Scaling the Service Desk

A service desk is the core function of a service provider business, getting the best from this department can be a crucial difference between a successful, profitable MSP and one that is not.

For an MSP the service desk plays a critical role in the business, the level of service offered, the efficiency in delivery directly relates to the success of a typical channel business – the service desk function can make the difference between success or failure. With a strong service desk function, a company can offer a streamlined IT helpdesk department with internal operations that bring value to a business, so its no exaggeration to think that the service desk department plays a critical role in an MSP business.

Growing with Demand

As a business grows the number of tickets coming in grows along with it and usually at a faster rate, on average internal IT teams receive 492 tickets per month. This statistic might not cover every MSP to start with, but as they grow, you can expect the number of support tickets to fluctuate around this number. As these figures grow businesses needs to maintain a high customer satisfaction rating and continue to resolve tickets with a high first-time response rate, according to the Service Desk Benchmark Report 69% of support tickets are resolved in one-touch.

value proposition of an MSP is to scale revenue, support more clients while maintaining a good to excellent customer satisfaction rating

The value proposition of an MSP is the ability to scale revenue and support more clients and services while maintaining a good to excellent customer satisfaction rating, a challenge that gets ever so difficult as a business begins to scale. How does a business scale the service desk to match the demand of the growing business? There are a few key areas/ practices that can be looked at to help streamline the service desk and ready itself to take on more demand and in some cases, provide an opportunity for revenue growth.

Using Repeatable Processes

For the value-added business model to work an MSP has to be more efficient than the customer they are serving, to do this a business should not rely on creating a business model for each client but instead consider utilising standardised and repeatable processes. As business scales, these templates can be applied to each customer.
To further extend on this, processes should be best practices, tried and tested methods. Relying on best-practices can offer greater leverage when convincing customers to use your procedures over their own while enabling for scalability.

Having a New Mindset

Many businesses consider the service desk function to be an internal entity with no outwardly facing value; this can lead to service providers buying tools that are limited in their abilities. Many tools and solutions offer so much more than ticket management and when a business sees the service desk as a reflection of the company, a brand image, only then can they take more significant advantage of the broader value on offer from service desk software.
Software such as LogonBox offer password reset portals; others offer documentation portals, some extend this beyond service desk entirely and provide single sign-on and more. All these additional options provide the service desk with multiple ways of increasing revenue while reducing load and allowing for greater scalability.

Using Self-Service Software

Service desk software does not need to be a one-dimensional tool where an end-user raises a ticket and waits for the service desk engineer to resolve the issue; self-service tools are available that can empower users to resolve problems themselves rather than waiting on the service desk engineer. For example, self-service password reset products enable end users to reset their passwords without ever needing to create a ticket, service desk documentation products provide end-users with articles to resolve issues themselves like printer issues, all this without calling the service desk.

Service desk software does not need to be a one-dimensional

Using self-service tools can help streamline the service desk and provide greater productivity to end-users since they can effectively manage themselves. Service desk technicians are also able to focus on higher priority tier two and tier three issues, things which have a direct impact on the bottom-line.
When considering self-service products to help with the service desk, CTOs should confirm the chosen product supports a multi-tenant architecture to allow for bringing on new clients. It should have sound security mechanisms in place too, self-service products like self-service password reset tools rely on users to administer themselves, so there needs to be a greater emphasis on validation and identity verification.

Increasing Value of What You Have

Service providers aim to offer better value to a customer at a price point that is appealing, adding value that otherwise could not be attained by the customer while being economically efficient. Businesses need to find ways of increasing margins with the resources they have, areas such as applications, processes and staff can be good areas where optimisation can occur.
Take for example applications, a business can invest in tools such as self-service password reset applications to manage passwords. This saves the need to handle password tickets which by and large are the most significant support tickets that come into the service desk. Helpdesk staff no longer need to field these tickets resulting in agents being able to manage other tasks/ issues.
Automation is another area where service desk can gain an advantage, products like LogonBox not only have a core function such as self-service password reset portal but can integrate with other systems allowing for automatic execution of tasks in other systems creating a chain of events all triggered from a self-service action. For example, after a password reset a self-service application could propagate information into a third-party product through a REST API call or initiate a task in a CRM.
Another area is staffing, by optimising through training and knowledge share employees can begin to field more tickets, not only in quantity as their speed increases but through the range of issues or tasks they can handle, going from tier one problems right up to tier three; moreover, this does not need to come at a considerable cost. There are many opportunities for affordable training.
These a just a few examples but areas such as these provide fertile ground for regular review and improvement and where a business can increase profits without needing to make significant upfront investments.

Biting the Bullet Early

An early stage MSPs can get away with manual processes and procedures but as the business scales, it will struggle likely incurring higher costs and more obstacles. If considered early a business should opt for applications and processes that allow for upscaling, this might be hard work at the start, but if an MSP business intends to scale up, this effort will become vital in its success.

Not Already a LogonBox Customer?

LogonBox can help streamline your service desk, you can get started for free, LogonBox on-premise foundation is free for an unlimited number of users forever, with an affordable pricing model that scales as you do. You can learn more about LogonBox by checking out our website, blog, or simply by contacting us.