A follow up call is often a great way to find out how well you are doing. I get them from my local garage when my car is serviced and it isn’t a big thing, a quick call with a few well selected questions to find out if I am happy with the service and to check that my customer experience matches the company’s standard. A few details like: “Was the courtesy car clean?” “Was the work carried out to my satisfaction?” “Was my car returned on time and was it cleaned?” – That one makes me laugh as it is my mobile office, lunch counter, workshop and crash room, so there is usually a lot of mess in it and, quite embarrassingly, it always comes back to me vacuumed and washed with all my paperwork neatly bagged up!

My car had a bit of a birthday recently, it was serviced after 105,000 miles in 2.5 years and when it came back it looked like new. In fact, when I collected the keys from the service department I walked past it without recognising it. So why don’t we do this more on the helpdesk? At the very least we could speak to customers when they don’t have a problem. We could try to find out if there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. Anything to save us from future panic calls.

As I have always said, the role of the helpdesk should be to work ourselves out of a job. Don’t worry, it could never happen, a regular turnover of people will make sure of that and there will always be the core business of the helpdesk, forgotten passwords, to ensure a steady workload, even if the hardware never glitched. The user community will always have things that bother them, they will just be too busy sweating the big stuff to worry about details.

My helpdesk sends out an email on resolution of a ticket, it is auto generated and invites the user to fill in a short questionnaire about how well he or she thought that the call had been handled. Considering my last experience I was glad to complete the form and add a concise summary of how my call was handled. I went to some trouble to detail what I thought were areas of concern and to make positive suggestions as to how matters might be improved. When I completed the survey I clicked the ‘Submit’ button and waited for the hour glass to clear. My work failed with an ‘Unable to find server’ error, so all my considered opinion was wasted. Apparently this server is only available from within the company intranet so I was not able to complete this survey from home.