IT Policies

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.

5 comments
catfish182
catfish182

yes document what you want. What they (help desk) should use to ID the person is ask them "do you have a ticket number?" if they do then reference the ticket number. If they don't then open a new ticket and they go into the queue. So the field tech now can see the ticket number and know whats up. Thats my two cents from the helpdesk here which i work.

Marketing
Marketing

I think you are headed in the right direction with determining to document the problems. That is the first step. The next is to relate those problems to losses in the bottom line (that always gets executives' attention). Once you have determined those things, you need figure out a resolution to each problem and show how that would decrease the aforementioned costs, maybe even eliminate them. Then, and only then, are you ready to make your pitch to whoever can make the decisions about this issue. If the changes can be put into place and are usable, you have a chance. As in the previous comment, you probably can't please everyone, but if enough money is being lost due to this issue (in unproductive time spent figuring out what the heck a particular call is about, etc.) something should get done. It also seems that the entry form could be customized and the display of information could be reformatted by an API to display as needed on various devices.

reisen55
reisen55

The response from Bangalore would be " Oh my, I am most upset by your problem, and am earnestly eager to assist you. What operating system are you using? XP? Oh that is an excellent choice, excellent. Pardon me for a moment." ...................... 10 minutes pass User hangs up. So much for 2009

wfps1946
wfps1946

When you are the Help Desk for a dozen or more organizations that all do the same job 12 different ways, it is next to impossible to satisfy everyone on how a ticket is displayed. We went so far as to set up a group including members of both management and technicians from every organization. We held weekly meetings to discuss how we, as the Help Desk, we would input and display information to the technicians and management, in email and by blackberry and pager formats. Two years later we are still trying to satisfy everyone in how to display the basic information. It gets more difficult as the information becomes more technical in nature and what does the technician and management want to see, how and when. No matter what, you will never satisfy all the organizations, with a resolution or by majority vote on how the information is to be displayed. You can satisfy some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time but you will never satisfy all the people all the time.

ajaxnii
ajaxnii

I agree put them in a queue based upon a ticket #. If no ticket make one. They will wait in line and then like he said the Tech will see what is going on and this also makes it easier on the customer when it comes time to actually get billed. Even if it is an internal billing it will still allow upper management to see who is putting in the most tickets and maybe that person need to be "RETRAINED"!

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