Improving Service Desk productivity with the ServiceNow for Teams ITSM plugin

ServiceNow is a top performer in service management and Microsoft Teams has quickly become the go-to for collaboration in many organizations. They are both essential tools that help service desk teams provide timely, effective support to employees across the organization. However, in many cases, teams end up spending a lot of time going between the two platforms to resolve incidents, fulfill requests and manage communication records.

Recently, Microsoft and ServiceNow partnered to create the ServiceNow for Teams ITSM plugin, which includes bundled collaboration features to help teams:

  • Reduce time spent switching back and forth between different platforms
  • Increase the visibility of activity and communications on ServiceNow records
  • Focus on higher complexity, higher priority work

Setting up the collaboration features available in the ServiceNow ITSM plugin for Microsoft Teams is something you can easily do in-house with ServiceNow standard licensing, and it can have a significant impact on your service desk’s productivity and ability to provide a great employee experience. It’s also a great way to experience the benefits of the plug-in before implementing the more comprehensive features available with full integration.

In this post, I will share why it’s worth enabling the plug-in’s collaboration-specific features and share our step-by-step guide to help you get it done.

The costs of context switching

For most service desk teams, capturing their communications with employees involves multiple manual steps and a fair bit of context switching. When employees are constantly moving back and forth between different platforms to complete their tasks, it impacts their productivity, focus and overall happiness.

Switching between ServiceNow and Microsoft Teams may take only a few tenths of a second, but it can add up to a lot of time from the start of a request until it is closed. According to psychologist Gerald Weinberg, each extra task or “context” you switch between eats up 20 to 80% of your overall productivity:

  • When you focus on one task, you are using 100% of your productive time
  • When you switch between two tasks, you are using 40% of your productive time for each task and losing 20% to context switching
  • When you switch between three tasks, you are using 20% of your productive time for each task and losing 40% to context switching

Service desk teams also need to manually record activity and either copy-and-paste chat messages or include them in a screenshot. This process can result in lost activity and communication history, and the information may not be visible to other service desk team members or employees, which can lead to duplicate interactions, unresolved or forgotten incidents and low satisfaction for employees.

For employees and service desk agents alike, it does not make for a great employee experience.

Smart, efficient collaboration

With the plugin, service desk teams no longer need to manually record communication activities or copy and paste messages and screenshots to keep a record of their efforts; it is done for them and allows them a clear view into ticket history, updates and communications.

The plugin’s collaboration features seamlessly sync communications from Microsoft Teams initiated from ServiceNow. With one click, service desk agents can start a Microsoft Teams chat or conference call, meeting employees where they’re already working and collaborating for most of their day. The chat title shows the ticket number and a short description for conversational context. Within 30 minutes of the chat ending, all messages are automatically imported to the record in ServiceNow. All conversations started from the record are stored together, so support teams have a complete record of activity in case another agent or an approver needs to review the request, and the conversation can be made available to the employee to track as well. 

These collaboration features are just a taste of what is possible with the plug-in. We also support organizations interested in full integration, which simplifies and streamlines the employee experience for everyone leveraging the Employee Center and Virtual Agent .

Setting up the ServiceNow for Microsoft Teams ITSM plugin

If you have ServiceNow ITSM standard licensing, you can set up the ServiceNow for Teams ITSM plug-in’s collaboration features right now, at no additional cost. You will just need to set up the back-end integration features in the plugin. Our guide to streamlining service communications with the ServiceNow for Teams ITSM plugin will walk you the production process step by step.

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