Request Management

Request Management:

The Field Guide for Managers

Like death and taxes, service requests are a fact of life for most businesses. No matter the industry, most businesses receive service requests, both from internal users and from customers.

The way you manage service requests has a direct impact on your team’s efficiency and your business’ success. If you’re still managing service requests with the back-and-forth of email, instant messages, or spreadsheets, the headaches are predictable:

If any of this sounds familiar, then this article is for you. Below, we explain what all is involved in service request management, why it is so important for business success, and the best way to tackle high-volume, repetitive requests.

What is a service request?

A service request is any type of request from a user who needs support, information, or some kind of action in the day-to-day operation of a business. Service requests are received in nearly every area of a business, including:

Service requests can be generated by employees, vendors or customers. Examples of service requests include:

It’s important to know that service requests are different from incident requests. An incident is an unexpected problem —such as a computer failure, or a paycheck issued to the wrong person—that requires a support request that falls outside the scope of day-to-day operations. In contrast, a service request is a request for help with routine processes or components of a system.

Because service requests can come from so many different places, addressing them efficiently requires a well-planned strategy for receiving and acting on them.

What is a service request management?

Service request management refers to the tools and processes that allow people to submit service requests, assign responsibility for requests, and track the status of those requests between the time they are opened and the time they are closed.

An effective service request management solution can support requests from any area of a business. It allows employees to keep track of, and respond to, requests for support in the IT department, for example, while at the same time managing requests within the finance, marketing, or customer service departments. People used to believe that service request management was important only for businesses in the IT industry, or that all service requests involve IT systems, but that is not true; service requests come from nearly every area of a business, no matter the industry.

Benefits of efficient service request management

An effective and efficient service request management process delivers a range of benefits to the business, including: