“Promised! It will be completed by the end of the day.” added the technician, convinced – wrongly – that he has the ability to respond to his client in time.
Or “Sorry, I can not take care of you first …” says the technical services manager, without checking the deadlines estimated by the level 2 team.
Worse, a company must proceed with the payroll that is due tomorrow; after being notified, an IT tech tries to reestablish the payroll service and calls the vendor directly. Following the call, the agent realizes that he did not understand the need. The goal wasn’t to update the application, but to fix the system problem and get out the pay as soon as possible!
Taking the time to understand the business need behind the request for assistance before starting to work on a technical solution is good practice.
There are human mistakes in every business context. So how to avoid them and ensure customer satisfaction?
No excuse. We must deliver.
It’s easy to find excuses, pointing to current tool or processes, or blame another team! The customer, on the other hand, doesn’t care.
For the clients, you must deliver and ensure his satisfaction. Although it’s pointless to cut corners and increase your productivity by simply answering “yes” or “no” to the largest number of queries. This can create misunderstandings and ultimately increase the team’s workload.
This client expects not only to receive a service, but also a clear answer to his request. Unfortunately, a recent study by SuperOffice reports that 90% of companies do not notify their client of receiving an email request.
An acknowledgment of receipt is one thing and another good practice, encourage your agents to include an answer to all the questions asked and this, from the first intervention with the client.
To better manage situations described above, here are three (3) other tips for IT service delivery improvement:
Efficient Information Management
Do you have a well-structured service management system? Is necessary information available and lets you know what really happened? Are your operations and follow-ups well completed?
Do not let tickets slip through your fingers and let the situation get worse over time. Keep track of your activities and document your problem solving.
In terms of both the ticket notes and the knowledge base, it’s important not to forget about critical and useful details used by the next agent.
Documenting through notes in a ticket is good, but the content is only valuable when quality (and accurate) information is included. Do not stay generic in your notetaking and specify, for example, configuration items or impacted inventory items.
In order to audit the various operations and to improve team performance, a recognized ITSM software also keeps a history of all changes made to the ticket (assigned resources, resolution times, priority, attachments, status of advancement, etc.).
Going beyond customer’s expectations can transform his experience. Let say you have received a request and an automated email is sent to the customer to confirm reception of the demand. Do you think this is enough to comfort the customer and his problem? No, not really.
A human and personalized response is needed; the requester will know that someone has read the message and is currently working on their request.
Cherry picking : The Easy Way
It’s well known. Some helpdesk agents will take care of the easiest tickets, the fastest to solve. This method is nevertheless harmful in the short and long term.
In the immediate future, the most complex requests are not only put aside, but this bad habit also prevents your staff to improve.
Fortunately, there are assignment rules to prioritize tickets in most customer service departments, which prevents them from picking up the easiest tickets.
Working in a team and collaborating together can make all the difference in solving critical or recurring problems.
Authenticity and use of a friendly tone
A professional approach in customer service or IT support is incredibly important. Using an overly familiar or unprofessional tone will not help the cause of the agent or company for whom he or she works. Lacking politeness, answering questions in a dry manner, or completely ignoring disgruntled customers will only worsen the situation.
On the other hand, a too formal, cold and impersonal tone may make the customer uncomfortable having to ask questions about his problem. IT support or customer service agents must act professionally while having a fun or relaxed approach, as if they were helping a friend.
In fact, priority is all about customer experience. The authenticity and ability of agents to create positive experiences for the customer is the key to success.
Manage Your Emotions
While the client (even the ones within your business) may not always be right, agents need to manage their emotions and keep their calm. Your colleagues do not deserve to be afraid to call IT support.
Everyone experiences frustrations at some point in their professional or personal life. If a technician lacks patience and does not listen properly to his client, he is not doing his job. Make your team understand that settling an incident or responding to a request represents 50% of the work. The other half represents the experience offered to clients whose listening and communications are a factor of success.
Voice of the Customer is Key
The concept of customer experience and the management of emotions in a context of service delivery can thus take another tangent; service level agreements may include emotional metrics based on the service rendered. Here are two scenarios presented by Itsm.tools that demonstrate the nuance between the different levels of service (SLA):
1 – The service level agreement has not been respected, but a response has been sent promptly to the client to advise and workaround options are planned.
2- The service level agreement has been respected. A technician even came in advance to solve the problem on the spot. Only problem, no communication preceded the impromptu visit. Although the resolution time has been respected and is acting proactively, the metric can be distorted by the fact that the customer was frustrated for not being informed.
We must therefore pay attention to these metrics and consider the voice of the client and the emotions evoked during his experience.
To measure service management performance, why not include an “emotional metrics“ section to capture the voice of the customer.
This method focuses on the needs, expectations, understanding and improvement of the client’s products. It is a method of proactively capturing feedback (which is also a perfect guide to continuous improvement).
Privileging a simple method will benefit you. Columns for Name, Date, Comments and Supporting Evidence may be a first step.