It’s summertime in the northern hemisphere, and many people are taking vacation. That includes people who work in support centers, where staffing levels can be critical.
Of course, vacation time is heavily dependent on industry and location. As one participant—from an accounting firm—tweeted, “The Taxman comes to the beach and at Christmas.” Industries such as resorts and hotels may also experience increases in demand during the summer, or at another time of year, depending on location.
Juggling schedules for a large staff can be difficult, but outages—planned or unplanned—can be tough when the staff is small. Vacation season for support staff is likely also vacation season for the employees they support, so there may be some offset in the amount of work.
Is automation one way to make up at least some of the difference when staff outages occur? While some chat participants were thinking of automation (e.g., chatbots) as an all-or-nothing proposition, having well-configured chatbots or virtual agents might be a way to pick up much of the routine work coming into the support center (as I suggest in Level 0.5: Automation and Support).That can certainly help when Level 1 staff is low.
One participant had some good advice for peers: “Have at least one primary and backup person for every area of expertise possible.”
Read the recap for further tips and discussion.
Join us again this Friday for our next #HDIchat!
Roy Atkinson is HDI's senior writer/analyst, acting as in-house subject matter expert and chief writer for SupportWorld articles and white papers. In addition to being a member of the HDI International Certification Standards Committee and the HDI Desktop Support Advisory Board, Roy is a popular speaker at HDI conferences and is well known to HDI local chapter audiences. His background is in both service desk and desktop support as well as small-business consulting. Roy is highly rated on social media, especially on the topics of IT service management and customer service. He is a cohost of the very popular #custserv (customer service) chat on Twitter, which celebrated its fifth anniversary on December 9, 2014. He holds a master’s certificate in advanced management strategy from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, and he is a certified HDI Support Center Manager. Follow him on Twitter @HDI_Analyst and @RoyAtkinson.