The Service Desk – BRM’s of the Future

Originally published 18 September 2014 on 

Ryan Ogilvie BRM

Like many people when I started out in IT support I started out on a service desk. I understood that the service desk was like the ‘entry level job in IT’ and that in time, I too could graduate to a more ‘advanced’ support role. In this post I speak about IT but this term could be replaced with HR or any other shared service function.

Let me point out that there is nothing wrong with this type of progression as we all need to start somewhere however once I began to get more comfortable in the service desk I started to feel the need to ‘get out of there’ and into a more specialized role, which in the natural progression was a technical one. I noticed that many of the people hired after me who were more customer focused left after a while as they did not feel as though they ‘fit in’ and the technical people that were in the group couldn’t wait to get out to deal with technical challenges.

We (IT and anyone else for that matter) have handled support in this way for quite some time. Maybe it’s time to take another look at what we are doing and ask ourselves some honest questions about how we serve others. Particularly the way we manage customer interactions and your staff.

You know when you are dealing with a customer service superstar. You leave the experience feeling satisfied, that any time spent on hold was worth the wait not the other way around.

Since we are looking to be better partners for our business maybe we want to rethink the way we build and manage these teams. Would the model for our service desk be better suited to work within the confines of the business relationship management (BRM) function if one existed in your organization?

Since the BRM effectively looks to identify the needs of the business and ensure the services that we are providing are appropriate for their needs, maybe this might be a better long term fit. The service desk gets a front row seat to see how the service works (or not) with your business first hand. This also positions them to grow into BRM’s down the line by making relationships with the business from the start.

The key word in the service desk is service, so it shouldn’t have to be said that staffing it with people who are customer centric is likely going to improve the relations between IT and your business. The trick is to balance your service desk with people who can:

·         Talk with people,

·         Gather information and document what was discussed in a way that will ensure less backend triage.

·         Have some technical expertise to address issues as they arise

·         And talk with more people

This sounds like more than an entry level job to me.

As always I appreciate your comments or feedback.

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