Service Desk Of The Month: Air-IT

This month’s SDI member chosen to feature as Service Desk of the Month is Air-IT,  an award-winning Managed ICT Service Provider (MSP), delivering IT support in Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, the Midlands and beyond.

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Here’s what the team had to say about life on the service desk at Air-IT:

·  What types of customers do you support? What are their technical abilities and what common incidents do you receive?

We support a wide variety of organisations from small businesses right up to 1000 users. Our clients come from all markets and in all sizes. Based in Nottingham, we support users located all over the world.

The technical abilities of our end users varies significantly. Some need hand-holding but others have technical roles themselves: ICT managers or programmers for example.  Most requests are for change management: password change requests and new user setups are typical.

An unusual class of client is other service desks and ICT service providers around the UK, helping them improve their operations, or kick starting projects for change or improvement.

·  What’s the best part of your day?

I’d say the latter part of the day. It’ a time for ensuring all client requests will be met within SLAs, that we’re in line with internal KPIs and that clients are fully up-to-date with progress. There’s a wonderful sense of achievement and an opportunity to reflect on ways we can improve our service.

·  What is the greatest challenge faced by your service desk?

Like others, we’re encouraging our customers to sign-up to use self-service tools we provide. We demonstrate the best ways to take advantage of self-help. But, generally speaking, reducing resource utilisation and successfully deploying valued self-help, while maintaining service quality, is a huge challenge for us all.

·  If you could choose any celebrity to work on your service desk who would it be and why?

I think Lee Evans has a great sense of humour and would fit in with the team’s positive approach when time allows. We’ve worked hard to establish a culture of helping one another and one where everyone has a chance to develop their skills and have a career plan. Generally, there’s a very positive atmosphere. There’s no better way to meet objectives, and go the extra mile to serve our clients’ best interests.

·  If money and resource were no issue what one thing would improve your service in 2016?

We’d probably refresh all our clients’ systems, so they had a fully consistent, completely reliable, high-performance computing environment. We’d also have privileged interactive relationships with manufacturers, developers and vendors (including those who provide clients’ bespoke applications), providing resource to perfect their offerings prior to release. And we’d spare no expense looking after clients.

The entire chain between developer and end-users would be super-productive.

·  What’s the most memorable or bizarre thing you’ve heard from a customer?

A few years ago, before I came to Air-IT, I went to help a marketing company director with a support issue. When I got to his office I found him screaming at the top of his voice and banging his desk with both fists because he was finding his web browser so difficult to use.

·  What was the last thing you and your team did together outside of work?

Most recently we organised a team barbeque including partners and children. The whole team came along and had a great time – so much so that we’ve made this a recurring event. We like to get together as often as we can whether in small groups for a night out, or a larger gathering for bigger events.

As a company we’ve been a great supporter of both sport and charity. We’ve organised company teams for dragon boat racing, and charity marathon runs for example.

·  What characteristics within your team make it stand out from the crowd?

We ask questions of ourselves and reply earnestly, without fear of “difficult” truths – the result is genuine continuous improvement, in what we do and the way we do things.

By knowing what we really need to do to improve, we ensure that the team have the right training (technical and customer service), and the resulting mix of talent and personality fits faultlessly into our culture. There’s also a healthy blend of competition with cooperation within the team. It’s built on openness and mutual trust.

As a result, we have a dynamic and fast-paced environment in which we understand our costs, performance levels, and the quality of service we achieve.

Client satisfaction is the true bottom line and we believe world-class customer service begins with getting things right with our front-line Service Desk. Happy clients follow from a happy team.

·  What one achievement (of the service desk) are you most proud of and why?

If we make mistakes we can lose clients, because they’re with us by choice and they can leave us if they choose to. So I’m proud of our client retention rate and customer-loyalty. It’s the most direct evidence that we do a good job for them.

The Service Desk team has grown from 3 people to 20 people over the past 5 years, and there have been a lot of operational changes too, but we’ve maintained a customer satisfaction rate of over 95%.

There’s been a lot of operational change. We’ve invested heavily in our ticket management system, so we’re able to access a wealth of CSAT and performance management information. Our goal is to achieving service levels on a par with world-class support environments. We’re currently ranked 240th in the recent MSPMentor 2016 global ratings.

To summarise then, I’m most proud of our ability to accomplish significant operational changes in pursuit of growth and efficiency, while maintaining levels of service where clients choose us for their support.

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Quick Facts:

  • Service Desk Manager: Jamie Hissitt
  • Business type (e.g. education, finance): An ICT Managed Service Provider offering Service Desk support options from front line to level 3 escalation, and covering all sizes of client up to enterprise level,
  • Location of service desk: Nottingham
  • Size of team: 20
  • Days and hours of operation: Mon – Fri 07:30 – 18:30, with 24×7 remote monitoring, and out-of-hours cover as an option
  • Multi-lingual?: No
  • Number of customers supported: 400 businesses and approx. 3200 end users
  • Calls received per day: We have around 135 Tickets Logged a day via phone/email/chat with an average of 83% resolved same day.
  • ITSM Software: ConnectWise
  • Longest serving team member (how many years): Jamie Hissitt 10 years (I’ve been with the company since it was founded in 2005)

Find out more about Air-IT at www.air-it.co.uk

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