Unraveling Service Request Management & its Purpose!

service request management

Every day, there are so many requests on the tables of IT teams incoming from multiple users, in need of a service, information access, or an asset.  The users can be a customer, external vendors, or an employee working in the organization. Anyone working for/from any part of the organization or the customer base can request something  (maybe a service or support) from the IT team.

The InformationTechnology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) specifies such incoming requests that ask for new hardware, password resets, access to a software application, access to a folder or internal system, software license, etc. to be  Service requests.

This blog engages you in the meaning of service requests and their management. It also helps you know the difference between the two within an organization. Let us dig deeper into service request management in this space with real-time examples, benefits,  best practices, and priorities.

What Is A Service Request Management?

Every organization encompasses a number of service requests every day. A service request refers to a formal inquiry made by the customer to assist them on a demand issue or support related to a product or service of the organization.

In simple terms, A formal request for services or information/advice on password resets or software version upgrades or approval for initiating a pre-defined or mutually agreed action that can be from an employee, client, or vendor is referred to as a service request. 

Management involves practices like incident/issue management or change management which is different from service request management which is basically a request followed by a request fulfillment process.

A service request may include a wide variety of scenarios and requirements that ought to be handled with the highest degree of care and quality response by the service desk professionals.

For effective service request management, every service request should be resolved with prompt and accurate actions starting from request initiation to request fulfillment to ensure customer satisfaction. In this way, service request management and request fulfillment play a prime role in shaping an organization’s reputation and success.

Let us know more about the request fulfillment in brief here.

Request Fulfillment:

When a request is initiated by a customer it has to be resolved with timely actions that fulfill the requirements and complete the service request. Usually, request fulfillment involves a set of procedures or a defined workflow that aids in managing the user-initiated requests in every phase of the request lifecycle.

A request fulfillment process when accomplished with a defined workflow system can categorize the type and nature of requests and manage them accordingly by coordinating the requests with the required resources, time, and budget. This aids the organization in optimizing its service request management and gaining a competitive edge.

An efficient request fulfillment system ensures that no query of a customer goes unnoticed or unaddressed and streamlines the service request management process by fostering a prompt and satisfactory resolution.

It enables employees to deliver quality support to the customer and brings out a better understanding of service requests and their fulfillment on both ends of the customer and organization i.e. request fulfillment allows getting a clear picture of available services, how to request service, and what to expect while a request is being fulfilled and the waiting time etc.

Usually, organizations entertain a service catalog and users looking for a request initiation can access it through the company’s portal. Here is a quick walkthrough of a service request fulfillment process.

  • A user/customer requests a service/support/help from your customer service portal or through an email or message.
  • The request is then analyzed by the IT professionals to categorize the request and determine the requisites. They define the approval procedures, modes/methods, and time criteria for resolving the service request. Some requests like reimbursement might also need approval from other departments like finance and HR.
  • The analyzed service request is forwarded to the service agent by the service desk manager. The assigned professional works on the request and resolves them with appropriate actions. 
  • Finally, the ticket is closed by the agent provided that the customer acknowledges resolving the issue with satisfactory measures.

Knowing The Difference Between Incident Management And Service Request Management

The core IT practices involve handling incidents, problems, change, and service requests while managing to resolve these efficiently. Here is a quick overview of each term and how they relate to IT functionalities. Knowing this allows you to get the distinctions better and act accordingly to allocate the required resources on time.

Incident

An unanticipated and high-risk event that happens beyond your control measure and affects the company is an incident. Such occurrences are capable of disrupting your business quality and require immediate action pertaining to complex workflows to get resolved referred to as incidents. Server connection issues and malware attacks are examples of incidents.

Problem

These are the reasons behind incidents that can be avoided or prevented. Problems are of moderate risk and when handled promptly can reduce the possibility of incidents.

Change

Any modifications in an asset or system like addition or deletion can be referred to as a change.

Service Request

A service request to update the credentials is a change. It is of low risk and can be automated to be approved for action or denied based on some criteria like cost, risk priority, and need in some scenarios.

Service request management, though sometimes interchangeably used with incident management, involves two different processes and prioritizes different actions at different paces.

Management refers to the action sequence that warrants the detection and response by your team. Incident management prioritizes immediate action to resolve any unexpected issues that can negatively impact the organization’s performance. Any threat to your organization’s security like a malware attack or insider threat so serious and requires immediate action to avoid any impact on the business revenue.

On the other hand, service requests are part of a company’s routine and can be managed efficiently using a workflow. Service requests are a way to ask for help on a service or guidance over something without disrupting the organization’s operation. By the way, service requests do require an appropriate response, schedule, and assignment to avoid any major performance blockers.

