As a technician or even as a team leader, being part of a service desk team is challenging. Sometimes it’s like walking through a park and other times it’s like a ride on a rollercoaster or wandering in the Jurassic Park, as a colleague of mine used to say. It’s always a struggle between your client’s requests, your manager’s targets, your co-workers’ needs and your objectives. Sometimes all these things aren’t “on the same” page and you have to come up with a way to get the work done.
From my experience, these are the 4 “must” that will help to fulfill the requirements and satisfy the needs of every part involved in the project: client, users, team members, management.
As much as I hate the expression “human resources”, the “human” in it makes it bearable, you just have to ignore the “resources”. Maybe I am idealistic, but I think that in a period where companies promote hashtags like “people matter”, “people first”, “it is about the people” and so on, we should get rid of “resources” and adopt a more “human” mentality.
I know that a lot of top management considers employees just numbers or revenue, but at the end of the day, aren’t we all just humans? I am so pleased to see how in these COVID-19 difficult times, we are reminded how important people are! I really hope this will not be forgotten after returning to “normal”.
In my humble opinion, people are the central pillar in any project. The success or the failure of a project depends on how the people work on it. In my service desk team, we depend a lot on each other. For the mission to be accomplished, it takes a team of good people:
-who understand the objectives
-who have the answer to “why are we doing this”
-who are engaged
-who have common goals
-who are loyal to the common purposes
As a manager of a service desk team, I know that without my team, my job would be (almost) useless. They are the heroes that are doing the hard work. And I know some of my roles are to serve them, to create a suitable work environment and to support them in their career paths.
One person can make the difference, so again, people are important and should be treated accordingly. If your focus is not on the people, don’t bother to read any further.
Communication is a key. Each time I have to recruit a new member for my team, I make sure I inform him/her about the importance of communication. When someone joins my team, his/her “onboarding process” starts with a “lecture” about communication. The members of my team will smile while reading this, because they are really familiar with what I am about to say.
I always tell new members of my team that for me communication is very important and I ask them to come to talk to me about any work-related issues and not only. I insist that they come to see me when they make a mistake. Why? Because in 99% of the cases I will hear about it anyways. But, if I know it from the beginning, maybe we can solve it together or at least diminish the impact of the said mistake; and more importantly we can find what caused that mistake and try to avoid it in the future.
I always tell this true story about a girl and a team meeting. We had the meeting, she started to tell me something and at some point, someone interrupted her and my attention switched to the other person. In the next week, I observed that this girl kept some distance from me so I went to her and asked her what happened. She told me that she was displeased that in the meeting I ignored what she was saying and I let another person talk, therefore not paying attention to what she had to say. If I wouldn`t asked her, I would`ve never guessed why she was bothered.
My point is that sometimes we create frustrations to the people around us without even knowing we did. That’s why it is important to communicate, to talk about things.
I won’t insist more on this topic, but you got the point.
Knowledge is power! During these COVID-19 times, the fact that my team acquired a high level of knowledge helped us managing our activity even with all the social distancing story. Of course, we communicate a lot and discuss about the cases we have, because each one of us has his/her strong points, but the basics are totally mastered by everyone. Even more than necessary.
We have also a good knowledge base that can be accessed by every member of the team and that is updated when needed. Besides that, every new “discovery” made by a team member is immediately shared with all the whole team. When we don’t have a solution, we search for it, we try workarounds, we go the extra mile.
It is important to have a knowledge base that is accessible to everyone and know where to find and how to use it. I will ask my knowledge manager to write more about this topic, so I won’t give you more details for now.
The quality of the provided services makes the difference between a good team composed by great people who have communication skills and have the knowledge and other teams who focus more on quantity or any other thing.
In the service desk field, we deal with people mostly via phone. We cannot rely on the help of the body language to make a good impression. So our interactions must be impeccable. I’m not talking about standard scripts and talking like a little robot. I am talking about being empathic, assuring the interlocutor that he/she called the right number and his/her problem is half-solved already only because he/she decided to call us. Because we are good people who have mastered communication and have the knowledge to help him/her.
I was once asked the what makes a call perfect and my answer was the following: when I call the service-desk, I want to feel that the person at the other side understands my issue. That he/she doesn’t make me feel bad for having the issue or for not knowing how to solve it by myself. I expect from the service desk agent to be empathic, to not make me feel like I disturbed him, but to assure me that he/she’s understands what I need and he/she’ll solve it for me as soon as possible. Even today, I stand for my answer.
Having the right people on your team, encouraging and mastering the communication, having and sharing the knowledge and pouring the sweet sugar of quality on top, represents a powerful basis for great achievements.