Self-service is a hot topic. And no wonder: it has great benefits for IT service desks. But will self-service take away work from the IT team? What kind of work does self-service create? And how does self-service affect IT professionals’ job satisfaction and customer experience? Let’s find out.

Will self-service make the IT service desk redundant?

When you mention self-service, some people seem concerned that machines will be taking over all work at the IT service desk. Fear not, artificial intelligence is not taking over (yet)! Fact is, self-service doesn’t kill roles; it just redefines them to more interesting ones.

Providing your customers with a self-service portal simply means service desk operators can work more efficiently and proactively. After all, work for service desk operators doesn’t stop when they’re no longer fighting tickets. Because that’s not where they can add most value. What will actually happen is that you’ve freed up their time from menial tasks.

Thanks to self-service, the service desk can shift their attention to bigger incidents or preventative maintenance. Smaller, repetitive tasks are solved via a self-service portal by giving users the power to find their own answers.

Find out what the service desk of the future will look like (spoiler alert: there’s self-service involved)

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What kind of work does self-service create?

Setting up a self-service portal is a big project in itself which requires expertise from across the IT service desk. It’s fun work though! Service desk operators get to use their common experience and expertise to work strategically and creatively and set up a great portal that is the shining centerpiece of the IT service desk.

Find out how to build a good self-service portal in this blog

After the portal’s been set up, continuously maintaining it and making sure that information stays up-to-date, relevant and accessible is crucial. If you have a self-service portal, your knowledge base also needs to be maintained to a high standard, which in itself is a lot of work.

Discover what makes a good knowledge base in this blog

Self-service doesn’t kill roles, it just redefines them to more interesting ones.

What doesn't fit in a self-service portal?

Of course, not every type of question can be answered via a self-service portal, so there will still be requests that the IT service desk needs to resolve themselves. Use this rule of thumb to decide whether a request can be solved with self-service or not:

Is it a bigger request? Something that end users will need to speak to a service desk operator about? Then it’s better for IT to retain ownership of the request. A good example of this is a change request.

Is it a simple, recurring request, such as how to change printer paper? Place a standard solution in the self-service portal for people to refer to as and when they need it.

Essentially, if the knowledge gap between what the user needs to do and what they know how to do is small, fill it! This way, service desk employees can spend less time resolving recurring calls.

How does self-service affect job satisfaction and customer experience?

Self-service will never mean that tickets go away completely. What self-service does mean is that the tickets that come in really require your team’s attention and expertise – and some problem solving. It simply makes work more engaging and improves employee experience.

A successful self-service portal helps increase customer experience, since end users are empowered to help themselves. And, the more positive experiences your end users have, the better job satisfaction will be for service desk operators.

Become a self-service expert

With a self-service portal, the IT service desk can greatly contribute to the efficiency of your organization, because simple, recurring requests won’t have to go through the service desk all the time.

Ready to implement self-service? Download our e-book and discover how to develop self-service in your organization.