iCore Ltd

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Service Desk Incident Handling – “Consider the User’s Needs”

Service Desk Team with Headsets, handling the incidents.

In a world of pervasive Customer Service, at some point in the recent past, most of us will have either suffered or benefited from an issue handling process. Whether it be returning a faulty piece of clothing to a store, chasing up an online retailer about an overdue delivery, or finding out why this month’s electricity bill is so much more than last month.  How these issues are handled by the Service Provider will greatly influence our perception of that provider, if we continue to use them in the future and if we would recommend or advise against using them to a colleague / associate.

IT Support is no different, and yet too commonly Incident handling processes and systems are implemented such that we forget the needs of the user who may not be IT literate, has no concept of ITIL or what IT refers to as an Incident, does not care about measures and reporting, and simply wants to get their IT issue resolved.

ITIL defines an Incident as “an unplanned interruption to, or the reduction in quality of an IT Service”, and the Incident Management process as the approach for logging, tracking and resolving Incidents.  However, via the Service Desk, Incident handling is also where the bulk of your user interactions are likely to occur, and despite this interaction typically being initiated when a user has an issue, the Service Desk and the Incident handling process provides IT with an opportunity to sell itself and improve perception by meeting basic user needs by;

  • Providing a clear and convenient way for users to report their issue.
  • Confirming to users that their issue has been received and is being responded to.
  • Ensuring IT staff have the appropriate skills and knowledge to handle the issue.
  • Using language understood by the users when assessing / clarifying issues.
  • Setting user expectations as to how long it should take to resolve the issue.
  • Providing clear instruction on any actions the user may need to perform.
  • Notifying the user, and resetting expectations, if the issue cannot be resolved as expected.
  • Notifying the user of issue resolution and providing an opportunity for them to confirm.
  • Allowing a quick and easy Customer Satisfaction follow-up, one question “How did you rate this service?”


Fairly simple, but tick all the boxes and most users will acknowledge they received a good service, will be more likely to continue using that service, and will potentially recommend the service to others.

In iCore’s experience, when Business Senior Management meets to review IT Service Delivery, they will be heavily influenced by the feedback received from their staff. Anecdotally, an iCore consultant recently experienced a major push from Business Managers to change the Service Desk system purely based on poor user feedback about screen design and system workflow. It is therefore vital that IT Support consider user perception of their service and take every opportunity to improve and maintain this, as poor user perception can sometimes result in IT planning and budgets being impacted.

IT Support, the challenge is to implement an Incident handling process that meets user needs without hindering IT staff in logging, tracking and resolving issues, and achieves business needs for identifying high priority issues, monitoring impact of Changes, supporting Problem investigations, identifying Knowledge gaps, providing value-based reporting, and attaining targets for first time fix, time to confirm receipt of issues, time to resolve issues, and ensure customer satisfaction.

If you would like to find out how iCore can help you with managing Customer Experience through the Service Desk and Incident handling process, then please contact us on 0207 868 2405 or email info@icore-ltd.com