Well…. there’s a little more to IT Support than that!

The job of service desk analyst can be a thankless task and the IT Service Desk at Stockport Council is no different. No-one ever calls into IT Support to report that “Everything is working fine today, thank you!”

As our digital programme has expanded, we have needed to cope with increased demand and reliance on tech across the council and our partner organisations. As an example, we have completed multiple projects around mobile working, which has had an impact on increased volume and customer expectations.

Customer centric support

In order to progress and provide a customer centric support service we needed to re-think how we provided IT services to our 4000+ user base. We’ve been working hard on our internal processes and focussing on automations and self-serve, encouraging users to try and use our knowledgebase and service catalogue before submitting an incident.

The key here was to make the IT Service Portal easier than calling into our main helpdesk number. We needed to design the portal in such a way that, based on customers’ responses, we could gather all the information needed to route the job to the correct team or person, without any interaction from our first line support team.

IT support online

Around two years ago we launched ‘Freshservice’, a new online service management tool to cater for IT problems, ordering equipment or requesting an IT service.

There are 4 basic options to choose from:

  • Your IT tickets – to request an update and follow the progress of all your jobs, present and past
  • Create new ticket – to log a new job with the Service Desk
  • Service Catalogue – request new hardware, software, changes to access and more
  • Help yourself – find the answers to many common queries in the IT Knowledgebase

We have communicated regularly with our customers, encouraging them to use the new service by explaining how easy it is to use and the time it saves as they no longer need to wait to speak to an IT technician.

Once resolved, all tickets are followed up with a request for feedback and we listen to what our customers say and continue to amend our self-service offer where needed, to improve our service further.

How are we doing?

Whilst telephone and drop-in support are still available, since the launch of Freshservice the percentage of contacts coming via our online portal has risen to account for between 60% and 70% of all contacts, without a decrease to the level of service our customers have received.

Furthermore, as the table below shows, 2018 – 2019 has shown a 15% increase in demand, to around 6,000 tickets per month received.

Over the same period our service-level agreement (SLA) compliance has remained at 95%, a testament to all the good work undertaken in pushing self-service and automating processes as much as possible.

Best of all, our Customer Satisfaction Rating has increased vs the same period in 2017/2018 and the percentage of tickets created with a first time fix for the 2018/2019 period sits at 84% compared to 78% the previous year.




Tickets created 62,461 Tickets created 71,984
Overall SLA performance 95% Overall SLA performance 95%
Customer Satisfaction 95% (3,092 responses) Customer Satisfaction 97% (4,503 responses)


Meet Freddie

We are continually improving our IT Self-Service online portal. Last month we took advantage of a feature within Freshservice and deployed our new chatbot. ‘Freddie’ helps users get to the correct form, catalogue item or knowledgebase article quickly and easily, using simple search commands. It also allows them to check open and closed tickets and approve items as appropriate.

This product enhancement has given our customers another automated channel to interact with us. We have embedded Freddie into our main self-service page and introduced him to colleagues via all our internal communication channels.

Continuous enhancement

In a recent enhancement, the search function has been widened, to include tickets, catalogue items and the knowledgebase, allowing our users to have one search feature for all things ‘IT Support’.

We regularly check on usage of the various Service Catalogue items and make sure they are used, easy to follow and the automations are working correctly.

We are constantly updating information to ensure our knowledgebase articles are up-to-date and relevant.

We’ve spent a great deal of time implementing our online support offering to customers and we will continue to listen to our customers’ feedback and improve it.

We’re recruiting

We are looking for people to join us across a range of disciplines. Please see our Digital Jobs page for more details.

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