This thesis deals with end-user support, and the tools that are necessary in order to take full advantage of information from end-users. Information from end-users can be exploited to improve the support organisation, the systems and documentation used by end-users ad so on. In most workplaces the ability to use information technology efficiently is important, and efficient support is considered to be a critical factor of success. Because information technology is developing continuously, good support is needed in order to give employees the best working conditions possible. The most important job for an information center is to give efficient and high quality service to the end-users. In order to be efficient, good tools are necessary and with the right tools support can be proactive as well as reactive. The most important tools in end-user support are the service desk, tools for contacting support such as telephone and web-based interaction, a tool for logging incidents and documentation.
The case study in the thesis is the Norwegian taxation authorities support organisation, and what tools they use in order to utilize information from end-users. The taxation authorities manage three large systems; the national register system, the taxation system and the value added tax system.
End-user support is divided into two major areas; technical support and expertise support in the area of the assessment profession. The IT-department is responsible for the technical support and the managers of the systems are responsible for the expertise support.
The findings of the study show that there are several areas in which the taxation authorities can take better advantage of information from end-users. One area is a more systematic development of a solutions database. The solutions database can be used not only by support staff in the information centre but also by local support staff.
An important tool for improving support is customer surveys. Customer satisfaction are important and the only way to find out how the users feel about the support they’re receiving is to ask them. Customer surveys are not currently used in order to get information about the customers’ satisfaction with, and expectations towards the support centre. Another source of information from end-users that are not currently in use, are logging of problems and questions that are solved by local support staff. Performing customer surveys and logging of incidents that are handled by local staff can give the support center important information. Better utilization of information from end-users will result in better and more efficient support, and in the end increased productivity.
The thesis concludes that a transformation of the support organisation is necessary if information from end-users is to be fully utilized. The result of a transformation will be better utilization of tools and information from end-users.
The three main results of a transformation should be:A stronger support organisation, introduction of uniform routines and processes to support the technology in use, and the initiation of a Knowledge Management project in the support organisation.