When I was starting out in IT my first role was on the service desk. While some in IT support looked at this job as something of an entry level position I knew that there was far more to it than simply getting people to reboot their computer. The direction from my leadership was that in time, I too could graduate to a more ‘advanced’ support role. While I speak in this post specifically about IT, I could translate the reference to those in HR or any other shared service function.
After a while I began to notice that many of the people hired after me who were more customer focused left the organization rather than moving on to other roles in the organization simply because they did not feel as though they has a career path that matched their skillset . On the other hand the technical people spent some time on the team before moving on to more senior technical support roles.
To me it seems like we might be missing an opportunity to foster some pretty important skills on out teams.
We (IT and anyone else for that matter) have handled support in this way for quite some time. Maybe it’s time to take another look at what we are doing and ask ourselves some honest questions about how we serve others. Particularly the way we manage customer interactions and your staff.
You know when you are dealing with a customer service superstar. You leave the experience feeling satisfied, that any time spent on hold was worth the wait not the other way around.
Since we are looking to be better partners for our business maybe we want to rethink the way we build and manage these teams. Should we not look at how we manage the business relationship management (BRM) skillset and encourage this within the service desk.
Since the BRM effectively looks to work with the business and ensure the services that we are providing are appropriate for their needs, maybe building this skill into the service desk might be a better long term fit. The service desk gets a front row seat to see how the service works (or not) with your business first hand. This also positions them to grow into BRM’s down the line by making relationships with the business from the start.
The key word in the service desk is service, so it shouldn’t have to be said that staffing it with people who are customer centric is likely going to improve the relations between IT and your business. The trick is to balance your service desk with people who can:
- Talk with people,
- Gather information and document what was discussed in a way that will ensure less backend triage.
- Have some technical expertise to address issues as they arise
- And talk with more people
This sounds like more than an entry level job to me.
As always I appreciate your comments or feedback
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