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It’s a familiar cycle in IT: An end-user calls with an issue, IT resolves it. The issue comes up again, for the same end-user or for someone else. IT resolves it. Again. And again and again.

Clearing time-sapping hurdles is one of IT’s core functions, and it’s critical for maintaining enterprise productivity. But it’s only one line on IT staff’s growing list of duties. They are also responsible for standard day-to-day tasks, longer-term initiatives, and keeping up with and ensuring users are aware of changes from an accelerated pace of technology releases.

IT’s many responsibilities aren’t discrete, however. Simply resolving pressing issues and not eliminating the causes is productivity maintenance at best. The issues will arise again, and will affect not only end-user productivity, but IT’s too.

Today’s IT desk must think less in terms of maintaining productivity and more of amplifying it

Today’s IT desk must think less in terms of maintaining productivity and more of amplifying it. To do so, they need to recognize the opportunities and provide end-users with the tools and knowledge to enable productivity and prevent problems from happening in the future.

We explored ways in which your IT staff can make the most of these opportunities in a recent webinar, and in a companion e-book series. Here are a few highlights:

Help end-users ask the questions they didn’t know they had

Most employees use only a small fraction of their software’s capabilities because they often don’t know they exist. Technology is not always intuitive, and the extent of its functionality is not always evident.

In the e-book 6 Ways to Turn Your Service Desk into a Productivity Engine, we explore ways in which you can encourage service desk staff to help end-users utilize the features they need. For example, when end-users call with questions, staff should ask them what they are attempting to accomplish. By doing so, service desk staff gain critical context, which enables them to come up with efficient approaches that benefit both the end-user and the company.

When end-users become more proficient with the software and devices they use every day, they are happier and more productive. Their increased efficiency also frees up IT staff to devote more time to longer-term, higher-value initiatives.

Don’t forget new hires

People don’t stick around like they used to. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. workers stay with each employer for an average of 4.6 years. The average tenure for workers in the 25-34 age range is 3 years. For employers, this means more chances new hires could fall through the cracks in terms of training.

In 5 Tips to Onboard and Foster Tech Savvy Employees, the sixth in our productivity e-book series, we examine efforts that can be made during the employee onboarding process. To ensure every employee, new or established, is always up to date, create an ongoing learning and development approach and work closely with HR to implement it. Find out which technology new hires will need to use, and provide HR with instructional guides and videos to be included in onboarding materials.

Encourage new hires early on to ask the service desk for help. When they reach out with questions or issues, use those calls as opportunities for teaching and for delivering superior service. In addition, designate IT champions in every department who can serve as liaisons between their department and IT.

In a post we published earlier this month, Vitalyst Customer Experience VP Rich Natoli described how Japanese hospitality principles of the past can inform today’s approach to customer care. Organizations must provide more than just customer service, he wrote. He noted that, in order to compete, companies need to widen their lens and consider what has historically been outside of the frame—“each and every interaction, from the prospect stage through to the point that they become new clients, and, ultimately, loyal customers.”

The same can be said about IT and its “customers”—the end-users. Each support call they make, every training session they complete, every tip and trick they learn—these are all part of their customer experience. For the IT service desk staff, every end-user interaction is an opportunity. They just need to know how to find them.

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