Packed house full of empowered customers! Recap and practical advice from the HDI 2013 breakfast panel

I came back towards the end of last week from HDI 2013 where 4 gracious individuals woke up early to help me discuss how technology empowers users to be more productive, free and informative. First and foremost, special thanks go to all my panelists: Stefanie McCollum – Columbia College, Chris Oglesby – Texas Tech University, Matt Graves – Column Technologies and Dan Podsobinski – IT prophets.

My goal of the session was to have an interactive and candid presentation……………….and I was definitely not disappointed. Lagoon G was packed (and at 7:30 am local Las Vegas time!) with customers hungry for information on how technology can empower users. My intent was to break the session’s agenda in two parts. First portion was created to emphasis how business focused technologies such as self-service, mobile and social are changing the way end users interact with the service desk, and the second portion was to discuss how ITSM technologies can help service desk users be more productive in their service delivery processes through concepts such as automation and analysis. Unfortunately, or fortunately as it turned out, the entire session was focused on only the first portion of my agenda: how end user facing technologies enable the business users to interact with the service desk in a much more streamlined, productive and cost effective manner. Looks like we’ll have to wait for next year’s HDI 2014 to focus on the second portion: service desk users empowerment!

Lessons learned from empowering the business users.

When I surveyed the audience on who was using self-service type functionality for business end users (business in this case is synonymous with customers, consumers, internal teams, partners, vendors, etc.) to interact with the service desk, over 95% of the audience raised their hands. Great to see we are actively empowering the end users! The heaviest conversations around self-service were (and I’m paraphrasing here) ‘how do we leverage external knowledge management to the best of its ability’, and ‘how do we market self-service so the end users know it’s there’. The panelist had great advice on how to constantly and frequently review KM articles that are available to the end users to ensure KM’s validity and to make sure the business finds worth in leveraging KM articles (or else they may not go back). In terms of marketing self-service functionality, Chris from Texas Tech had the best advice for when someone calls in, ‘just gently remind them that the portal is available!’ ‘Gently’ being the key word here, as said with a grin! On a more serious note, the consensus was to have reminders in business communications, emails, social posts, etc. which constantly point the end users to the self-service portal. In addition, it was suggested to hold frequent surveys asking the end users on the effectiveness of self-service.

Another main focus of the session was the impact of social technologies. The general consensus was social activities; whether via Facebook, Twitter or Chatter do have an impact on the end users. To what extent was the most common question? The most widely used social capability were broadcasts via social media posts. They were viewed as one of the most cost effective, far reaching ways to empower the end users in terms of knowledge and information. It’s no secret that social media is used at a lower percentage than other interaction channels, but everyone in the room was in agreement that ‘we’ need to be prepared to support social media, and even more so be prepared to change and adapt to various social interaction channels the market has to offer.

It was great to be part of such a lively and candid conversation on how end users are empowered with service management technologies. Again, a big thank you to the panelist and everyone who attended the empower your users session. Looking forward to next year’s show!

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.