Head of Consultancy UK
One thing we hear a lot as consultants is the following: the only time that a customer or colleague will contact the service desk is when something is wrong and this in turn leads to negative connotations. Can anything be done? Of course!
But it requires some introspection and some dedicated effort:
1. Find out who you are
Step one is to ask yourselves “What is our identity as a Service Desk and how do we communicate that outwardly?”
But more importantly: “Are we heading in the right direction and is everyone on the same page?”
The clearer you are about who you are, the clearer your customers will be about the services you offer. You need to to know what you can deliver, but you also need to make sure those outside the team do. Remember that there’s a huge difference between what you want to be and who you are. It’s good to have targets, but be realistic with what you communicate that you can do. It will help increase transparency.
One step towards this is to empower your users by offering knowledge to your customers freely in a Service Catalogue. It could be about self-help, or it could be about the services you provide and the way you provide them. And do you have an internal culture that’s strong within your department? Utilise it! It could be used as a “brand” for your department, and raise your recognisability (see point 4).
2. Get to know your customers
Do you know your customers? If not, one idea could be to create user groups and reach out to get them involved. Why make assumptions about them when you can speak to them face to face? Or just chat to them as they come into the department.
Often in these discussions opinions will be more important than facts. It may be a fact that you can deliver x in y amount of time, but if it feels long to the consumer then that’s what matters.
To make sure you get mileage out of your focus groups, the next step is to create customer personas. These are stereotypical representations of your customers that you can use to anticipate how different user groups will react to changes to the service you offer, or changes to the self-service portal, for example.
One danger I’ve seen with creating personas is that they tend to turn out to be a representation of the extreme opposite personality from the IT department. Maybe because these guys stand out the most? In either case, make sure you don’t forget about the people in the middle, or those closer to yourselves. The personas should represent several user groups.
3. Map out the Customer Journey
We talk a lot about this recently. Check out my colleague Wes’ recent blog post on the topic here.
Essentially, it is important to see your touchpoints as something that forms a whole. No one will base their opinion of your department on one single interaction. And very few incidents only involve one touch point with the service department.
But remember to speak the user’s language, jargon is all good inside the team, but it will alienate your users. Speak to them the way they speak to you in every interaction you have with them.
4. Promote yourselves
So you’re now a great department with a strong sense of self and understanding of how to best help your customers. But did anyone tell the rest of the organisation? Promote yourselves!
We have a whole article on this, but some quick wins are to put up posters, or make business cards you can hand out that promote your services.
Whether you want to bring people to use self-service or you want to promote a new service you have available - or you just want to emphasize that you exist and can help - think like a marketer and keep your branding consistent. It will give you an incredibly strong identity and will get people to talk about you.
If you have someone you help out a lot or you did something special for, make use of customer champions, and never be afraid to communicate feedback and successes. Make changes to be more in line with your customer’s requirements; just make sure you show those changes off!
You can read more tips on becoming the star of the office in our expense to partner e-book.