Purpose of Service Request Management

The prime purpose behind service request management is to make your IT teams handle the user requests with consistency without getting tumbled when there is a surge of requests.

When there arises a situation where the user is unaware of what is to be done and whom to contact for further assistance, that is to be addressed immediately as a critical business parameter.  This can be a bottleneck for many businesses that rely on user experience negatively impacting their business productivity and reputation.

Service requests don’t necessarily need to be direct in some cases and even the organization receiving the request is often puzzled over things like the origin of the service request and the category it falls into, request goals, cost, and quality. This creates a vague picture for the IT teams handling the service requests to what extent they should assist the requesters and how? Many of the service requests are recurring making the IT team do repeatable processes often to resolve the requests. 

Service requests are managed by the service desk and preceded by request fulfillment which involves other departments like accounting and finance, procurement, bookkeeping, etc. Usually, such requests are in high demand on a daily basis for larger corporations and the scenarios of requests with opaque details create confusion. Such confusion seeps into other departments affecting their productivity too. This drowning flood of service requests keeps  IT professionals always in a reactive mode degrading their efficiency. 

A service request management system allows you to sort out things by streamlining the varied service requests from various departments/users. But an unstructured system handles requests in a chaotic manner i.e. when there is a huge volume of user requests, the IT department faces a distressful situation and fails to resolve all the requests within the estimated time.

In the long run, they practice assisting users who keep pestering them for the solution. But this could create a business bottleneck whereas, the right service management solution can impart a healthy pattern to streamline the process.

An ineffective service request management practice can lead to business interruption or malfunctioning. Inadequate services and inconsistent guidance/delivery create a negative impulse on the brand name which is then a business bottleneck.

Whereas, an efficient service request management imparts a way of improving service delivery while alleviating the workloads of your IT department; on the other hand, it makes it easier for the users to seek help whenever required without getting stuck when there is a need for self-service assistance/request fulfillment /knowledge base suggestions.

A service request management software tool /solution should be able to foster an environment with streamlined request processing and intend for quality service delivery. A wise and recommended choice would be Cflow and we will discuss why it is the best choice is discussed in the later sections of this blog.

Examples of Service Requests

There are numerous forms of service requests raised by different users and are encountered by the IT teams, sometimes beyond their scope on a daily basis. Request for new equipment/device, credentials access/update, time-off requests, content approval requests, purchase order validation requests, travel reimbursement requests, training requests, and so on.

Expense reimbursement is one of the common service requests in every organization. Such service requests also involve other departments like accounting and finance to validate the request. Here are a few other examples of service requests.

1. Content Approval

Powerful content is the driving force behind every marketing strategy of an organization. Content for any marketing purpose or internal documentation should be validated before publishing. Content can be handled and managed by internal or external staff and they raise a service request to validate and approve the content in every phase of content management.

2. Time-off Requests

An employee who is about to take off for some reason ought to make a time-off request to the HR department. This helps the HR team/manager to keep track of the particular employees’ work hours and devise a schedule to compensate for their work hours later or commence a deduction from their pay. They can also employ other resources to handle the task in their absence based on the urgency of the task.

3. Authorization & Approval for Credentials

One familiar service request often received by the IT team is granting access to the employees for the company assets and providing them with essential credentials. There can be requests for upgrading software or updating an application password. There could be other approval-related service requests in other business tasks like purchase order validation.

Service Request Management Process – Explained

The importance of effective service request management practice is evident as standardization of the process is paramount in any organization to avoid wasting the efforts and time of both the IT team and the customer. Though the approaches that any organization uses to handle a request or fulfillment may vary, here is a generic model of a service request management process.

1. Request Initiation

A user submits a request reaching out for assistance on any service/system or software. Some companies afford a dedicated service desk to handle user requests while many have implemented chatbots to assist users 24*7 with their inquiries. Some may still rely on emails and phone calls to capture user request submissions.

2. Assessment of the Request

The IT department the service desk or the request fulfillment panel assess the user request and categorize them based on the nature of the request, urgency, and requirements. Some requests are validated for approvals from multiple other departments.

3. Service Request Fulfillment

After completing the request assessment an IT professional/ or a team is assigned to resolve the request with an estimated completion date. If needed, they can reach out to the user who has initiated the request for more information.

4. Closing the Request

The assigned IT team/professional works on the request and resolves it with the data estimated to match the expectations of the requester. For instance, if there is a request for credentials to a particular application, the IT team should guide the user with the required details and close the request only after they can access the particular application with the provided credentials. Now the ticket is closed and archived.

5. User Follow Up

Even though the ticket is closed, there is a follow-up with the user to improve the service. This aids in improving the quality of the service, resolving the rate, and ensuring the customers are happy and satisfied with the end result.

Benefits of Service Request Management

This section throws light on the benefits of efficient service request management. Read on.

