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.
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?
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.
You’re implementing a new IT service and keeping IT’s customers satisfied from the start is vital. Your reputation and the reputation of IT is riding on it. A lot may have gone into preparedness, customer training, testing… but things will still go wrong. Customers will still have requests, experience faults or just have questions. This means that post go-live IT support is critical to keeping customers happy.
Here’s some things to consider getting in place to increase the chances of being able to provide good post go-live support for the new service and to minimise business disruption:
ITSM toolset RFPs (or RFTs, RFQs, RFIs – whatever you call them in your organisation) are painful. They drag on for too long and require a lot of effort and you still end up with a vendor/tool combo that doesn’t meet your needs, or that costs you more than you budgeted for. And then what happens? IT limps on, hamstrung by workarounds and compromises and, before you know it, you’re back to the drawing board repeating the whole painful process.
Having spent over a decade helping organisations evaluate new ITSM toolsets, here’s my list of the ten most common pitfalls. Avoid these and you’ll greatly improve your chances of ending up with a solution that’s right for you:
Numerous factors impact Service Desk staffing numbers, making industry benchmarking and comparisons very difficult. Even when benchmark data can be found, the scope of services, and even the definition of what constitutes a Service Desk staff member, vary considerably.
Before you read on, I should warn you that there is no magic bullet to determining the optimum number of staff for your Service Desk. However, in this article, I will describe some of the methods/benchmarks that are available and then I’ll provide a comprehensive list of things that you should consider when you need to justify your Service Desk headcount, justify an increase, or are looking at ways to reduce it.
First, let’s look at some of the options that are available.
How can I clear a backlog of Service Desk tickets without overtime?
This is a good question faced by many Service Desk Managers. How do you reduce or clear a backlog when you cannot simply throw more resources at it?
Here’s some approaches that have worked for me in the past and that can be mixed and matched as appropriate to your organisation:
These days many IT departments are trying to encourage their customers to use self-help, or log their calls via the web. Despite this, the main contact method used to log calls with most Service Desks remains the telephone. This means that how the Service Desk team go about handling their calls to meet targets and handle fluctuating call volumes is very important.
Typically a Service Desk Manager has to balance several factors in considering how to manage the length of calls received by the Service Desk.