Service desks may feel helpless when employees and business stakeholders complain about service quality, yet the green light of their SLAs flash comfortingly in the background. Satisfaction levels may be at 3.9, but is that good or bad? Niall Rudd of Happy Signals explains the importance of reassessing your feedback.
For too long SLAs have focused on service desk violations rather than CSI (Continual Service Improvement) and development from the viewpoint of the employee.
In a study by Deloitte University Press, 87% of organisations cite culture and engagement relating to employee experience as one of their top challenges. Poor engagement between service desk agents and employees creates a dissatisfied and under-valued workforce. SLAs typically assume employees to be a homogenised group, not differentiating profiles of doers, triers, prioritisers and those who need more support than most.
We need to know what these different profiles say about the service and the effectiveness of the channels through which they communicate with the service desk. As the diagram below shows, if you combine this information with lost productivity, we begin to see the business value of checking that our feedback methods ask the right questions to provide the insight needed to improve service and reduce lost worktime. Benchmarks should be gathered from the feedback of our employees and not an optimum target built into an SLA.
Whether outsourced or otherwise, the challenge of culture and engagement needs to start with the service desk owners and the relationship they have with their customers. Closing tickets within a benchmarked timeframe may be the standard measure, but it tells us nothing of how the service desk is performing against differing internal services and the myriad of individuals within them.
Service management needs to focus on the end-to-end experience of the employee and not just play the SLA game of pointing fingers at the service desk agents. Real and meaningful feedback measuring the happiness of an employee in relation to how the service desk has handled their ticket offers a clear insight of service desk performance.
Niall Rudd is regional manager, UK and Ireland, for Happy Signals.