In the movie City Slickers, Curly (Jack Palance) tells Mitch (Billy Crystal) that the secret to life is one thing. He left Mitch wondering when he said you have to figure out what that one thing is. For a Service Desk and customer satisfaction that one thing is first call resolution (FCR).

FCR is really about more than driving up customer satisfaction; it is also about driving support costs down. In days past the “Help Desk” mantra was to get the person off the phone as quickly as possible and on to a higher skilled resource who could fix the issue quickly. Basically, “Help Desk” was just a ticket taker. Now we know that philosophy drives up support costs and leaves your skilled technicians fighting fires all day instead of driving improvement in your infrastructure. Now we see “Help Desk” evolving into a true “Service Desk” where we focus on first call resolution.

To get to a high level of first call resolution you have to build an environment based on reliable tools and processes. We talked in previous blogs about driving a similar approach with your monitoring tools; the principles are the same for the Service Desk with a little variation of language.

A more Effective and Less Costly Model

The unspoken here is that all three of these require some re-education of the customer community. If you have an on-site service desk, or IT staff, the inclination is once I have a problem, I walk to who I know can fix it and tap them on the shoulder. That just costs your company a lot of time and money. Unfortunately, the impacted customer thinks it is the fastest, plus then they get to stop and chat about who was voted out on American Idol last night.

The key to driving your customers to a more effective and less costly model is to make the transition easy and pleasant. Start with clear communication about the change and why.  Tie it in to things your staff can be redirected to work on that improve the environment for all. Consider gamification as a way to incent new behaviors and adopt new processes.

Once you have implemented the behavior change and introduced the three key components – reliable process, tool or partner, and self-help and automation, you will see your FCR climb and your costs shrink.

Taking the First Step

So where to start? You must know what you are fixing before you can set goals and target behavior change. Your first step is to make sure all issues, including shoulder taps, are documented in your ITSM system. Once you have a reasonable period of data, you can select the easy targets. Look at your data and rank the issues by complexity of the resolution, frequency of the event and identify any security or compliance issues that must be addressed with automation or FCR. 

Once you have this documented, you will begin to see some obvious targets. One obvious target is often password resets. There are very few legitimate reasons in 2018 to have manual password resets; there are too many options available to your customers to reset their own.

Sometimes this is a daunting task and you might not have an internal objective staff who can address this. They may think they have a vested interest in leaving status quo alone. Astadia offers an IT Help Desk  Maturity Assessment which can help identify where you have immediate targets that can be addressed and can give you an all-inclusive, unbiased observation of the efficacy of your service desk organization. 

We also have the tools you can use to drive your service metrics to high percentages of first call resolution, giving you resources and money back to redeploy to grow your business. This assessment is a great first step in your path to improved service and lower cost.

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