If you don’t already have a customer support system in place, or you do, but not all customer requests are logged, here are ten reasons why you really should be recording all customer support requests…
In a previous article I discussed whether or not an Apple style ‘Genius Bar’ was something IT departments should be considering.
Several clients of ours have Genius Bars set-up in a visible and central location, and tell us that they are very popular with their customers. Some universities have had IT outposts in their libraries for years. More of IT’s customers are using laptops, tablets and smartphones than desktops these days, enabling them to bring the device to IT rather than waiting for IT to come to them. These factors suggest that now may well be the time for IT departments to at least consider implementing a Genius Bar.
If you decide it is for you though, getting it right takes more than just reserving a spot and sending someone from the Service Desk to sit there. Here are 11 tips to help you get off on the right foot.
Have you ever heard someone say “ITIL’s rubbish, it just doesn’t work”, or something to that effect?
I was talking with a client recently and they said something very like this, but went on to explain that previously ITIL was seen as an end in itself in their organisation, whereas now they’ve changed their focus so that it is a means towards an end, helping to achieve a vision of providing the best experience for IT’s customers. They had found that this change had been liberating and effective for both management and staff alike.
This sums up Silversix’s observations made over years in management and consultancy: ITIL can be a very successful tool, but you have to be clear on why you are wielding the tool (i.e. what you are trying to accomplish), and how you’ll know when/whether you’ve been successful.
Last month I was part of a panel charged with discussing trends that were likely to impact IT service management in the next few years. The usual suspects of Cloud, BYOD and customer-centricity were popular topics but we ran out of time before we could properly discuss something I was keen to explore – gamification.
I don’t know if gamification will, or should, become a trend or remain a blip, but if you’d like to learn a bit about what’s happening in the space of IT gamification, read on and I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Some of IT’s customers have always preferred to walk over and speak to someone rather than phone the Service Desk. Generally though, management and consultants have actively discouraged walk-ups to Service Desk staff by customers. Some companies I’ve seen have gone so far as have the Service Desk behind locked doors, or hidden away in some dark corner or basement.
Yet increasingly we’ve seen clients who have IT outposts around the organisation they support, and they tell us they and their customers love it. So, why is there this apparent discrepancy? Is it just a flash in the pan inspired by the glamour of ‘Genius Bars’ and all things Apple? And is it something you should be considering for your IT department?
In the office, we’ve been talking about the extent to which striving to improve the IT customer experience and overall customer satisfaction with IT is a ‘must do’ for CIOs (like air conditioning the data centre) or a ‘nice to do’ (like air conditioning the office).
The debate was triggered by recent conversations with the senior IT managers of two different organisations. One said that improving customer satisfaction with IT was his most important goal, the other said it wasn’t even on his radar.
Is improving IT customer satisfaction on your radar? Should it be?
IT departments often stumble at the first hurdle with ITIL/ITSM style Problem Management. This can be for a variety of reasons, including:
- Lack of a Problem Management module in their ITSM/Service Desk toolset.
- Lack of ownership.
- Lack of faith in the value of Problem Management.
- Biting off more than they can chew.
- Not knowing where to start.
Not every IT department has the resources to go 100% at Problem Management from the outset. But there are ways to address all of the above and start down the path of Problem Management without having to do vast amounts of work. Read on to find out how.
I was presenting at the PacRim Service Desk and IT Support conference last week where one of the most memorable presentations – apart from mine, of course 😉 – was by Ed Cortis, the Head of Solutions Delivery at Bankwest. Ed was so taken aback by the lack of awareness of Agile amongst the conference delegates that he made a last minute decision to present on a completely different topic from the one he’d prepared. Brave, reckless? Regardless, Ed pulled it off, giving a passionate presentation on why Agile is not just for developers and becoming the inspiration for this post.
Far too much contact to the IT Service Desk is still channelled via email. While a lot of this demand is better channelled via a well-designed web-based customer portal (as discussed in a prior post), often there are examples where a phone call would have been the best option by far.
I’m a big fan of Rob England’s ‘The IT Skeptic’ blog (http://www.itskeptic.org/blog). While I don’t always agree with Rob, I love the way he challenges ITSM dogma and gets me thinking about service management in a different way. And he writes in a wonderfully irreverent style too. Definitely recommended reading (the discussions that follow each post are usually good, too).
Recently, Rob has been blogging about the dangers of what he calls the ‘Cult of the Customer’, the danger of IT relentlessly driving for service improvement and saying ‘yes’ to customer demands no matter the cost.