Employees are customers, too: why building a better internal help desk matters
Last updated January 30, 2019
Most companies now understand that customers demand service that is personalized, convenient, and efficient—and that ignoring those expectations imperils the bottom line. However, while focusing on the needs of external customers makes sound business sense, creating a rich employee experience can be just as important to a company’s long-term success.
When Glassdoor studied how work culture affects business performance, the results proved eye-opening: businesses with engaged employees outperformed the S&P 500 by as much as 122 percent. Quite simply, happy employees drive success. But the question stands: how do companies address the need for better employee experiences?
The first step requires grasping just how many departments in a company play a role in creating those satisfying employee experiences. These teams can range from strictly internal organizations such as IT and human resources to ones that also work with external partners, such as a facilities team that contracts with a vendor to remodel the office’s fifth floor or a finance department that hires a software consultant.
All of those teams can play a key role in addressing the pain points employees find most vexing: not being able to easily access clear, accurate information and having to navigate inefficient, time-consuming tasks when asking for help. The good news is that companies can address those common issues by creating internal help desks powered by self-service options, such as knowledge bases, artificial intelligence, app integrations, and in-depth reporting.
Engage your employees
Here’s the unfortunate truth: employees tend to feel overwhelmed with the sheer number of different systems—such as payroll, internal wikis, email, and so on—that they must navigate on a daily basis, and far too often their requests for assistance seem to disappear down a rabbit hole. Just like your external customers, employees want visibility and timely action on their requests.
Providing that visibility and structure through an integrated ticketing system can drive productivity and boost employee satisfaction; meanwhile, having an up-to-date internal knowledge base can also reduce employee onboarding times dramatically, in some cases getting new employees up-and-running in a matter of weeks rather than months.
A single source of truth
One of the biggest challenges facing internal help desks remains the sheer volume of apps and systems used across an organization’s various teams, a factor that can negatively impact productivity and discourage collaboration. However, an integrated hub that unifies those disparate systems can provide desperately needed clarity, helping teams move away from inefficient tools such as spreadsheets and email. And when issues need to be escalated, everyone involved has the proper context needed to resolve the problem.
Automate, automate, automate
Two-thirds of IT organizations resolve less than 80 percent of incidents at the first point of contact—and for every additional touch, employee satisfaction drops, along with team productivity. Yet a trio of options can improve those numbers: automation, self-service, and AI.
For example, building email triggers into tickets can keep employees in the loop as their request is handled, and AI can spot common questions and direct workers to relevant information, which streamlines the entire process. By tapping the power of automation and AI, companies can both scale more efficiently and significantly improve how employees view the HR and IT teams.
Finally, improving the employee experience requires the ability to analyze trends, response times, and satisfaction scores to identify underlying problems and opportunities to improve team performance. Those actionable insights can make a significant difference: companies that use analytics to track support team metrics reduce resolution times by an average rate of 16 percent. That means less downtime for employees, who can then keep their focus where it needs to be: on satisfying your customers.
Taking these steps toward creating a better employee experience—providing an up-to-date knowledge base, using an integrated ticketing system, leveraging automation, and taking action on in-depth analytics—will transform how employees feel about their work while driving efficiency. Companies that understand how that translates into happier external customers will remain one step ahead of their competitors.