Friday, May 20, 2011

The Service Desk is the HUB of IT Customer Services

The Service Desk is the Customer Hub of IT Operations. It acts as the connection and central point of contact between users and customers of the IT Services. It is the most important ITIL function ensuring that user satisfaction and customer expectations are managed.

The Service Desk records and manages incidents and calls throughout their life cycle taking ownership to ensure incidents are monitored, escalated and resolved according to agreed service levels.

Your Service Desk needs to be customer focused and take ownership of calls to the service doing more than the traditional old Help Desk of just logging calls. For Service Desks to add value they need key ingredients, tangible commitment and proper resource.

With the Service Desk involved and linked to so many ITIL processes it could be the single point of failure of the whole service and perception of your IT department.

When properly understood and resourced your Service Desk can free up more time for proactive development and project work that can improve services and create more business opportunities on the backend. Instead of 90% support and fire fighting a more balance breakdown of 60% support and 40% development.

Your organisation will need to communicate, educate customers how to report PC problems and provide knowledge share to reduce dependency on the Service Desk long term.

Good service desk software with a built in public knowledge base will help get users up and running quickly with minimum disruption and help reduce call volumes and free up time for proactive duties.

Your Service Desk needs the right people and staffing levels will depend on your environment and user base, every business is unique and may vary depending on any other duties your Service Desk performs e.g. Account Set-Up, Admin.

Excellent Service Desks provide easy of access and availability to meet users demanding requirements and provide customer focused support which is in line with SLA & SLTs.

Make sure you measure and collect meaningful statistics and customer focused KPI to calculate and demonstrate the justification to the business and investment levels required for the Service Desk Function.

Team Motivation and pay rewards for better skills sets will help lower staff turnover on 1st line. Remember Service Desks keep businesses running so give them the recognition and status they deserve. Only with solid planning, investment and service leadership will your desk be able to go from reactive environment to a customer led service desk.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hiring and Recruiting IT Services Staff

In management one of the most important decisions you make is during the recruitment process. The Staff represents the image, voice and perception of customer service so hiring the right people is essential for the business to run and improve.

Get the details of duties, responsibilities and ITIL process ownership in each job description. Include your company and department values to help set the expectations of the role and its purpose. Sell the role, your team and the organisation.

Keep the interview relaxed and informal to put the interviewee at ease and help them open up. Measure candidates’ against the job description desirable and essential skills/experience set. Ask the same set of open answers to each candidate and probe in depth based on their answers.

Look for core skills like team work, customer focus, personally responsibility, can they take ownership and have a service mindset. Do they pay attention to detail and are they able to cope with workloads and project pressure?

Look for “soft skills” like communication, listening not just the technology and problem solving skills. Will they fit in to the current team and blend in with the service culture. What benefits will they bring to the business?

Good talent is hard to find so once employed you’ll must to be look after people’s career and personal development. Empower them to grow, discuss they career goals and how you can increase their potential.

Provide a fun learning environment to reduce staff turnover and make them welcome. Your customer satisfaction and service levels depend on the people you hire. Great staff will provide great service so make sure you nurture and develop them.