The Service Desk – Managing Change through Empathy, Expectancy, and Efficiency
Author: Bobby Davidson
The only constant in an IT Service Desk environment is the inevitability of change. Clients of IT services are often faced with the option or requirement to adopt the latest IT offerings. It takes time to learn something new, and IT departments can be perceived as the antithesis of productivity. After all, most employees in a company are usually non-IT personnel with a job to do without the added stress of unwanted changes to familiar computing environments. Successful Service Desks embrace an evolving IT landscape, but it requires an understanding of the client’s needs and frustrations, anticipation of potential challenges, and improvement by learning from the client’s experiences.
Service Desks are change-driven by nature and must empathize with clients who may not be as accustomed to it. Most seasoned technicians view change as something to expect, but living in a world where chaos is a way of life can numb the reality that adapting to new and different technology is painful for those who work outside of IT. These are real people who have a job to do without being cast out of a comfort zone into a place of lost productivity. It is the job of the support team to convey a feeling of understanding early on in a support opportunity to help reassure clients that “all will be OK.” Empathy can pay dividends in the form of confidence in services to be rendered as well as improving the overall image of an IT department as one that cares about their business partners.
Expecting client contact and taking steps to prepare for it can determine whether the introduction of new technology is a success or a failure in the eyes of the end-user public. In some support models, the only contact a client may have with an IT department is through the Service Desk. Due to often being the single point of contact, the team must be prepared to speak confidently and intelligently to the challenges presented, and it is imperative to anticipate and predict user impact that accompanies changing technology. Historical data analysis, training of Service Desk technicians, and development of a reliable knowledge base are all key ingredients for a well thought-out support experience.
An efficient Service Desk’s ultimate goal should be to restore service and productivity to clients by resolving support opportunities quickly. In turn, process improvement should also be kept in mind. Endless troubleshooting by a technician with no resolution in sight does nothing to make a client, nor the support team more productive. Although front-line troubleshooting delivers value through the process of elimination for more frequently seen issues, gathering information and clearly communicating it when unfamiliar problems arise promotes more efficient downstream support. Upon resolution, communication from advanced support teams back to the Service Desk can increase future efficiency in the form of new support processes to add to the Service Desk knowledge base. The real benefit is realized when first-touch resolution occurs the next time the particular support opportunity is presented, which enables the client, the Service Desk, and the IT analyst to be more efficient and productive as a result.
Keeping up with the rapid pace of technology can give a competitive edge to a company, but it requires an investment in knowledge and communication. It is critical that a Service Desk understands the mindset of those they support, has the experience to know what to expect, and constantly strives to improve. To learn how Tele-Optics, Inc. can deliver IT Customer Service solutions for your company, contact us today.