Assessing the Service Desk

The service desk function exists in a variety of states of maturity. The questions below are helpful in discerning where any particular service desk sits in the spectrum. The questions are largely adapted from those published by the itSMF in regards to ITILv2.

1.      Process Preconditions

 1.1.    Does a function – which for these purposes will be called a Service Desk – exist which manages, co-ordinates and resolves incidents reported by customers?

1.2.    Is the Service Desk the recognized point of contact for all customer/user queries?

1.3.    Does the Service Desk provide information to customers regarding planned changes?

1.4.    Is the business need for a Service Desk clearly identified and understood?

1.5.    Is there sufficient management commitment, budget provision and resource available for the effective operation of the Service Desk?

1.6.    Is the Service Desk perceived as a strategic function by senior management?

1.7.    Has the purpose and benefits of the Service Desk been disseminated within the organization?

1.8.    Have customers and users been educated on how to use of the Service Desk?

 2.     Process Capability

2.1.    Have the functions of the Service Desk been agreed to?

2.2.    Are the services offered by the Service Desk clearly defined for customers and other parties?

2.3.    Does the Service Desk provide a single point of contact for all customer queries?

2.4.    Do Service Desk operators have a procedure or strategy for obtaining the required information from customers whilst call handling?

2.5.    Are standard templates available for capturing customer / user details and identification?

2.6.    Does the Service Desk provide the customer/user with information on service availability, an incident number or reference for use in follow-up communications, and progress updates on any request being managed by the service team?

2.7.    Does the Service Desk make an initial assessment of all requests received, attempting to resolve appropriate requests or referring them to someone who can, based on agreed service levels?

2.8.    Are escalation points and paths clearly defined?

2.9.    Does the Service Desk have access to a knowledgebase of all product, hardware and software documentation and reference material used by customers and users?

2.10.  Does the Service Desk communicate planned and short-term changes of service levels to customers?

2.11.  Does the Service Desk provide a status update to the customer on the closure of incidents?

2.12.  Are customer-satisfaction surveys carried out by the Service Desk and documented appropriately?

2.13.  Are major incidents/problems/changes from the previous week reviewed with customers?

2.14.  Does a customer/user database exist and is it used to monitor customer satisfaction levels?

2.15.  Are second-tier support staff involved in the Service Desk, either on a full time or a rotational basis?

2.16.  Are weekly management reviews held to highlight service availability, customer satisfaction and major incident areas?

2.17.  Does the Service Desk provide management information and make recommendations for service improvement?

2.18.  Does management review Service Desk’s recommendations for service improvements?

 3.      Inter-Process Integration (i.e., in relationship to other service management processes)

3.1.    Is the Service Desk notified of new services or changes to existing services?

3.2.    Does the Service Desk control the Incident Management function and have the interfaces between the Service Desk and Incident management been defined and communicated?

3.3.    Does the organization conduct regular meetings with interested parties in which Service Desk matters are discussed?

3.4.    Does the Service Desk receive information from Change Management regarding impending changes to services?

3.5.    Does the Service Desk exchange information with Service Level Management concerning breaches in service level agreements and the service and support commitments they contain?

 4.      Quality Control

4.1.    Are the standards and other quality criteria applicable for the registration of incidents and for call handling made clear to Service Desk operators?

4.2.    Are Service Level Agreements available and understood by Service Desk operators

4.3.    Does the organization set and review either targets or objectives for the Service Desk?

4.4.    Are there suitable tools in use to support the Service Desk function?

4.5.    Are the personnel responsible for Service Desk activities suitably trained?

4.6.    Has a study of the workload mix been conducted to determine the required staff levels, skill type and the associated costs of the Service Desk?

4.7.    Is a workload analysis produced to help determine staffing levels?

 5.      Reporting

Does the Service Desk provide or contribute to accessible reporting on the following.

5.1.    customer satisfaction with services?

5.2.    operational performance of the Service Desk?

5.3.    customer awareness/ training needs?

5.4.    trend analysis in incident occurrence and resolution?

<<-Back to The Service Desk