Your IT service desk is the heart of the support operations of your company. It is the frontline for engaging with end-users, the face of your IT organization, and a critical service to keep your users and business processes running smoothly. To help you deliver your IT services with Freshservice more effectively and efficiently, here are some tips and best practices.

 

1. Upgrade your employee experience

 

i. Introduce Chat and Caller as support channels

Every minute your employees spend waiting for IT support is a minute they’re unable to spend doing their normal tasks resulting in loss of productivity. Also, with the workforce being largely remote today, there is no physical IT service desk or kiosk for your employees to get real-time support from the IT team. Enable your agents to have real-time conversations with your requesters right within Freshservice to understand and resolve their issues faster with chat via Freshdesk Messaging and phone calls via Freshdesk Contact Center integrations.


 

ii. Add a Feedback Widget

Take advantage of the Freshservice feedback widget form if the self-service portal adoption is low at your service desk. The feedback widget can host your incident form and the Kbase and can be placed on any of your company's websites. You can find it under Admin > Support Channels.

 

iii. Bring self-service to the channels where employees work

If you are an enterprise user, enhance employee experience with an intelligent virtual agent that is deeply embedded across collaboration apps such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. Virtual Agent does not involve any extensive configuration or bot training and delivers value right from Day 1 deflecting tickets for your agents.


Once you enable it, it is equally important for you to build an awareness and communication plan so that your employees start using the bot. 



iv. Offer a unified employee experience by onboarding other departments while maintaining data privacy

Onboard other departments such as HR, Facilities, etc. on your instance and build a unified service catalog so that your employees have to visit only one portal to access any information and manage their requests. 

 

Collaborate seamlessly with other departments while ensuring that agents of different teams have access to only those areas of the helpdesk that you want. To do that, you can choose multiple out-of-the-box roles for each agent or define custom roles in Admin > User Management > Roles and further control their visibility when you’re mapping these roles to their Agent Profile. You can also choose your groups to be restricted groups to prevent other groups including the admin from eyeballing your data. 



v. Promote the Freshservice Mobile app across your agents and end-users

The Freshservice mobile app is available for both iOS and Android. With this app, an agent can get instant information about tickets, tasks, changes, assets, and approvals. Similarly, employees can make requests on the go and keep track of them easily.




2. Extend your helpdesk’s functionality easily with useful out-of-the-box integrations

As your team would be heavily dependent on popular apps like MS Teams, Slack, and Zoom during these times, it would be helpful for your agents to access these apps right within Freshservice (Admin > Apps). You can explore more such apps here with step-by-step instructions on how you can install them.

If you don’t find an app in the marketplace gallery, you can get a private app built as well and bring custom workflows into Freshservice. For questions, please connect with us here.

3. Reduce the time your tickets spend waiting in queues and improve agent as well as end-user productivity by automating tasks

i. Canned responses save time

If you notice a pattern in the kind of issues that are being reported, or similar issues being reported by several users, it would be valuable to document the solution for these issues as private, public, or group-specific canned responses. With this, agents can respond quickly to these issues.


ii. Monitor your requests with Supervisor Rules

Monitor all your helpdesk requests by setting time and event-based alerts and taking action on them. Supervisor runs on all tickets, once an hour, and so it could be used for updates you are looking to make based on "time since" conditions, for an existing ticket. For example, you can automatically close resolved tickets after 48 hours.



iii. Bulk Actions and Scenario Automation

Apply a bunch of changes to similar tickets easily with bulk actions and scenario automation. Common scenario templates can be shared with the entire team to execute when required.




iv. Simple Workflow Automation

Set up a few rules in the workflow automator to automate routine tasks such as assigning requests, sending approvals or reminders so that requests can be quickly acted upon. You can also run them on Problems, Changes, Releases, Tasks, and Assets.



v. Set your SLA’s on the basis of business hours 

When you have a support team that helps customers across different time zones, it becomes important to define SLA promises based on customers’ departments or other ticket properties.

Admins can configure conditions that allow them to define which business hours should be applied to a specific ticket



 

4. Automate complex workflows with custom objects, orchestration center, web requests, and liquid filters

 

Evidently, the workflow automator makes handling simple workflows such as request assignment, task creation, etc. on the basis of certain conditions and events quite easy. However, there’s much more that the workflow automator can do to make it easier for you to handle complex situations. 

 

i. Using Custom Objects with Workflow Automator

With custom objects, you can improve the durability of your workflows with a single source of truth to reference information from. Custom objects let you maintain all your related information in a single object such as storing the details of all the approvers for a set of assets. This object can be easily referenced in a workflow to decide how approvals should be routed. It also makes alterations and updations a simple process as you don’t have to edit your workflow directly. 


To read more about detailed use cases in which custom objects can be used in creating workflows, please refer to this article.


ii. Using the Orchestration Center

IT teams must manage many servers and applications, but doing so manually isn’t a scalable strategy. The more complex an IT system, the more complex managing all the moving parts can become. The need to combine multiple automated tasks and their configurations across groups of systems or machines increases. That’s where orchestration can help.

 

You can use orchestration to automate IT processes such as server provisioning, incident management, cloud orchestration, database management, application provisioning/de-provisioning or new or exiting employees, and many other tasks and workflows.


 

Find how you can use it to simplify your work here.

 

iii. Making REST API calls to any 3rd party application and using its output in workflows

With Web Request nodes, you now have the ability to integrate with all kinds of 3rd party systems, including the ones which you cannot integrate with from our orchestration center. It allows you to fire off an API request from the Workflow Automator to any 3rd party system that uses REST APIs and reference its output in the subsequent nodes of the workflow.


Sample use-cases

Invoking a Web Request and parsing its response using the JSON Parser node

Invoke WebRequest node to fetch ticket details and perform actions based on it.

 

iv. Using Liquid Filters to customize any placeholder value and using it in workflows

With liquid filters in Freshservice, you can customize placeholder values in the workflow automator such as notes, webhooks, app actions, emails, etc. as per the requirements of the third-party web applications used. It allows you to perform a number of String, Numerical, and Date operations on the placeholder values.

 

Example 1: You can extract the first 3 letters from a string using the truncate filter

 

{{ticket.ri_49_cf_employee_first_name | truncate:3 ,''}}

 

Example 2: Perform a simple multiplication of a Cost and Quantity using the times filter.

 

{{ticket.quantity | times: ticket.cost}}

 

To read more about detailed use cases in which liquid filters can be used in creating workflows and how you can use the output, please refer to this article.


Note: Some of these features may only be present in the higher plans i.e. Forest, Estate, Pro, or Enterprise. You can explore the features available in your plan by clicking on Admin > Plans & Billing.