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Putting the “Service” into IT Service Desk

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Many people find themselves asking ‘What is the difference between an IT Help Desk and an IT Service Desk?” This is a reasonable question.


In the English language, help and service are synonyms and in this context are nearly indistinguishable. Both answer calls about technical problems and do their best to provide solutions. To a certain extent, every company has the freedom to call their IT support department anything they like including “call centers” skipping the “IT” and “Desk” elements of the title entirely. However, when talking about tech company philosophy, the idea of the service desk is a product of early -as-a-service thinking. In this transition, the newly deemed service desk systems involved not only solving the tickets, but personally answering customer questions and seeking more innovative solutions to frequently recurring problems.

Customer Service Agent and IT Technician in One

The service desk representative is a technical expert and company service concierge in one person. It is their job to not only solve the client’s technical issues, but to soothe their frustration and make them feel like valued customers. Do do this, your reps need to be skilled technicians, quick typists, empathic amateur psychologists, and smooth operators effectively at the same time. The ideal service desk call starts with a disgruntled client reporting a bug and ends with a happy customer relieved that they are in such good, capable, and caring hands. By the time your rep puts down the phone, customer loyalty and satisfaction will have significantly increased. Of course, finding these multi-talented technical and social gurus is not done easily or automatically and often the best way for a company to have a strong team is to train them.

Start With Empathy

When it comes to high-quality technical service, the best place to start is open minded technicians who care about customers. With great problem solving skills and the right starting attitude, you can teach the rest of the service method. The first step to a great customer service experience is empathy. When people have to call for technical support, chances are they are either clueless and very worried and/or have spent at least 15 minutes trying to fix it themselves and have finally called for help. Neither of these situations has customers in a happy mood. Don’t take it personally and be understanding of their position. Often frustration will result in an outpouring of “the whole story” and, if you listen carefully, important technical details will be included. Many people are worried that they are the cause of the bug or are anxious about the fate of their computer. A few stories about similar bugs or how other people accidentally caused a similar error will alleviate tension and help them feel that they are not alone in their troubled technical experience. If the stories are funny, you are one step closer to helping this customer hang up with a smile.

Teach As You Go

The priorities of the customer will vary for each call. Some will want the problem solved as quickly as possible so they can return to whatever task the error interrupted. Others will show an interest in the reason for the break and how it was fixed, For these, you can keep up the conversation while you fix their error by teaching them about what went wrong, how to prevent it, and how you solved the problem. This can make a good comforting patter for routine calls and can turn into an interesting investigatory conversation for the rare, elusive, or complex bug. When you involve the customer in the process, they become more deeply invested in the solution and  be patient with troubleshooting steps they will need to perform and report on for you.

Assure Satisfaction With a Final Favor

It may seem like a little thing, but when the primary problem is done, remember to ask “Is there anything else I can help you with?” While the answer will be “no” more often than not, the few times there is a little something extra they wanted to ask about, it will be small. Quick, helpful fulfillment can create a complete customer service experience. More often than not, these final requests won’t even be technical tasks but questions they’d like answered. In many cases, they wouldn’t ask the question at all, but their new familiarity with you allows them to do so. The convenience of the final favor creates a feeling of combined accommodation and gratitude culminating in customer loyalty and an amazing reputation. Like a salon where nails and hair can be done in the same comfy chair, the all-in-one feel will have customers lauding the quality of your  IT service desk for months if not years to come.

Even if they can be hard to distinguish from the outside, most people have experienced both ends of the ‘service’ spectrum and can confirm: there are companies that care about quality IT service and those that do not. The ability to reach a real, compassionate human is a huge step toward a more satisfying and complete IT service experience, but it takes a truly skilled technician to create the kind of customer response considered ideal to the service-first philosophy. When these professionals are on the phone or chat lines, every encounter starts with empathic listening, teaches the customer something as their issues are solved, and ends with a smile and a final offer to assist further. Customers will feel relieved, included, and most of all like their time and personal experiences are valued by the company.

Also read : Leading IT’s communication via the Service Desk

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Megha JadhavPutting the “Service” into IT Service Desk
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