CXO

New year, new help desk

New years resolutions are made so that you can start the year on a positive note, yet they nearly always get consigned to the dustbin of history by the time January is over.

The only New Year resolution I am likely to make this year is a firm resolve not to make any resolutions. Circumstances usually conspire to ensure that the best laid plans fall on the funeral pyre of planning.

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This year, however, maybe I will start to design some training materials for the call takers to show how their work directly affects mine. I am convinced that all that is needed to make all our lives better is a bit of cooperation and education.

At present our call takers gather a lot of information that is relatively unimportant while failing to capture that which would help us a lot. The way that the system is viewed by our head office is entirely different than the way we view it in the field. For example, when the call center refers to a call they use the call number. When displayed in the field, the call number is the hardest piece of information to find, the customer name and address are the pieces of information most easily seen by us. If we call in about a job we have to scroll to the bottom of the page on the PDA to find the call number, and when they call us, they read out the customer name. That all works quite well, but occasionally we get a text message from the contact center that refers solely to a call number; the sort of thing we get is:

"Call number xxxxxxx rang in, they want to know when you are going to be there."

If you have more than a couple of calls on the list, it can take a long time to work out which call it refers to. We have mentioned this problem in the past, and for a while it got better, but as with all call take and help desk operations, it is always seen as a stepping-stone position and the ever-onward march of staff turnover ensures that it will not be long before you are training a new batch of workers.

As much as I hate making resolutions, I am going on record here and now to state that this year will be the year I document all the little niggles, so that I can try to make things better.

Do you believe in resolutions? If so, what are you going to do differently this year? Let me know.

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