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Equipping Service Desk Agents to be Heroes

By on March 5th, 2021


Read time: 3 minutes. 

Being a Service Desk Agent is Not Easy

Do you remember when you called into a service desk and based on the extension or number you knew exactly who you were talking to? You knew what applications they had and the hardware in front of them? Well, you might not. This was quite a few years back and the environment and options were much simpler.

Through successive waves of innovation and giving users more choices, the combinations of technology, the methods you engage in, and the reasons you might be connecting have expanded greatly. It does not matter whether you are in a customer support desk or an internal service desk, there are many paths.

Seeing Customer Support and Help Desk Differently

In recent years, our contact centers have been chasing our tails to quickly resolve and fulfill requests for the guests of the moment. The way we think of support has radically shifted from cost minimization to customer experience and agent experience. Study after study confirms these shifts by Aspect, HubSpot, and KPMG. Back in 2013. Walker foreshadowed the events ahead in its 2013 study on experience

Neither of these shifts should surprise us really. In 1999, authors B. Joseph Pine II  and James H. Gilmore introduced – The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage Hardcover – now in its third revised and updated edition. The Heath brothers, Chip and Dan have made a career of explaining interactions with The Power of Moments (Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact) in 2017.

So why are experiences regressing?

Why Experiences Became Very Difficult

The simple truth: In one case we have added channels (new ways to connect via social, chat, phone, email). Making a single channel work is easy. Yet, making the new communication channels work together is not so easy.

In the other case, we have extreme growth in the technologies that are used. Not only are users bringing their own tech, they also have more than one device, they are mobile, and they are bringing their own software and apps. If this were a project plan, we would label this “scope creep of exponential (x1000) proportions”. Yet it’s happened and it needs to be addressed.

So what can we do?

Winning Requires Changing the Way We Choose

Many change management plans truly get cemented after a technology decision. Sure there were some questions before the decision about methods; but honestly, they all look quite similar. Instead, we pick the best-of-the-best technology and then we go on to discuss what it really means to move to the technology — all too often ignoring what this will look and feel like to the participants: both guest and the agent.

By ignoring transition journeys, it is easy to buy the big omnibus solution that requires a rip-and-replace of existing technology only to have it poorly adopted or integrated. Time-and-time again Edge Technologies encounters great tools that are poorly transitioned or integrated. This results in confusion, delayed time-to-value, and poor experiences. When this occurs, agents are not equipped to be heroes, which was often the goal in the first place.

These very points were affirmed this morning in a feature article by CIO Magazine’s Mary K. Pratt – Why IT projects still fail.

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