How To Measure Call Quality On Your Service Desk

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1 Hw T Measure Call Quality On Yur Service Desk - 1 -

2 Declaratin We believe the infrmatin in this dcument t be accurate, relevant and truthful based n ur experience and the infrmatin prvided t us t date. All infrmatin is prvided in gd faith, in cnfidence and in the best interests f SDI and ur clients. Please cntact Daniel Wd n + 44 (0) t discuss any questins r further requirements r Prepared by Daniel Wd Head f Research, SDI - 2 -

3 Cntents Intrductin... 4 Definitins f quality... 5 Hw t measure quality... 6 Call Mnitring... 7 Reviewing calls Methds fr reviewing calls Hw t use the Assessment Cnclusin Abut The Service Desk Institute (SDI)

4 Intrductin Service desks cntinually strive t imprve the quality f service that they deliver t their custmers. But what exactly d we mean by quality and hw can we measure and imprve the quality f the service that we prvide? In this guide we ll lk at sme cmmn definitins f quality and identify thse that are mst pertinent t us n the service desk. We ll als lk at hw yu can imprve the quality f service that yu deliver t yur custmers thrugh quality assurance and quality checks. Quality underpins everything that the service desk des as ultimately; we want t deliver a quality prduct and service t ur custmers. The prblem arises when we have t quantify what we actually mean by quality and hw we can measure if we are delivering a quality service. A large cmpnent f understanding quality is by checking, assessing and auditing t ensure that the utputs frm ur service desk (clsing incidents, cmmunicatin with custmers, verall quality f service) is being delivered. We might all have different definitins f what cnstitutes a quality service, but the end gal shuld always be t deliver the level f service that we want and strive fr t ur custmers

5 Definitins f quality There are numerus definitins f quality. Sme cncentrate n the number f defects (r mre precisely the lack f them) in prducts and services. ISO 9000 defines quality as the Degree t which a set f inherent characteristics fulfils requirements. Peter Drucker asserts that, quality in a prduct r service is nt what the supplier puts in. It is what the custmer gets ut and is willing t pay fr. 1 Bth f these definitins are useful when we are thinking abut the quality f services that service desks prvide. Custmers d nt care (r perhaps d nt appreciate) the methdlgies and wrk behind the scenes that it takes t deliver services, but they d care abut the quality f the service. They d nt care abut what is put in t making excellent service, but they d care abut the utcme. Delivering quality service shuld be mdus perandi fr any service desk that wants t be successful. Withut quality services yu cannt expect t receive psitive custmer feedback r custmer experiences. Quality services are nt smething that happen instantaneusly, but instead are the prduct f years f hard wrk and dedicatin. Services evlve ver time in respnse t myriad factrs including, but nt limited t, custmer expectatins and needs; technlgy; budget; cmpetencies f staff and custmers; acquiring knwledge and better ways f wrking; and the changing demands n the service desk. Taking this int cnsideratin, quality services are thse that meet and exceed custmer expectatins and are designed t satisfy business bjectives. They will be services that custmers find useful and that ultimately allw them t be prductive and get back up and running quickly. These are the types f things the SDI standards lk fr when talking abut quality services

6 Hw t measure quality S hw d we actually deliver a quality service t ur custmers? One f the key ways t d this is t check and audit yur service desk t understand what level f service they are delivering. Cmpnents f quality include: adherence t prcess; custmer service skills; cmmunicatin skills; speed and effectiveness; and many ther aspects that impact the quality f the service delivered t custmers. When yu are lking at the quality f incident management, there are tw crucial cmpnents, call mnitring and ticket/ mnitring

7 Call Mnitring Call mnitring allws yu t understand the quality f yur service desk s cmmunicatin skills and the quality f yur prcesses. Cmmunicatin and prcesses are essential cmpnents f prviding a quality service, s it s imprtant t mnitr and assess bth f them n a regular basis. 1. Cmmunicatin Things t lk ut fr and assess during a telephne call might include: Infrmatin is lgged crrectly in the ITSM tl Calls shuld be answered within set timeframe parameters (this infrmatin shuld be included in the SLA, fr example within 3 rings, 10 secnds etc.) Calls are answered using the standard greeting Calls shuld be answered in adherence with best practice and must maintain excellent standards f prfessinalism thrughut the call. Examples f prfessinal telephne behaviur include: Using apprpriate language (i.e. prfessinal language) Empathetic Listen t and understand the custmer s descriptin f the incident r service request Using pen and clsed questining techniques as apprpriate fr clarificatin and call cntrl Speaking clearly and cncisely Active listening Demnstrates knwledge Plite, curteus and friendly Flexible Efficient Calm under pressure Attentin t detail - 7 -

