What’s The Real Cost Of Poor IT Support And Shoddy Customer Service?

The service desk, and with it IT support and customer service, has long been a big part of how end users (or, as I like to call them, “internal and external customers”) perceive the IT organization and the quality of its service delivery. Think about it, customers are forming their opinions based not only on their hardware and the IT services they consume but also on: the “IT people” they come into contact with, how these people perform, and how they (the customer) are treated. Also think about the context – it’s usually when the IT isn’t working and the customer is unable to do their job.

The bottom line for me is that none of us corporate minions have time for IT failure and, while it is still unavoidable, IT support staff need to see the business impact – and realize that there is no such thing as IT failure . . . that there is only business- and people-impacting failure. Take at look at the following Forrester Forrsights data, which compares the business and IT views of IT performance, and if you are an IT professional try not to weep at how poorly IT is perceived:

The quick view is: the business doesn’t rate IT very well (and sometimes IT doesn’t rate itself well).

The harsh truth: IT can no longer afford to ignore its customers

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The New Identity Of The Service Desk

Service support functions have many names. Some of them are called a help desk, and others have moved on to be a service desk. But there is more out there to tackle! Is your service desk ready for a new identity? I am a huge fan of the IT support organization, as they help us when we need them . . . but to call them a help desk or a service desk . . . Really? Think about all the things we want and need them to do for us — I think this important function should get a new name!

Here are some new functional names that we (Forrester) came up with. Please tell us which one you like! Or tell us a name you like! As Victor Hugo said, “The future has many names: For the weak, it means the unattainable. For the fearful, it means the unknown. For the courageous, it means opportunity.” Looking forward to hear from you.

How Not To Make Friends And Influence People: A Personal Story Of Customer Experience At Its Worst . . . And What IT Can Learn

My customer experience with T-Mobile UK (or was it EE — Everything Everywhere, the joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom in the UK?) last Friday was so shocking — and in some cases ridiculous — that I had to share it and highlight the potential customer experience parallels with IT service desks.

For balance: I’ve been a T-Mobile customer since February 2011 and its actual mobile service has been pretty good to date. I might whinge a little that availability seems to have dipped post–transition to EE (and I have no idea why) but that is probably just me imagining things. However, I didn’t imagine this . . .

So what happened?

I bought a second-hand phone and when I put my partner’s SIM in it (to test it), it registered on the EE network but I couldn’t send or receive calls or text; however, I could use mobile Internet. So I thought: is this a service provider, software, or hardware issue? After a quick but unsuccessful “Google” — always my first port of call for support these days — I realized that I needed some expert advice. As the SIM was “nearly working” I decided that I would call EE first.

It started well-ish, taking three minutes to get through the interactive options to a point where I could hear the now mandatory “we are really busy so you might be wasting your time on hold for a while” message. Thankfully I think it was only a minute or so. Then the “helpful” Patrick was available to help. And this is where the relationship started to break down . . .

Why is the system of record, not the customer, always in the right?

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