The customer service sector of IT has changed radically over the past decade or so. But I’ve noticed that, although technology is ever changing, the primary needs of customers remain more or less consistent. They want immediate, knowledgeable, personalized service when they approach the service desk with a problem. I’ve been with Calance for 16 years, working my way up in the service desk department from dispatcher to team leader to my current position as supervisor. At Calance, we have had a lot of our clients for a very long time, 15 to 20 years in a few cases. We get to know the customers that call into us on a personal basis – and I think that sets us apart from other service desks that people might go out and employ. Our clients feel comfortable, because they’ve been calling in for years. Many of our staff members have also been here for a very long time – again 15, 20 years. We don’t get a lot of turnover here and I think that is kind of unusual for a service desk. I find it exciting because every day is a new challenge – I’m never bored. And that’s definitely part of what’s kept me here for such a long time.
I’ve noticed customers wanting a more personalized relationship with service desk agents, rather than simply using the automated tools (email/creating your own ticket) with which you don’t actually speak to a live person. They want the experience of speaking to somebody and feeling that their problem is being handled. A lot of automated services can leave you not really knowing what’s going on with your issue.
The amount of information collected at the service desk level is huge and potentially an enormous resource for the entire company. Previously, we had separate knowledge bases for each of our clients. What we’re doing now is putting all of that information into our ticketing system.
All the departments at Calance use our ticketing software and can access all the information that the service desk has collected. This way the solution to a specific problem is always available for all support staff and thus to all supported clients.
We try to document as much as we possibly can and put it out there for everyone to use. That, and things like our on-boarding sessions with new employees, ensure that, as much as is possible, everyone is on the same page.
Onshore versus Offshore
The major trend I have noticed is a general offshoring of help desk services. This remains a huge trend in IT due to the cost savings, and the fact that off hours can be covered very easily. But I’ve noticed that clients are largely coming back to the idea of on-shore – they want to talk to people who are in the same time zone. I’m seeing clients that may have wanted offshore at one point now coming back to the on-shore model. Companies have to decide what they prefer. At Calance, we offer both US-based and hybrid on/offshore models.
The Language of Helping
Difficulties with how to describe issues are very common in IT. Sometimes the client may not know how to describe a problem they are having. Talking over the phone can offer some challenges. Thanks to the great tools that we have– like remote software- that allows us to actually look into the caller's computer and see what they’re talking about. A lot of times we find that how they’ve explained the situation is much different from the reality when we log in and see it.
As a first point of entry, the Calance service desk has a responsibility to respond to, and also anticipate our clients’ needs. We want to resolve their critical or immediate problems, but we also want to build a relationship and trust. And that makes the biggest difference in the type of Service Desk culture we are growing here.
At Calance, we also understand your need to remain competitive while overcoming your IT support challenges. That's why we have flexible and scalable Service Desk Plans that help you achieve:
- Excellent End User Experience
- Improved Productivity
- Reduced Annual Support Costs.
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