Does Your Service Desk Market IT to the Business? It Should!

Posted by on March 31, 2016


The following in an excerpt from a longer article that can be found at servicedesk360.

If your service desk doesn't prioritize marketing IT to the business, you could be missing out on a key opportunity to help move the business forward and meet the needs of customers. The following Q&A is an excerpt from an interview between ServiceDesk360 and Jarod Greene.

Marketing IT internally is something that may be unfamiliar to some IT teams. What’s your advice for any IT manager looking to better understand marketing? 

Jarod: Start with the basics. It’s very likely that the marketing organization is struggling to learn and practice the latest trends in digital marketing. On a high level, these digital marketing practices work to better engage the business – a practice that many IT organizations take for granted. The fact is, IT managers are sitting on a massive amount of data when it comes to their customer base. There is a significant opportunity present for IT managers to use that data to better understand customer wants, needs, and motivations. When done correctly, IT can engage the business with a data-driven dialogue designed to effectively compete for business. Sometimes that might be as simple as educating users on the full range of capabilities in the CRM system which would significantly extend the ROI. Other times, that might be the delivery of new services driven from IT’s observation of loosely connected business processes.

Do you have any examples of marketing IT done well?

Jarod: Absolutely, but I’ll have to be non-specific. An IT organization in the U.S. hired a Consumer Experience designer from the business to work alongside the Director of Infrastructure and Operations. The business was 100 percent focused on delivering a more integrated, cohesive customer experience but lagged well behind in providing that same experience for employees. The team worked to engage business users to get to know them, to ultimately begin the steps associated with persona-based marketing. They developed an understanding of their customers’ preferences, priorities, and practices which provided better engagement. By improving engagement, they received feedback they could apply immediately. This increased self-service utilization because the design was completely oriented around the customer, rather than oriented around IT. As more call volume shifted away from the phone, the organization could decrease the utilization rate of their service desk analysts, thereby positioning them towards high value activities for the business.

The Service Desk has the highest volume of customer interactions across the IT department. How do you think service desks can leverage this position to help promote and market IT?

Jarod: The service desk is, and always will be, the face of IT. During the next three years, how IT organizations choose to leverage that face is going to determine whether their budget is either doubled or cut in half. The service desk can no longer be reactive to support anything and everything the business throws at them. The IT organization must understand the businesses’ expectations of technology – no matter how excessive they may seem. That doesn’t happen without engagement! Unfortunately, the service desk primacy as the IT-business conduit has been dramatically underutilized from that perspective. When the shift occurs from “what’s broken” to “what were you trying to accomplish”– we’ll know we made it. IT organizations can take that simple step today.