Monday, October 2, 2017

Maximize Every Communication: Anticipate and Inform

By Sheree D. Kenner

One of the things that an overburdened helpdesk can do, is to make every interaction count. If you have fifty tickets in your queue, are answering seventy-five calls a day, and need to meet SLA’s, then the last thing you need is to send replies to your customer that generate more inquiries.

Here is an exchange, for example, that will cause more work:

Customer: “My keyboard died and I need a new one.”
Agent: “You can find a new one on the web.”
Customer: “Where?”
Agent: “Amazon.”
Customer: “What kind?’
Agent: “Depends on your preference.”

Not only is this frustrating, but it’s completely inefficient, ineffective, and results in a poor customer experience. Instead, agents should anticipate their customer’s needs, use follow-up questions, and/or add provide additional details.

A more appropriate response would be:

Customer: “My keyboard died and I need a new one.”
Agent: “I’m sorry to hear that. The following models (link to options and pricing) are available for purchase within our environment. Please select one and we’ll order a replacement for you which will arrive within two business days. If you need assistance with the installation, please indicate that in your reply and we’ll schedule a desktop visit. If you plan to install the keyboard yourself, recycle or dispose of per company policy.”

As you see, this interaction communicates anticipates future needs, is very informative, and helps avoid unnecessary follow-up. This results in a happy customer!

Additionally, if this is a common request, I suggest creating a quick response template that contains this information, so that all responses are consistent and this information won’t need retyping each time a request is made. Quick response templates also educate other team members who may not be aware of existing policies or procedures.

I am an experienced senior leader with a proven record of coordinating business technology support, designing and executing standards and procedures, coordinating large-scale projects, and delivering process enhancements. I specialize in ITSM, ITIL, Knowledge Management, and building best in class practices for IT organizations. 

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