A special guest blog posting from Donna Earl – A.K.A. “The Help Desk Coach”
Recently, a frustrated university end user shared her problem about her educational institution’s IT help desk. The quality and scope of technical support that users at their institution – university educators and administrators – received was at the whim of the help desk agents, she said.
When I probed for examples, she said the help desk agents liked to eat lunch together. While on lunch, incoming calls are answered by a receptionist who cannot provide tech support . . . and this happens while classes are in session!
Hence, if a professor had a connectivity issue while the help desk was out to lunch, the educational institution’s mission (to provide support) takes second place to the agents’ desire to eat pizza together. This is not helpful nor supportive of users’ needs or the goals of the organization!
This manager further lamented that agents tend to give the easy answer rather than the most supportive one. “For example,” she continued, “my assistant was told there was only one location in the office where her computer could be placed due to cord length. However upon closer inspection, I found a length of coiled cord the agent had failed to check before providing that information.” The manager uncoiled the cord and repositioned the computer in a more convenient location. The user was more useful that the help desk!
The help desk manager wears many hats, including Quality Assurance. The help desk manager’s role is to assure that support delivered by the help desk enables end users to be as productive as possible. This means scheduling coverage to cover whenever users will support.
The manager is responsible for the quality of support offered by the help desk. Managing support quality is best done by random monitoring of calls, monitoring issues and help desk responses, coaching agents when their responses fall short, and liaising with users to make sure their needs are met.
When customer satisfaction surveys are used to benchmark user satisfaction, the manager can gather feedback to help guide help desk agents to improve and provide the best support possible.
As this example proves, without more guidance and oversight, the help desk might self-manage without best-practice standards and fail to fulfill their role within the organization. The end result — the organization suffers from diminished productivity, the reputation of the help desk tanks, and job security of the h
Help Desk Coach