As service-oriented support organizations and service desks, how do we address the new generation of employees, the old generation’s new behaviors, and new technology?
A large number of recurring support issues that are often dealt with manually by the support team can and should be directed to self-service. But the key value is created when we increase the level of service and make the support organization more important and of greater value for the whole organization. We supply real customer benefits.
A service desk that understands and uses this opportunity will strengthen its value by resolving more issues and gaining more satisfied customers. A successful service desk measures KPIs at the right level, and aims for a broad influence within the company and with its customers by utilizing different support channels.
“Self-service is not about replacing people with databases, it’s about reaching your customers”
Enable the effective channels
Consequently, self-service is not about replacing people with databases, but is more about the fact that we need to enable self-service; we need to regularly create and develop knowledge articles on the daily support work that we do, which will allow us to increase our service and consequently also our value.
One way to visualize the challenges and opportunities in achieving a deeper and wider reach is to use the iceberg model. It is very common to place too much focus on the visible part of the iceberg. And while we do that, the iceberg is slowly growing beneath the surface. It is the support and the issues that are beneath the surface – i.e. that which never reaches the Service Desk, what we call “shadow support”. If we turn a blind eye to what is going on underneath, we will eventually lose our value as a support organization. And the same applies to all support organizations.
The iceberg theory in practice
Dare to let go of the SLAs for a moment and think about what your iceberg looks like; dive under the surface and try to see it as a whole. Is it really at the top of the iceberg where you should focus your power and improve your way of working? Or are the processes at the top adequate and is it perhaps under the surface where significant potential remains untapped, both now and in the future?
To put it in practical terms, the iceberg theory means that many organizations need to spend less time refining their support processes and methods which do not fully meet requirements and have major challenges linked to customers’ new behavior, new technology, and an increasingly complex environment. The right attitude, a focus on customer benefits, and an organization that is open to change can all offer significant potential for successfully providing an even better level of support to address the behaviors of today and of the future.
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If you think this way of thinking sounds logical and intersting, you should look into the methodology KCS (Knowledge Centered Support).
Per Strand, CEO and Co-founder, ComAround