Customer Support: First Point of Contact?

red telephone handset Customer Support is so much more than Service Desk software plus a room of people answering telephones and e-mails. Taking a step back, my personal contention is that a Customer Services team should have a target that the Service Desk is not the customer's preferred "First Point of Contact". A well curated knowledge base is a better option. The catch in that sentence was of course the conditional "well curated": there needs to be a feed-back loop from the service desk to the knowledge base.

I ran a virtual team looking after the Service Desk for ten years. They mostly lived thousands of miles from each other: I had not met more than half of this team face-to-face. Since the service desk had a "follow the sun" mandate, even with a tiny team there was a hierarchy, with a Team Leader to whom I applied the principle "delegate until it's worrying". The teams' mandate was to manually acknowledge all support requests within thirty minutes: none of this "we'll get back to you within four working days" nonsense.

Why hire an IT Service Operations Consultant to review service desk operations? Being neutral in an incident review is a tacit skill, and fixes for the underlying problem are not always obvious to those closely involved. An outsider can ask penetrating questions that may not otherwise get asked.

We're also available to assist in setting up, or restructuring, the service desk team. There are potential advantages to structuring the team in different ways. A well-structured virtual team can work "following the sun", providing around the clock support. This allows for the "night owl" customer wanting help at two o'clock in the morning.

send email For more information on how we can help you with improving IT incident & problem management, including carrying out an ad hoc review, please write to robert@itsm-support.com.