Managing Director TOPdesk Hungary
How often do you communicate to your Service Desk users? Most likely at the close of a call or when there is a major update. But what about smaller updates? Do you keep your customers in the loop about how their call is going? You should.
Have you ever ordered delivery? Say you’ve been told dinner will be at your door in 45 minutes. Great. You have time for other things than cooking – like reading Service Management blogs.
But then 50 minutes pass and you get worried. How long will they be? Has the restaurant received my order properly? And what if the food never arrives, what will I do then? Starve? And will they give me my money back?
Turns out the delivery guy was just delayed, thankfully. But you had no way of knowing.
Real-time Service Delivery
Well, nowadays, you can luckily see real time where your food is on an app. But Service Desks still face similar situations to the above. The customer submits a call and gets a confirmation email saying their call will be handled as soon as possible. The waiting begins. The longer it takes, the more the customer questions whether anybody is still working on their call. And the more likely they are to make an angry call to the service desk.
And to be fair, your service desk probably has a great reason why they can’t finish a call just yet. Perhaps you’re waiting for a third party you have no control over. Or perhaps you’re just very busy at the moment, so there’s a backlog.
Keep in touch with your customer
But the key is communication. No matter what the reason is for the delay, tell your customer about it. Most customers won’t mind waiting, as long as they know their call hasn’t slipped through the cracks. Promise your customer you’ll keep in touch, even if there aren’t any changes in the status of their call.
Clearly indicate when your service desk will get in touch. You don’t always have to get in touch by phone. In your self-service portal you can publish the date you hope to close the call. Is that date getting closer? Send the customer an update. Make the message friendly. For instance: "Unfortunately we don’t have news about your printer yet. We are waiting for our supplier, but we haven’t been able to reach them so far. But we will keep trying and we will get in touch with you again soon.”
Sometimes a call just keeps dragging on while your service desk is powerless to do anything about it. Be honest to your customer in those cases as well. Call your customer and tell them about your dilemma. Clearly tell them what their options are, even if those options might be disappointing. Your customer will know you’re taking them seriously and they’ll be more likely to feel positively about working with your service desk.
If you need some inspiration on cool ways to communicate, we wrote a blog post on that very topic recently.
Improve the customer journey
In an optimal case, you have mapped your customer’s journey through your services. This formalises your entire service delivery through the eyes of your customers. In the customer journey you don’t just look at the way you handle a call, but at all the different things that affect how your customer experiences your services. And if you do, you will see exactly what needs to be done between a call being logged and the resolution. If your timeline has nothing between these two points, you need to reconsider it.
Want to find out more about the customer journey? Read this article by Wes Heemskerk on how to improve your service desk with customer journeys.