Can your service desk do what my wife just did? Practical advice and lessons learned from Candy Crush.

My wife is not technical by any means. However, she just found, requested, procured, licensed, implemented, troubleshot and ACTIVELY used an app without any help. (as for me, I’m hoping it gets retired soon!).

 

The technology she so quickly put into service is candy crush http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candy_Crush_Saga the wildly successful puzzle game.

 

She was able to complete an entire service request cycle in a matter of minutes, at with minimum cost to both her as a customer and King as the solution provider, and do it all with a customer satisfaction rate of 99% (she would have a 100% customer satisfaction ratio but she loses 1% because I roll my eyes every time I hear ‘tasty’ or ‘sweet’ come from the mobile device (for those of you who’ve played candy crush you know what I’m talking about!)).

 

Wouldn’t we all love to see this simple service request scenario as part of our own service desks processes?

 

So what is the service provider doing correctly?

 

First, they make the ability to request their services (i.e. game in this case) very easy. It’s intuitive, it’s upfront, it’s easy to find. In my wife’s case she saw her sister playing the game. My wife searched for it, the game was the top return and she was routed directly to the page to ‘play’ it. An important search factor was that she knew exactly what the game was since images and descriptions were front and center via search results.

 

Second, when it was time for my wife to procure and implement the game, the process took all of 3 clicks via her mobile device. This type of easy to consume request management process is so prevalent in the consumer environment; it behooves us all in IT to mimic this consumer consumption model for IT or other business services. Obviously this is an easy service to consume, but King made it easy and quick with no hiccups simply by positioning the game up front and making the procurement process as easy as clicking a couple of buttons.

 

As my wife started playing candy crush she had questions on what certain pieces of candy do (if you’re not familiar with the game, think of super powered ‘special’ candies). In order to understand the game concepts (a.k.a. knowledge management), she Googled the game pieces and was quickly presented a simple video (note here: no text or lengthy word descriptions, just easy to find – one click videos) which gave her a brief overview of the game and what all the super powered candy pieces can do for her. The game also provides a simple knowledge delivery method available directly from the service (game). Candy crush has 3 visual pages on how to get started and what certain candy pieces can do. They also do something very important during the process. They pop up visual ‘tutorials’ on what certain game candies can do, and they have buttons for the user to push to easily access knowledge about the game and candy pieces.

 

King understands the power of continued service. They provide a way for the consumer to get the services they need (via paid or unpaid (thanks Facebook friends!) means) and continue playing the game with its almost endless amounts of levels or puzzles.

 

Most importantly, the company understands what it means to be social and mobile. The success of the game (as witnessed and proven by its predecessor FarmVille) can be related to the fact that it works on mobile devices for ease of use and accessibility, and it’s connected to social environments so anyone can immediately access it and interact (and brag about their scores) among their social circles.

 

There’s a reason candy crush has been so wildly adopted by the consumer market. It’s visually appealing, easy to utilize, engaging and interactive. There are hundreds of other puzzle games available, but candy crush makes the end-to-end service delivery (i.e. consumption) model appealing and easy, so anyone and everyone can use it, and is! http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/candy-crush-saga-millions-stop-crushing-candy-facebook/story?id=19314358#.UcSANPmceLg

 

Practical advice on how we make our help desk work like candy crush?


What can your service desk environment learn from candy crush?

 

First, make your services accessible. Make services easy to search on via business users, structure your services so they are easily accessible, and display the appropriate services to the appropriate customer at the appropriate time. A well-structured service portfolio / catalog can help achieve this.  The first step in a well-structured service catalog is understanding the services your business really needs – but we’ll address that in another blog on another day. 

 

Next, create easy & intuitive service offerings. And, make them easily consumable. Use pictures and straightforward text and instructions. If simple word descriptions help achieve this great, if visual or graphical help show the service, then utilize them. Visualization in the service request process is a very small, yet critical factor, and one that is often overlooked, but oddly enough goes a long way in helping the user find and request services. Especially in a business environment when users often don’t know exactly what requests are called (sometimes IT names get in the way here) or exactly what to search on.

 

Ask yourself how consumer based services are accessible, and mimic this model. Look into creating an app store like look and feel. All too often our self-service offerings do not visually appeal to the business, nor do we enable the business to easily search for and request services. Ease of request is a major success factor in the consumer market requesting services, and it’s a great way to ensure success in IT related service requests.

 

Interactive: enable your end-to-end service delivery process to be as interactive as possible. In each process step, whether it be during the initial stage, the approval stage or the deployment stage, keep your audience involved. There’s no reason why we can’t visually show progress to inform the business of their service request.

 

Consider enabling ‘modern knowledge’. Look into converting traditional text heavy FAQ’s into video tutorials. Your videos don’t have to be professionally produced. Keep the content simple, friendly, to the point, and easy to find and consume.  Use language and concepts your business customers understand. Provide a ‘Google like’ experience which shows relevant knowledge. And keep knowledge up-to-date. If this requires top agents to create, edit and publish data, then give them the ability to do so. Consider gamifying your knowledge creation process. It’s a fun and collaborative way to reward and encourage agents to share their knowledge (and let’s face it, your IT agents have a lot of knowledge!).

 

Finally, and most importantly, intertwine social & mobile (consumer like) technologies with the service desk and your service delivery

 

process. The more we collaborate our services in the social sphere, and the more we make them accessible via mobile devices, the greater chances we have of impacting the service delivery process via service desk. Consider ways an end user can create a service in a matter of a few clicks. Leverage drag and drop functionality vs. drop downs and list of values. Have the ability to host a post peer-to-peer review models. Have the ability for services to go viral via social collaboration tools.

 

Games (a.k.a. services) like Candy Crush can help us think differently.

 

Jeff Moloughney

@jeffmoloughney

Solutions Marketing ITSM Solutions

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Jeff Moloughney

Jeff Moloughney

Jeff has been in the enterprise software business for close to 20 years working at Oracle, FrontRange Solutions and most recently BMC where he is a member of the BMC ITSM solutions marketing team. He has expertise in both product management and product marketing for customer relationship management, customer service & support, and IT service management solutions.