Back in 2010, the University of Mexico‘s old IT service request system was on its last leg.
Instead of opting for a new tool, Ann Swancer said the university needed a new implementation that reduced sources and increased the demand for IT to deliver improved quality services.
“It wasn’t the tool’s fault,” said Swancer, Associate Director of Customer Support Services at the University of New Mexico. “It was the way the school implemented it. It needed to fix its implementation.”
That new implementation included a revamped IT portal where end users could more easily submit assistance requests to the IT department.
Swancer said that the previous portal was not end user-friendly, and that end users often complained about not being able to easily navigate it.
“One of the things customers complained about with the original portal was finding the thing they wanted to request and report what needed to be fixed,” she said. “Then they had to submit the request, verify their contract, then provide information in four complex categories that were written in IT language. The average customer had a challenge understanding them.”
“I’m not surprised they were frustrated by that,” she said. “We knew we had to make improvements there.”
Swancer said after inviting a group of 20 to 30 end users and the CIO to group meetings, the IT department knew how to better implement their request system.
She said the improvements included:
• Developing a shorter list of service requests for end users to choose from
• Integrating more end user-friendly language
• Grouping the technical services in one, easy-to-find place
• Determine what device is being used and needs attention
• Capture the symptoms and information on what action was last performed on those devices
• Trust a technician to identify what the true cause of the technology failure was
The new portal structure also provides end users with self-help options, instructions on how to log into a campus system, options to report an issue, make a request, and the opportunity to track any requests they previously submitted to IT.
Swancer said that it took a lot of effort on the project team’s part to think about end users’ wants and what IT could deliver.
However, she said all that work paid off: the interface was simplified and end users are happier.
“All in all I think the revamping of the tool was a success,” Swancer said. “I think we still have a few challenges…[but] I think the gains we got from the immediate population made it worthwhile.”
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