8 2. Call Classificatin Once the call has been answered, the next step is t decide if the call shuld be handled by the service desk. As the single pint f cntact fr many rganisatins, service desks can receive calls that are nt IT related, r are nt fr services that they supprt. Sme steps t take during call classificatin are: D we supprt this custmer/is this custmer a cntract custmer? Is the call IT related, r are they lking fr cntact details? D we supprt this regin? If it is determined that we d supprt this custmer and they are in regin then the call shuld be lgged. In fact, all calls shuld be lgged as this enables yu t perfrm trend analysis t understand what type f calls the service desk is receiving, hw much time is being spent n calls that are nt fr the service desk, and can identify hw efficiently the service desk is perating. 3. Priritisatin This step lks at if the Analyst has assigned the crrect pririty t the incident. Incidents shuld be assigned a pririty based n business impact and custmer requirements. Fr the priritisatin stage, checks need t be made t ensure that Analysts are fully aware f the cntents f SLAs and are able t assign the crrect pririties based n this infrmatin

9 4. Next actins This step ensures that the custmer understands that their call has been lgged and pririties assigned. The Analyst shuld cmmunicate t the custmer what the next steps fr the incident will be. Custmers shuld be tld when they can expect a fix and agree timescales The custmer shuld be tld what will happen next, i.e. if an engineer needs t visit the custmer, r if the incident is t be escalated t anther team Cmmunicate and share the SLA t establish a cntract with the custmer In quality terms yu are assessing whether Analysts are cmmunicating the crrect infrmatin t custmers and that the custmer is aware f the next steps in the incident prcess. The Analyst als needs t agree target times in rder t manage the custmer s expectatins as t when they can expect their incident t be reslved. 5. Wrap up This is the stage that is perfrmed just befre the call is clsed. It ensures that all f the crrect infrmatin has been lgged and recrded and that everything is dcumented that will assist in the timely and accurate reslutin f the incident. The specific steps fr this stage are: The detail and infrmatin is recrded crrectly Next actins are identified alng with escalatin pints and persnnel Call r speak t ther peple t make them aware if the incident has a high pririty Call is clsed - 9 -

10 Reviewing calls Listed abve were the steps that Analysts shuld take when lgging an incident. This is als knwn as the incident management prcess. T ensure that the prcess is fllwed crrectly and that the service desk is delivering a quality service, it s imprtant t review calls and mnitr them t ensure that prcess is being fllwed and that the service desk is cmmunicating with custmers in the crrect way. Reviewing calls prvide bth staff and management with an nging quality and persnal develpment mechanism. Reviewing calls shuld ensure excellent custmer service and prvide a mechanism fr cntinual perfrmance imprvement. Call reviews are an excellent way t review and develp the quality and cnsistency f individual staff perfrmance They help t ensure that all frnt line staff are perfrming at ptimum levels and cntinually updating and develping their skills They are als a flexible and psitive way f giving staff gd cnstructive feedback n their wrk in a service envirnment These shuld be held n a regular basis depending n experience, e.g. a junir may need mnthly reviews whereas an experienced member f staff might nly need quarterly r six-mnthly reviews Managers shuld ensure that they stick t hlding these even fr experienced staff, wh may nt knw new practices where the wrking envirnment cnstantly changes Everyne shuld als be pen t change and develpment and as lng as the reviews are cnstructive and psitive they shuld be effective and helpful t all

11 Methds fr reviewing calls Sit and listen in n calls This stage can be perfrmed by a manager, line manager r anther delegated member f staff. Ideally, call mnitring will be perfrmed by using a facility t listen in n the call s that yu can hear bth sides f the cnversatin. If this facility is nt available, then it can perfrmed by listening t the Analysts calls (althugh yu nly hear ne side f the cnversatin this way). Listening in n calls and evaluating them can be a timeintensive prcess s yu will nly want t lk at a selectin f calls (say 5-10) a mnth. Assessment Fr this stage, yu will have set criteria n which yu wuld assess the Analysts call handling skills. An example f sme sample criteria fr call management perfrmance review is included belw: Example: Call Management Perfrmance Review Quality area Staff Mgr Gap Cmments Learning pints/ actins Using apprpriate language Cnsistency & Facts Empathy Pliteness, curtesy & friendliness Flexibility Efficiency Calmness under pressure Attentin t detail