  • Service request management helps your IT teams deliver quality service even when there is a rush of service requests on their portals.
  • It makes it easy for the user to reach out for help at the right time and to the right place. The automated system also offers a service catalog making it clear to the user about the services provided by the organization.
  • It also sets out a standardized protocol to be followed with the request initiation to ticket closure and this saves time as there exists a complete visibility of execution.
  • Service requests are also recurring, as the same problem can be encountered by different numbers of users, the efficiently managed system has everything documented helping the team to proceed/automate things and make them aware of what to expect and what to deliver in that time frame. 
  • The centralized environment also fosters easy and accurate hand-offs whenever required, as it facilitates easy access where and whenever required. To make it clear, without a centralized information system, you would be losing all your team efforts to optimize user requests.
  • A right solution includes the requester in every phase of the service request and fulfillment so that they know what is being done, without complaining about the responsiveness of your team.
  • Other things that favor quality service fulfillment are documentation, triage, assignment, tracking progress, and estimated resolving time. In this light, in an efficient service management system all these warrant to protect your IT team’s bandwidth and productivity.
End-to-end workflow automation

Build fully-customizable, no code process workflows in a jiffy.

Priorities & Best Practices For Efficient And Effective Service Request Management

A request management system prioritizes an environment that pledges to put customers first at any cost. This lets the organization maintain its business pace with pride in the market and among customers.

This approach should also aim to deliver quality services and rely on knowledge-led practices to sort out issues associated with the requests initiated by the customer or leverage automation technologies to manage recurring requests. You should encourage delivering quality service boosting customer experience and that should never impulse an overload on your IT teams but strengthen them.

Here are the best practices to enforce these priorities in your service request management system.

  • Define your service request handling strategies. Create a catalog with basic information about your system- including services you provide, when and how to make a request, what the should be request format, and what is expected from the requester. 
  • Document everything (request nature, mode, procedure, fulfillment time, SLA, and reporting) in a legitimate manner. Start with the simple resolved requests that have added value to your stream. This lets your team incur the knowledge about when and how of the handoffs and escalations.
  • Get the required information from the user about the request. Understand the intent of the user request and proceed. Showcase a centralized request portal so that the user doesn’t get annoyed with too many redirections before reaching out to your service panel.
  • Eliminate serving redundant requests and leverage automation to handle recurring request categories. Employ advanced automation facilities like Chatbot to handle simple user queries. This shifts the overloaded It team to take time to work on other high-priority requests.
  • Pre-define the criteria to categorize user requests; this step is of utmost importance in service request management as there is a need for the IT professional to distinguish a request from an incident and a high-priority one like payment portal access with a low-priority request to act upon it appropriately.  
  • Moreover, try building a framework that caters to delivering services and resolving requests based on the user feedback and usage on the prior deliveries.
  • Invest in a solution that can scale up when your business grows and effortlessly integrates with other departments and systems in your organization.

Service Request Management With Cflow

Cflow provides a platform that can manage all the nuances of service requests appropriately and promptly to keep your customers satisfied and happy. Cflow, a cloud-native workflow solution lends a hand in almost all the service request use cases and streamlines the activity ensuring your brand’s quality and prompt service among your customers. You can submit all your service requests through a number of channels like online forms, emails, etc. You can specify the request type, priority, and other additional information like deadlines or budget.

Every service request has to be resolved with apt responses and timely services that warrant request validation and categorization, approvals, and action measures. Cflow is a no-code workflow solution and designing or defining the stages of workflow is quite simple and easy.

You can route the service requests to the intended teams and even automate them in Cflow. This is possible as Cflow allows users to define their rules and criteria as required based on the request type, urgency, and availability of the resource.

Cflow is a tool, also known for its elevated collaborative and seamless integration feature so both the IT team and the customer raising the request can be at peace as every detail and action are transparent.

Cflow also facilitates status track of a request i.e. data reports on request recurring rate, request response time, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction. analyzing such records from the reports helps businesses foster a better service request-managed environment based on data-driven decisions.

Final Thought

IT teams play a vital role in every organization but it is important to support them with the right service request management software. Buckle up to leverage automation tools that scale as per the team’s needs. Workflow platforms like Cflow would be a  go-to choice as they enable you to streamline your daily IT requirements along with overall business automation.

This no-code solution allows you to improve the requester experience by improving your request resolving rate. Leverage automation solutions like Cflow to address service request requirements promptly and empower your IT team to bring harmony to your business and keep your end users and business partners happy. Sign up Now!

What would you like to do next?​

Automate your workflows with our Cflow experts.​

Get your workflows automated for FREE

    By submitting this form, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    • Platform
    • Workflow Templates
    • Quick Demo