How to Improve Service Desk Performance, Step Three: Increasing Team Cohesion
We are all familiar with the challenge of trying to work on a tight budget. This is more difficult on the service desk where the customer must be treated with the same level of customer service regardless of the budget for the team. The key question for all IT managers must be: How to scale their customer support without expanding their service desk team?
The answer to this must centre on having a cohesive team where constant communication is key. The beauty of this is that in the past few years in the IT world has been the advent of Instant Messaging (IM): promoting connectivity and instant communication. Since these advances are already deeply integrated in social networking, the next step would naturally be to implement them into your service desk environment. I know what you’re thinking: the caveat to this is the highly probable abuse of the IM system. However, an environment like a service desk has to be open and positive to create the right atmosphere for all agents. IM also has other benefits; for example, if one member of the team tackles a difficult problem, he can communicate the details to his colleagues and finally get someone who had previous experience and possibly the best soliution to it. In addition, it allows agents to be aware of their surroundings, by having a real time notification system that reflects agents' ready status. So for example, when a colleague arrives or leaves, all other agents are immediately notified of that. Consequently, the pros/cons ratio of IM has definite positive impacts on any dynamic work environment such as the service desk. This is mainly becasue it highlights the importance of constant communication in supplying adequate support to variety of problems.
A team cohesion natural continuation and a source for self-sufficiency is the old-fashioned meeting. A meeting before the service desk opens in the morning and one after it closes in the evening can provide the necessary cohesion in the team needed to keep them focused on their targets. Frequent social events and even training exercises introduce a sense of camaraderie and boosts creativity. An example of this can be a dress-down day every so often which allows the agents to be more relaxed while workining in a pleasant atmosphere. Another example might be to establish competition at break times, such as a sports related competition that possibly also includes a wager. Engaging in events for charity such as sponsored walks etc. can advance team-building while money are raised for a good causes at the same time.
So now you have an idea of the types of areas that you can look at to increase team cohesiveness. A happy and productive work environment is essential for your agents. The last step for improving the performance of your service desk is ‘Reducing the Queries’. Please have a look next week for this conclusion.