12 Remember, these criteria are just fr reviewing the quality f the cmmunicatin skills fr yur Analysts. In additin yu ll want t cnsider adherence t prcess and the quality f infrmatin that the Analysts have recrded t ensure that if the call needs t be escalated, r t prvide reference and knwledge fr future ccurrences, that the level f detail and infrmatin is included. Making sure that Analysts are fllwing the crrect prcesses is abslutely essential if yu want t create cnsistency n yur service desk, as if each step is fllwed then the custmer is guaranteed t receive a cnsistent service. Hw t use the Assessment Staff and management will write a scre fr each f the criteria based n hw well they thught they scred in each area when the call is played back t them. Any differences in scres will be nted, and reasns given. There will als be rm fr cmments with any bad r gd pints nted this will prvide evidence and additinal infrmatin fr why the scre was given. Frm this assessment, actin pints and learning pints can be created that prvide an actin plan t help imprve the scres and verall perfrmance by cnsidering the imprvements that need t be made. In additin: Any areas where the scres differ by mre than 2 pints shuld be discussed and re-assessed Bth parties shuld agree n any areas fr learning and develpment and assciated actins t imprve skills etc. Bth parties agree t a final set f scres as an average ver the calls this can then be reviewed fr future prgress and rlling perfrmance

13 Cnclusin Call quality is an essential cmpnent f yur service desk. Ensuring that custmers receive a quality service every time that they cntact the service desk sits at the heart f everything that service desks d and what they ultimately want t accmplish. If ur quality f cmmunicatin with ur custmers is pr, then it undermines all the ther gd quality services that we deliver. It s wrth remembering that ften custmers nly direct cntact with IT is thrugh the service desk s it s essential that we make the custmer experience the very best that it can be. By fllwing the assessment criteria included in this guide (perhaps mdifying it t suit yur wn requirements and needs) we shuld be able t start imprving the quality f infrmatin and cmmunicatin n ur service desk. The ther large cmpnent f call mnitring is understanding adherence and quality f prcesses. We want t ensure that the prcesses that we have created are wrking effectively and efficiently and that each and every step is being fllwed crrectly. Therefre, it makes sense that in additin t call quality checks we als have a checklist fr prcesses, t make sure that each step is fllwed and that the quality f infrmatin is f the agreed standard. Reviewing and quality checking prcesses als prvides yu with an pprtunity t mdify and adapt prcesses if yu find that there are gaps, if peple are taking shrtcuts, r if the prcess is simply nt wrking crrectly. As with all gd prcesses, they shuld be reviewed and revised n a regular basis t ensure that they are wrking as effectively as pssible. Call quality is an nging prcess that requires time and cmmitment t ensure that yu can derive the maximum benefits. Hwever, fr thse wh d make the investment it will prve invaluable t cntinually imprving yur services. If yu wnder why custmer feedback is nt as psitive as yu wuld like it t be, call quality may prvide sme essential clues t really push yur service desk frward t the next level

14 Abut The Service Desk Institute (SDI) Funded in 1988 by Hward Kendall, the Service Desk Institute (SDI) is the leading authrity n service desk and IT supprt related issues, prviding specialist infrmatin and research abut the technlgies, tls and trends f the industry. It is Eurpe s nly supprt netwrk fr IT service desk prfessinals, and its 800 rganisatin members span numerus industries. Acting as an independent adviser, SDI captures and disseminates creative and innvative ideas fr tmrrw's service desk and supprt peratin. SDI sets the best practice standards fr the IT supprt industry and is the cnduit fr delivering knwledge and career enhancing skills t the prfessinal cmmunity, thrugh membership, training, cnferences, events and its publicatin SupprtWrld magazine. It als ffers the pprtunity fr internatinal recgnitin f the supprt centre peratin thrugh its glbally recgnised Service Desk Certificatin audit prgramme

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