Head of Consultancy UK
To provide good service as a Service Department, you have to understand your Customers. If not, it's almost impossible to deliver services that are optimised to the needs of your audience. And to understand your audience, you have to communicate - and you have to think a bit like a marketer.
In marketing, they talk a lot about understanding your target audience, and the same concept applies to your Service Desk. Not because you want to sell anything, of course, but because you want to optimise your Services. So how do you get to know your users better? Go beyond simple Customer Satisfaction metrics and actually speak to them.
1. Create user groups - get them involved
The best way to talk to your users is under somewhat organised circumstances. Making it a focused conversation with a clear goal makes it easier for you to formalise the feedback than simply asking "So what did you think of that printer replacement?" over lunch.
To make sure you get the feedback you need, target some people that use your services: someone who needs a password reset often, someone who you help out regularly on a bigger project, or maybe just someone who only requested a service once. Make sure they are from different departments and levels of seniority.
Now talk to them and pick their brains. Use either face-to-face conversations or bigger group discussions to find out how your users feel about your services and what they feel you can improve on. And make sure not to take this feedback lightly. After all, these are your customers and you should take into account their opinion.
2. Develop Service Personas
It is highly likely that if you are speaking to people in similar roles, you will find that they have similar expectations of your services. That’s great, because it means you can sort these people into different categories - Service Personas.
Using Service Personas means you can manage expectations better and get a clear grasp of what your different customers want from your Services. Accounting Adam may have slightly different service expectations than Events Eve, for example. Figure out what these differences are, and create optimised Customer Journeys for their Service Requests.
Daunting? You can easily start this process with one or two personas that you consider your main ones. But as you develop them, make sure to not just focus on the extremes. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of looking at the users most similar to you in terms of behaviour and needs, as well as the ones most different from you. Don’t forget about the crowd in the middle. In the end, they will constitute the majority of your audience and should definitely be catered to.
3. Speak your customers' language
Remember that not everyone speaks your internal lingo. Many people will not understand you if you get too technical. In fact, your users may in some cases not even inherently know what service they are looking for when something goes wrong. Speaking your customers' language and making it easy for them to quickly understand what it is they need, will do a lot for the perceived quality of your Service Delivery.
If you are using a Self-Service Portal, for example, "I need new equipment" could be a better button text than something like "Request workspace material". It's both more enganging, and speaks more directly to your audience's needs. Just remember that it's not about how you think your Service Persona speaks - it's about how they actually speak.
More on better communication in our Customer Centricity E-book.