The HDI Leadership Forums met recently to discuss matters of concern in their various industry verticals and disciplines. In one of the sessions, the Desktop Support Forum held a "debate" with the Support Center Leadership Forum on topics revolving around escalation of tickets from the service desk to desktop support.
Sometimes, tickets appear to be "thrown over the wall" to desktop support with insufficient information. Sometimes, desktop support hasn’t provided enough documentation to the service desk to resolve an issue that can and should be resolved there. Sometimes, the support center publishes knowledge that was captured by desktop support without passing the copy to desktop support for review and verification. Sometimes, desktop support doesn’t yield authority to the support center for no more reason than they don’t want to.
Sometimes, tickets appear to be "thrown over the wall" to desktop support with insufficient information.
This "debate" started off with a lot of good-natured ribbing and mock finger-pointing (the Forums had those big foam hands that say "We’re #1!" as props). But soon, an interesting theme emerged: When there have been major troubles between the two groups, a meeting between the managers for discussion of the problems has been able to resolve the issues.
It did not take long before both groups realized that it should not take a crisis or confrontation to generate a meeting between the groups’ managers, but that regularly scheduled meetings to discuss escalation processes and other matters of shared concern could go a long way to keep the relationship between the two groups on track. It was an "Aha! Moment," albeit a small one, for both sides.
In order to extend the practice of these meetings in their own organizations, the Desktop Support Forum and Support Leadership Forum agreed to make a joint session a regular part of all future Forum meetings. There are some lessons here:
- Even if your processes and procedures are designed perfectly, they will not always be followed perfectly.
- If you have an "emergency" meeting about the same thing more than once, it should become a regular meeting.
- Differences will occur, and they can be worked out.
- The biggest lesson: Internal differences do absolutely no good for the customer, who doesn’t care who gets it done as long as it gets done correctly, quickly and effectively.
When was the last time you had one of those "crisis" meetings? What can you do to prevent a repeat of what triggered it?
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.