The 4 Pillars of Great Service

As the Service Desk continues to evolve and extend its reach across the enterprise, I thought it was a good time – as the year comes to a close – to think about what makes a great service. I am thankful to the Service Desk Institute for the inspiration behind the four pillars of Speed, Accessibility, Accuracy and Usability.

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Users no longer want to wait 20 seconds to speak to a person on the Service Desk.  Instant ticket creation via API and chatbot integrations, self-service and self-heal are needed in this digital age. There is a need to satisfy  the desire for instant gratification as Generation Z enter the workplace. (Am I showing my age?) A modern service desk needs to provide a near instantaneous, app type performance.


It seems obvious that the Service Desk portal should be accessible both in terms of the channels: telephone, web and app access and, for digital platforms, in terms of the W3C accessibility guidelines. Chatbots, Virtual Agents and Self-Help or FAQ are on the roadmap for most large organisations now.

What is less obvious is the consideration for channel integration. How can users interact with the Service Desk or raise incidents without leaving the platform on which they are working? Browser plug-ins or integration into Teams or Slack for example.

With accessibility should come the ability to share rich contextual information to help the Service Desk triage and resolve incidents. Whether that is a screen grab, heap dump or application log passed directly into the ITSM tool without complex user interaction.


Just as important is that the Service Desk get it right first time.  In the early days of outsourced help desks, a knowledgeable SME would remote onto your desktop and look around, triaging on the fly and trying different things to get you up and working again. These days, knowledge is a valuable asset for the Service Desk and must be leveraged to build repeatable solutions that can be applied time and time again to deliver a constant quality of support.

Knowledge augmented with machine learning should detect patterns to deliver the right fix first time, every time.


A quick, accurate, accessible Servicer Desk can still see adoption rates fall if the interfaces and customer experiences delivered are not intuitive. Complex, difficult to navigate menu structures or IVR options will drive customers down the wrong channel or worst still drive up abandonment rates and adversely affect TCO as users revert back to voice channels, tying up first line support staff answering the phone that in turn hit the speed and accessibility targets.

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