Adoption in the Service Desk.