In an occasional series of musings, Technical Operations Director, Charlie Pusey shares hints and tips on running a great Service Desk taken from his extensive experience.
Absolutely top of the list, make sure that you develop everyone in the team. A Service Desk is a team effort and the team is only as strong as its individual members. When analysts are all trained and developed to the same high level the customers get a much more consistent level of service. Similarly if you aim to run a flat operation, where there is no 1st, 2nd and 3rd level support, where analysts are trained to deal with all issues, customers are able to keep the same contact for any issue, which they seem to appreciate. The more effective you make that first call, the better your customer satisfaction.
Here at Sunrise, for example, although we run a very technical desk because of the size of our environment we are able to provide a service where everyone can deal with anything, however, for larger organisations with huge environments it can be more of a challenge.
Deal with problems immediately
Make sure that you deal with problems as they arise. For example, if you get customer feedback from a survey that is not as glowing as you would expect, call them straight back, while the situation is still fresh in their mind. By tackling issues proactively, you are able to ensure that the situation doesn’t escalate.
Here to Serve
If you work on a Service Desk, you are here to serve whether you are talking to internal employees or external customers and partners. Externally facing desks are one of the key points of interaction for customers, so the service received is a key element of your brand value. Internally focused Service Desks are representing the IT department and in many ways the level of support that the organisation provides to its staff. It is vital that you do a good job, so ensure that your team are recognised for the instrumental job they do in projecting your organisation’s brand image.
Remember your roots
Most Service Desk managers tend to come up through the ranks. It’s always good to remember that, think about how you felt, what you wanted to achieve when you first started. Remember that your staff are ambitious and want to learn – nurture that.
Know the Numbers
Always keep abreast of the number and type of calls coming in. Be aware of the peaks and troughs, and keep an eye on the trends. Are the volumes building up? Is there a backlog? Are there some persistent callers, or persistent requests? Again proactive management can ensure that issues are addressed in a timely manner, and that any training requirements are identified early.
Make it Fun
Regardless of what is going on, try to keep the atmosphere as friendly and close knit as possible. Make sure that analysts take their breaks, and know when to stop – they may be highly motivated, but if they are working long hours over prolonged periods they will burnout. This approach will help to keep morale high, and happy motivated staff are far more likely to go that extra mile, contribute ideas, give feedback and ultimately to influence the future direction of the company’s products and services.