Event Review: Managing the Total Customer Experience, 13 July 2016

by Jenny Jordan, IT Customer Service Manager, Edge Hill University

Last month I attended an SDI event at the fantastic venue of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.  We – that’s the Service Desk at Edge Hill University – have been members of the SDI since 2012 when we were voted IT Service Desk of the Year and we love it when they have a ‘home’ event in our region.

First up, after the warm welcome from David Wright, was James Endersby whose presentation ‘You, The Customer and The Business’ asked us to ask the question ‘Can your Service Desk pass ‘The Dad Test’?’  Now there’s a litmus test.  In my experience, it’s always slightly easier when you’re being paid to support ‘your dad’ as it lessens the pain (sorry Dad if you are reading this).  James also advised us to ‘look for new ways’ of tackling things and a really useful takeaway for me which is to use catchphrases and then listen for them to be repeated.  One of James’ phrases is describing IT as being ‘at the elbow’ or, in other words, being near enough to the organisation to be useful.  Some of his tips provided lively discussion especially around customers having favourites.  But hey, it’s OK, do what works for you.

@foziaparveen123 summed everything up nicely with this pic in a tweet (thank you Fozia):


Next up was coffee and excellent customer service from Adam Haylock.  His presentation, correct title ‘What do your customers say about you?’, emphasised the importance of brand loyalty.  Adam, from Aylesbury Vale District Council, shared the success story of his SDI nomination and award with a short video encouraging us all to listen to the customer view of the service desk and build on its successes.  More on Adam to follow.

This led nicely into a talk from Tessa Troubridge, of SDI, who outlined the process and categories for next year’s nominations.  Plenty of time to get your entries in as the days get shorter and the nights get longer.  Judging is early next year and the awards are made at next April’s SDI Conference.  Entries are now being taken!

There followed a presentation from the first of the event partners LANDESK then some coffee and cookies.  After the break, we were invited by David to identify topics that we would like to discuss.  Six were identified and the discussion tables were allocated.  There was a bit of musical chairs (without the music) as we relocated but we were pretty slick and soon sat down to our discussions.  I captured the subjects on Twitter – you’ll need to read from the bottom up as due to technical issues user error, I managed to miss them on the first attempt at tweeting.


I was in the discussion group number 2 discussing ‘Enterprise Service Management’, a topic which seems to be cropping up more often.  We were a small select group of five in our discussion but we had a good mixture of those already trying it, those thinking about it and those of us just beginning to think about it.

Marval gave an overview of their product in an innovative way that I hadn’t seen before – a video slide (or slides on a video?) introduced us to their offering.

After lunch we reconvened for the third partner presentation – CRM works.

SDI’s own David Wright stepped up next to talk about the anthropology of the service desk.  There were a lot of stats to digest (as he said himself) but some of the key points I took away were:


After tea, Peter Johnson was our last speaker.  Peter is a Psychologist so it was a different take on customer service titled ‘Trichromy: Customer Service Beyond ITSM’.  He advocates letting your staff ‘go off piste and please people’ – perhaps a new take on empowerment?  So what is the Trichromatic approach?  Control, Autonomy and Values and there is even a Venn Diagram for this:


[Note Beth’s head – Beth won the raffle and some rather super headphones rounding off her day.]

All in all, an excellent and informative day and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  My takeaway? I must do something positive about Enterprise Service Management.  Watch this space!

Jenny Jordan
IT Customer Service Manager
Edge Hill University

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