If you can, imagine for a moment that your help desk or service desk functions much more like an independent nation. To give you a few facts about this nation, which we will call Helpdesktopia, we will assume that your currency is time, and your chief natural resource is service. Your country has made a name for itself by taking incidents and requests (the main export of Customeria), and refining them into your own chief export, resolutions. Given all this, your gross domestic product, or the main indicator to the health of your economy is Positive Customer Experience (PCE).Now, PCE is a fairly simple calculation, and can be done at least a couple of different ways. The most common, and direct, is achieved by calculating the total time services are available, a number that should be around ninety-nine percent. Inversely, it can also be calculated by determining the total time required to "refine" an issue (reach a resolution). This number is a bit more subjective and can change based on the nature of the incident that is being resolved. Either way, the end goal of Helpdesktopia is to ensure that availability is maximized, and refinement time is minimized. Keeping these within the established and accepted ranges will dictate the success of your nation, and its ability to operate effectively and indefinitely. Confused yet?
The above may sound a bit complex, but this is what is happening every day, in every IT Organization, at every help and service desk. Essentially, throughout each issue your help or service desk team resolves, or in some cases, fails to resolve, time will be expended. How efficiently it spends this time will determine the perceived value of your team. This will then directly result in how positive the customer experience is, thus underlining the value of efficiency in the resolution of incidents.
Taking this a step further, the cornerstone of efficiency comes in three parts. The first two focus on process improvement and customer service training. Each of these is then supported by a third, the IT Service Management (ITSM) solution. We've broken the first two parts down below with the eight key areas you should be looking at. To evaluate the third part, your ITSM solution, take a look at our Getting Started guide that has 50 key requirements that will support all of these.
Process Improvement (SEAS)
- Submission - How easily can incidents be submitted and routed?
- Automation - Can the human element be removed in order to automate common processes?
- Escalation - Under what circumstances should an escalation occur?
- Service Level Agreement (SLA) -Does the SLA reflect current capacity?
Customer Service Training (CARE)
- Communication - Do voice and email communication appear clear, concise, and courteous?
- Application - Is there opportunity for evaluation on the application of soft skills?
- Resolution - Are resolutions delivered empathetically or apathetically?
- Expectation - How well does your team inform customers of wait times, and system availability?