Companies are looking to reduce cost, create efficiency and improve productivity of all internal and external customer services. In many organizations, different departments are using individual tools to provide their customers with the services they need. They can work in silos, can provide inadequate quality of service and not to mention that the portfolio of different tools can be quite costly.
Enterprise Services Management (ESM) is a popular approach to implementing services within the organization. Departments such as human resources (HR), operations and marketing are seeing the value of Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) processes, and companies are looking to repeat that same value across the business. ESM allows all departments in the organization the opportunity to standardize tools and processes across all of their services departments. This standardization of tools and processes can create transparency, can improve the customer experience and in the end can reduce overall cost.
There are quite few tools that can be used to support the implementation of ESM. Two components of an effective ESM implementation include a shared service desk and a knowledge base.
The shared service desk encourages the standardization of tools, and even paves the way for the alignment of processes. Departments should find tools that can be scaled up from just ITSM to support requirements across different service departments. There are quite a few applications available to companies for a shared service desk.
In order to promote adoption, organizations must consider the ease of usability for both customers and customer service providers. Atlassian has two applications, Jira Service Desk (JSD) and Confluence, that together provide companies their shared service desk and knowledge base components of their ESM solution.
JSD can be used as the foundation of an organization’s ESM implementation. Having JSD as the standardized service desk provides customers with a single customizable portal for all requests across the business. Unlike Jira Software and Jira Core, JSD licensed users are called agents. Companies only pay for agent licenses and do not pay for their customers.
Below are just some of the features that are available with JSD:
- A portal that can organize request types for customers. This provides them one place to submit all of their requests across the business.
- Customizable workflows that include features such as custom statuses, conditions and post-functions.
- Queues that provide the ability for agents to monitor and manage requests.
- Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that help set time frames for agents to complete a certain step such as responding to the customer and even resolving the request.
- The ability to automate certain workflow steps.
- A plethora of built-in reports, to include one that shows overall customer feedback satisfaction.
The next component is a knowledge-base. Why is a knowledge base valuable to both customers and agents? Confluence is a wiki that helps teams organize and share information. A well configured knowledge base can empower the customer to answer the questions they have without submitting a request. This can reduce the time agents spend on common requests.
Confluence has the ability to create a knowledge base, and seamlessly integrate it with JSD. Confluence is organized by pages, which are structured in a series of parent-child relationships—in the end form it’s called a page tree. To add/edit articles in the knowledge base, the person will require a Confluence user license. However, any customer can read the articles in a knowledge base without a license.
Below are just a few of the available features with a Confluence knowledge base:
- Built-in templates for how-to and troubleshooting articles.
- Page labels that help serve as keywords for customers and service desk agents when searching for knowledge base articles.
Below is a process flow for customers submitting a request in a typical ESM implementation using JSD and Confluence:
- User launches portal in web browser.
- In the portal, if a knowledge base is configured, the user can start typing keywords to search for articles that answer their question.
- If the user does not find the answer to their question in the knowledge base, they can navigate within the portal to the request type they wish to submit. The request types can be grouped by department.
- User completes the request form. Fields can be custom or out of the box. They can also be required or optional.
- Form is submitted and it creates an issue in JSD.
- The issue is added to one or more agent queues. Agents can also receive notifications in email, and third party applications such as Slack, Opsgenie or PagerDuty.
- Agent communicates with the customer via comments in the Jira issue, and the customer communicates with agents via the customer request interface.
- Agent works on request in until its resolution.
In summary, ESM is continuing to improve value in organizations for many reasons. One part of a successful implementation of ESM is which tools are selected for customers and customer service providers.