Best Practices Of Using Microsoft Teams As An Employee Service Desk
Owing to the tumultuous year of 2020, where organizations faced difficulties in working at a physical workplace, the adoption of online collaborative platforms has increased exponentially.
Out of all the highly talked about software platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Slack, Microsoft Teams subtly kept garnering attention and adoption as time passed. Since before the pandemic situation, organizations (especially those with an in-built Office Suite) have been using Teams as an online collaborative tool for communicating with their team members, sharing files, organizing events, and carrying out several other activities virtually.
Have a look at some of the recent statistics that show the increase in the adoption and usage of Microsoft Teams:
- Microsoft Teams added 95 million users in 2020, making it one of the most popular online collaborative tools in the world. (Source: BusinessOfApps)
- Teams experienced growth of a whopping 894% from March to June 2020, making it a growth rate higher than that of Zoom. (Source: Aternity)
- More than 500,000 organizations have been using Microsoft Teams as their default workplace messaging platform. (Source: BusinessOfApps)
- Teams generated an estimated revenue of $6.8 billion in 2020, making it a 700% increase from the previous year. (Source: BusinessOfApps)
These stats make it clear that Microsoft Teams has emerged as a major player in the field of online collaborative platforms, with millions of users availing of its services daily.
This widespread adoption of the platform has resulted in it being an ideal choice for an employee service desk. When you use Microsoft Teams as your service desk, you can get your issues resolved and questions answered on the same platform with the help of an automated system.
Before getting into the best practices of using Microsoft Teams as an employee service desk, let us discuss the major issues with the traditional service desks.
Major Issues With The Traditional Service Desk
Scattered Employee Support
The traditional service desk lacks a unified platform where all the employees of an organization can get their issues solved. The traditional approach involved the use of a fragmented employee support system with different service desks in use for different employees.
This often results in a chaotic and unorganized system of support as it confuses employees where to go. As there is no integrated system, an employee has no clear idea as to where to go and whom to approach. Moreover, a scattered front-end support (L1) results in mismanagement of cases and a lack of a streamlined approach.
Manual Ticketing System
The traditional employee service desks make use of a manual ticketing system where an employee needs to raise, manage, and close support tickets themselves. This further results in a chaotic atmosphere as not every employee is an expert in managing support tickets. If your employees are too confused about using the manual ticketing system, they might prefer not to use the employee service desk at all.
Another major issue with the traditional employee service desk is that of delayed responses by the agents. The number of employees in any organization will always outnumber the number of support executives, making it difficult for the agents to solve all the issues simultaneously.
This makes the agents resort to prioritizing the cases based on their urgency and subjective importance. With such a system in place, employees with basic issues will have to wait longer until the more complex cases are resolved by the support executives.
Insufficient Use Of The Knowledge Base
A traditional service desk is hardly able to utilize the potential of your enterprise knowledge base as the solutions are more generic than personalized. Knowledge base plays an important part in employee support as it is the treasure trove of all the solutions to be provided to all employee issues. With a half-baked use of this treasure, employees are likely to stay dissatisfied with the support provided to them.
Sticking To ITSM
A lot of traditional help desks stick to providing ITSM services to the employees. This restricts the support provided to the IT employees, leaving other departments confused and helpless. As an organization diversifies, other departments like HR, Finance, and Sales require an employee service desk as well.
Why Should You Use Microsoft Teams As An Employee Service Desk?
If your organization uses Microsoft Teams for inter-team collaboration, you can use the same platform for resolving employee issues and process automation.
Using two different platforms for online collaboration and employee service desk takes a longer time to solve issues and makes support management difficult. Also, if you go the traditional way of the ticketing system and private notes while using Microsoft Teams, you will have to resort to sending emails and making calls to the dedicated experts for resolving employee issues.
Instead, you can use the platform of Microsoft Teams as an employee service desk to get faster and more efficient support. This allows your employees to get their questions answered while they are working without having to waste time looking for an agent on a separate platform.
Microsoft Teams is a fairly popular collaborative platform and provides its users with a wholesome virtual experience of a workplace. Integrating the feature of an employee service desk would only improve its overall functionality.
Here are some of the major reasons why you should use Microsoft Teams as your employee service desk:
If your organization uses Microsoft Teams, it is likely that all your departments and teams function on the same platform. If you use this integrated platform as an employee service desk, you can cater to the needs of all your employees across the board.
This solves the issue of fragmented support discussed above. Instead of the employees working in different departments having to look for different platforms for seeking support, all your employees can use a common platform to obtain seamless support.
