6 Tips for Effective Service Request Management

To successfully manage service requests, employees must work to provide a speedy resolution while keeping the customer in the loop.

Though requests can vary widely—potential asks include application access, software and hardware upgrades, new enrollment processes, contract and project requests, and facility work orders—the goal is essentially the same: to take the steps to fulfill the request while ensuring a positive customer experience.

For managing work and processes that aren’t repeatable and that require a variety of tasks and activities, a case management solution results in greater efficiency. A dynamic case management solution equips customers to make service requests in a simpler way while enabling teams to streamline the fulfillment of those requests.

Here are 6 ways case management can improve service request management

1. Prioritize Your Customers

Tip: Focus your energies on the most common and high-priority requests, and then expand upon your offerings based on usage and customer feedback. Provide easy-to-find, intuitive self-service portals and service request catalogs to ensure high rates of user adoption (and to reduce training costs). A centralized, searchable knowledge base should provide easy access to up-to-date answers to customers’ most commonly asked questions, allowing them to easily find additional information. By moving request fulfillment closer to the customer, you’ll speed up resolutions and minimize overall costs.

How a case management solution can help:

  • Provides intuitive interface for requestors and for those fulfilling requests
  • Offers customer-centric options like self-service portals
  • Creates single point of entry for complete access to service requests, HR processes, incident resolution

2. Gather Requirements

Tip: Document all service request requirements (question data, approval process, fulfillment procedures, fulfillment team, process owner, service level agreements, reporting, etc.) before adding to the request catalog. For requests, capture all necessary data from the customer using pre-filled forms and specific, limited and actionable options. Whenever possible, give your customers meaningful choices, like those around scheduling services. This involvement in the process will make them feel more responsible for their requests.

How a case management solution can help:

  • Manages supporting documents, including forms and service-level agreements
  • Provides employees with a 360-degree view into pertinent information to complete requests

3. Leverage Standardization, Bundling and Automation

Tip: Adapt existing processes or define new ones to drive standardization and simplification for service request fulfillment. This in turn will improve overall service quality and efficiency. Combine services into a suite of offerings for common requests such as new user setups or desk changes. Power your service request management solution with process automation to address common repetitive tasks—like follow-up communications, updates on estimated resolution time and knowledge base recommendations—and free up your staff to concentrate on delivering projects with greater value to your customers.

How a case management solution can help:

  • Provides native reporting dashboards and audit trails for compliance support
  • Helps organizations identify opportunities for improvement
  • Offers a configurable solution that can adapt to changing business needs

4. Integrate Your Solution with Other Systems and Processes

Tip: Creating a service request form that does little more than generate an email to someone doesn’t help manage customer expectations or service delivery. Service requests often involve several departments like procurement, billing and those that handle specific business processes as well as their various software systems and information sources. Ensure seamless integration with your company’s back-end systems by leveraging service request management software with integration capabilities and pre-built adapters. Additionally, by leveraging a unified enterprise information platform with case management, business process management and enterprise content management functionality, you gain the ability to create multiple, connected service request management and other applications across your organization.

How case management can help:

  • Provides seamless integration between front- and back-end systems

5. Provide Visibility

Tip: Your customers—whether internal or external—deserve status updates throughout the service request cycle. These updates should provide a confirmation of the request receipt and updates on authorization, delivery and outsourced or cross-system processes. Increase visibility by creating dashboards and reports to help manage the lifecycle of a service request offering and to identify trends that can alleviate the need for certain processes and tasks that are too complicated or insufficient. You can also track resources used, employee assignments, associated costs and quality of delivery. Using honest metrics (like percentage of delivery on promised delivery times for request fulfillments) and tracking performance helps establish reliability.

How case management can help:

  • Offers accessible dashboards that increase transparency
  • Improves reporting for continuous improvement

6. Manage Expectations

Tip: Track and be explicit about the delivery timeline, including expected date of resolution, estimated date and actual date. Be clear about the effort and resources necessary to fulfill the request. Allow for outliers and request exceptions as well as breakdowns in the process that may delay resolutions. Focus on providing service quality and redress any failures. Close the loop by informing the customer of the request status upon completion and request an evaluation and honest feedback.

How case management can help:

  • Streamlines and tracks communications between employees and customers
  • Tracks data, tasks, activities and interactions throughout request fulfillment
  • Provides insight into historic averages and past performance

Need more information to compare vendors?

Forrester Research, Inc. evaluated the 14 most significant software providers in dynamic case management. Download your complimentary copy of the report. Compare vendors and find the right solution for your organization.