by Ric Mims

Being a long time member of HDI since 1996, I—like many of you—have seen the changes that have occurred throughout the industry over the last 15 years. Around 2000, I became heavily involved with HDI from a curriculum development perspective as well as being a trainer and a practitioner.

In 1999, I was tasked to design, build, and implement a service desk outsource operation for a company in Hartford, CT. This of course meant hours of research to understand best practice standards that would deliver the best outcomes for our upcoming customer base.

Building this service desk was from the ground up. So while my business partners were busy with financials and other considerations, my mind raced with anticipation surrounding the operation. What types of incidents were going to be prevalent in most of the verticals we would be servicing? What type of ACD system should I buy? Do I need an ACD system? What were the best vendors to build our infrastructure? The best ergonomic furniture and chairs for the agents? I needed to set baselines on service delivery not only related to first call resolutions, but how to properly measure FCR (first call resolution) which in those days was the hot metric du jour. I needed to assess the best vendors for my knowledge repository, build a service process topology and on and on.

In 2000, I obtained a copy of the 1999-2000 Practices Survey. After reviewing the information, data and trends in the report it actually gave me what I needed to set competitive baselines in every area of my operation. I dared to break some standard rules with metrics definitions and KPI measurements. The report as a benchmark greatly aided me in understanding staffing ratios vs. volumes and brought about guidance to understand the best channels to allow customers to report incidents. In building this operation, there was much more to consider but I wanted to build a small picture of the effort involved. After launch, we achieved over the first year incredible CSAT ratings from our global customer base. The Support Center Practices & Salary Report as a benchmark along with other resources was an enabler of our good fortune.

Presenting this historical look on the HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report I think is important. Being able to go back and view the industry through past perspectives allows trends to be realized when building your own future service roadmaps. I encourage you to use the report, it is chock-full of empirical data and information which can lead to better decision-making for your customers and business. One practice that I implemented is sending a copy to our senior lT leaders and making the report an agenda item for discussion in our team meeting for all to be aware of its value in our efforts.