No Need For Training
If your employees are already familiar with working on Microsoft Teams, they will not need separate training for using the employee service desk. If the service desk is seamlessly integrated into the platform, it will not take more than a few clicks for your employees to get their support tickets created and obtain solutions to specific problems.
Improved Use Of Enterprise Knowledge
When you are using the same platform that you work on as an employee service desk, you get to make optimum utilization of the enterprise knowledge. This is because the platform is already loaded with a good amount of valuable knowledge about your business processes.
Also, the online collaborative platform keeps track of all the messages exchanged, files shared, and work done by your employees in real-time. This allows your employees to get personalized and context-driven support from the service desk, further streamlining the system.
Best Processes For Using Microsoft Teams As An Employee Service Desk
If you are using Microsoft Teams as your employee service desk, it is important to make sure that your employees get the best out of it. Some of the best processes for this include the use of process automation and artificial intelligence.
The use of these technologies increases the ease of operation for your employees, allowing them to obtain seamless and effective support for specific issues.
Here are some of the best processes for using Microsoft Teams as an employee service desk:
Use Of Conversational AI
Using conversational AI completely changes your approach towards providing support to your employees. Here, you make use of AI chatbots that assist your employees from the moment they log in to the service desk. These virtual assistants form the first level of support, which is common for every employee working in your organization.
With the help of conversational AI, your employees can obtain specific answers to specific issues, no matter how trivial they are. It is as good as talking to an agent accompanying you 24/7. This improves the quality of support and the precise nature of the solutions provided to your employees.
Invisible Ticketing System
When you use Microsoft Teams as your employee service desk, you can easily eliminate the traditional manual ticketing system by making it invisible. In modern employee service desks, the ticketing process is handled by virtual assistants, relieving your employees of all the hard work.
When your employees are not satisfied with the first level of support and need expert assistance, the chatbots create support tickets for them and route their cases to suitable agents. The agents can then communicate with your employees through the virtual assistants, making the system more organized. Throughout this process, the concerned employee is not required to do anything for managing their tickets except clicking a few buttons.
The modern employee service desk is all about providing support that is context-based. The use of an AI service desk will allow the platform to understand the question asked by a specific employee, scan the history of prior interactions, and come up with a solution that is tailor-made for the concerned employee.
As the name suggests, a ticket analyzer helps you in tracking the history of a specific ticket and identifying the top issues based on previous interactions with the help desk. Advanced machine learning technology allows the service desk to suggest solutions that are best suited for the concerned employees simply on the basis of the ticket raised.
Using Microsoft Teams as an employee service desk will allow you to personalize enterprise knowledge for providing holistic support to your employees. Instead of giving our generalized solutions in the form of private notes and long-form literature, a smart service desk provides concise and precise bits of information based on the questions asked.
With the help of processes like NLP (natural language processing), the service desk makes sure that it makes sense of all the questions asked by the employees and providing customized solutions by looking into the knowledge base. Further, the service desk is able to identify the knowledge gaps and address the same in real-time.
In-built Incident Management
Having an automated and rule-based incident management system within your service desk helps you manage multiple cases in a quick and effective manner. It allows you to identify, analyze, and rectify specific employee issues, ensuring that they never recur in the given circumstances.
The full-features automated ticketing system and configurable case workflow allow the platform to manage multiple cases simultaneously. The use of AI facilitates smart routing of the right issues to the right experts, keeping a real-time track of the same. Advanced SLA (service-level agreement) management allows your employees to receive an appropriate level of support from the agents.
Live Interaction With The Experts
If your employees are not satisfied with the support received by them through the chatbots, provide them with an option of interacting live with the dedicated experts. Although such situations are rare with an integrated and automated service desk, a seamless transition from virtual to real assistants would result in improved employee support.
With multiple agent routing support, you can route multiple cases to the most suitable agents to take over the support and provide their valuable assistance to your employees. The support can be further escalated by making use of configurable triggers and providing context to the agents for solving specific employee issues.
The Microlearning Feature
If your employees need to learn specific skills to improve their work, adding the feature of microlearning to your service desk will allow them to get trained in a sustainable manner. Provide them with ample training resources in suitable formats to get trained all by themselves. You can add quizzes, reviews, nudges, and reminders to ensure thorough and effective training.
The Final Word
Using collaborative platforms like Microsoft Teams as your employee service desk allows you to care a little more for your employees and provide them with a seamless work experience on a single platform. If you have any more suggestions about the best practices to add to the platform of an AI service desk, please share the same by leaving a comment below.