Good IT Support Costs Less – You can have your cake and eat it too!

Have you ever seen an Ignite talk? I just lost my Ignite virginity giving a talk titled, ‘Good IT Support Less – You can have you cake and eat it too!’ at Service Management 2017.

An Ignite talk follows a strict format – 5 minutes, 20 slides, 15 seconds each. And the slides auto-advance. Ignites are really tricky to deliver, but the high tempo, and myriad opportunities to screw up, make them pretty entertaining for the audience. And given you can squeeze ten speakers into an hour, you get a high knowledge return on your time investment. If you get a chance to go along to an Ignite session, I thoroughly recommend it. Anyway…

Over the years, I’ve heard many a CIO tell me feel they have to make a choice between providing a good level of IT support and keeping their costs down. But this isn’t true.

I’ve transcribed my Ignite into this post so you can see why.

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How does your IT customer survey capability stack up?

Ken Blanchard, leadership expert and author of ‘The One Minute Manager’ once said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”. Champion IT support teams actively use customer feedback for coaching and continual service improvement. As a result, they enjoy:

  • Increased staff engagement (research shows that staff who get regular feedback are more engaged, particularly in Gen Ys).
  • More capable support staff (they use feedback to identify individual strengths and weaknesses, and make it an integral part of coaching and performance management).
  • More streamlined, customer-friendly processes (they use feedback to identify and prioritise process and tool improvements based on what’s important to the customer).

This all leads to better service. And when you deliver better service, you lower your support costs , enhance your reputation as a service provider and have happier customers.

But how do you go about collecting good quality, continual feedback from your internal customers?

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6 ways to deliver better service and reduce support costs

Imagine if there was a way to improve customer service and reduce support costs at the same time.

Well, there is.

When Sprint went from being the worst rated telco for customer satisfaction to the best, it reduced its customer care costs by about a third ($2bn a year).

Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too!

My vision is to stop the Service Desk being the brunt of so many “helpless desk” jokes. I’m going to make ‘The IT Crowd’ unfunny. But one hurdle comes from inside IT. I often talk to CIOs who express their concern that improving service is at odds with their objective to keep IT operating costs down. They see good service and a lean budget as polar opposites. They’re not. Delivering a good customer experience costs less than a bad one.

Here are six ways that you can have your cake and eat it too:

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