Justin from IT peers nervously across the room. Malayka’s workstation is about 150 feet away, down the center aisle and after a brief turn to the left. With Malayka’s replacement monitor in hand, Justin hopes he can sweep in and swap it out for her in less than five minutes. Taking a deep breath, he decides the time is right to make his move, and …
“Hey, Justin … my calendar isn’t syncing with my phone. Could you take a look?” “Hi, Justin … why can’t I connect to the printer?” “Dude, I dumped a flat white on my laptop and now like half the keys don’t work.” 20 minutes later, Justin reaches Malayka’s desk. It will take him another ten minutes and two more interruptions to get back to his office.
Navigating past the elbow-grabbers and shoulder-tappers is a daily struggle for Justin and his teammates. The time they squander solving minor user issues pulls their focus away from key initiatives, which is why Bonnie, the CTO, engaged Netfor to outsource a help desk. She had asked for phone support and was surprised when Netfor insisted on including chat, text, and email.
Why? The simple answer: people like choices, and the more options a support partner can provide, the more likely employees will stop distracting Justin and the company from their more important work and turn to the people who are trained specifically to support them.
In the past, Netfor offered a menu of support options to client partners. Given the growing evidence that the multiple-choice approach is clearly a best practice and invariably leads to higher satisfaction scores, the decision to proactively set up all channels was an easy one. When Netfor’s agents mention that callers can email or text with questions or problems anytime, most are appreciative — and many choose those options the next time they encounter a situation.
Offering options is particularly important given the unprecedented generational diversity in today’s workplaces. When Boomers encounter a problem, most tend to reach for the phone so they can talk with someone else. Gen Xers don’t want to waste time in conversation, so they’re more likely to shoot off a terse email. And Millennials and younger workers spend much of their free time chatting up friends with their thumbs, so interacting with a help desk, in the same way, makes perfect sense. Having options allows employees to choose the channel they’re most comfortable with, improving their satisfaction with the help desk process.
Onboarding Is Key
While choices are an inherently good thing, employees can only use them if they’re aware of them. That’s why Netfor’s onboarding process includes a best-in-class communications plan through which the company helps its client partners become aware of the options available to them, whether that’s through email messages, a lunch-and-learn, a magnet, or some other strategy that works well within the client’s culture. That educational effort is especially important when Netfor’s services are replacing an approach that employees found frustrating or less than helpful.
Another example of a best practice is Netfor’s implementation of Queue Callback (QCB) technology on phone calls, which offers a callback option when the system recognizes an agent won’t be available within a predetermined amount of time. Most callers jump at the opportunity to be called back. Not only does it improve their satisfaction with the support process, but we’ve seen abandonment rates drop by nearly half after implementing it.
Our ultimate goal is always addressing the employee’s issue in the way that’s most comfortable and convenient, so satisfaction with the help desk is maximized, overall employee morale improves, and IT pros like Justin no longer dread walking across the office.