Helping IT make connections

Helping IT make connections

May 21, 2014
Helping IT make connections

We all have customers, and we’re all customers.

That’s not just some marketing-speak, it’s true. Really.

Here’s the idea. Whether an interaction is external—between buyers and sellers—or internal, between coworkers and colleagues, all these interactions have something in common.

That is: the attitude, the resourcefulness, the way the interaction is handled is greatly benefitted by customer service best practices. Which is to say: helpful, fast, and with an authentic attitude.

Makes sense, right?

And if you expect a high level of service—helpful, fast, authentic—from the brands and products you love, shouldn’t that expectation be the same within the walls of your office? When you reach out to the IT or HR (or any) department?

Think about it. If you’re about to leave on a business trip and request an iPad from the IT department so you can be more productive while you’re travelling, in essence you’ve become IT’s customer. When they respond quickly and helpfully, not to mention with a great attitude, you feel good about the interaction. You might even comment on your Yammer feed afterwards: “I love our IT team!”

Because not only did they deliver what you needed to help you do your job better, but they did it in a way that made you feel valued and respected. In other words, they gave you great customer service. And great customer service does something. It forms trust. It helps create strong, lasting relationships.

We all have customers, and we’re all customers.

But wait, there’s more! If customer service best practices apply to make all customer interactions better, so too would the customer service software solution that helps make those interactions more efficient and reliable.

In other words, if having the right software solution for customer support provides major benefits for customer service interactions—like complete records of all past support interactions, and all pertinent information available in one place—then using the same software solution for IT interactions (or HR, or any department in your organization) will provide the same benefits.

The right approach, combined with a system that helps facilitate that approach, can be the glue for all company conversations and transaction management. It’s a powerful combination that’s tough to beat.

THE IT CUSTOMER

Let’s take a look at the IT department. The idea that “everyone is a customer” represents a new approach. With regard to IT, it’s a new approach to IT service management. One that is focused on user interactions and the agent experience. The emphasis of this approach is on the quality of each interaction, creating stronger relationships and building more lasting value.

The right software solution can directly influence this, providing an opportunity for better conversations and connections. That system has to be flexible, powerful, and have the ability to harmonize with the overall technology environment.

Here are five specific IT needs and what a helpful software solution should do:

1. Request fulfillment/incident
How do your employees make requests or report incidents to your IT department? What if request fulfillment and incident management was made incredibly easy for both users and your IT team? Most IT systems are very complex and involve multiple steps and clicks. A software solution that removes those technology roadblocks between users and the IT team is key to encouraging the relationships talked about above.

Moreover, what happens to all the conversations and all the data exchanged in these interactions? A truly helpful software solution collects everything in one place. Whenever a request is made or an incident is reported—and however it’s communicated, via chat, email, voice, etc.—all those conversations and data should be available immediately.

In other words, an IT team should be able to interact with employees with this kind of information easily at hand. Just think about how much more efficient the work will be. Your employees are much more likely to feel good about their experience with IT because they’ll see that the IT team really knows them and their needs.

2. Problem
How does your IT team handle widespread incidents? If the best way to keep a fire under control is the ability to quickly identify root causes and notify the entire company all at once, then the more comprehensive and agile the software solution, the better. One integrated system—looping in many departments, support, IT, HR—can manage this with ease.

3. Knowledge
What about after the incident is over? Are you able to document the incident by publishing a post-mortem in a Help Center for everyone to see? Are you able to update the process flow in internal knowledge base articles for your team to learn from?

4. Approval workflows
Do you have the ability to create and edit customizable workflows quickly? This functionality enables you to manage changes and build approval processes to minimize downtime and keep operations running.

5. IT apps/integrations
Does your system play nice with the other technologies in your environment? We all know IT teams have unique requirements and challenges. Sometimes, there are technology silos within an organization, and compliance requirements can be difficult to navigate. This reality is further complicated by the BYOD trend in today’s workplaces. (Not to mention pressure from the executive level to do more with less.)

Think about a solution that unites with other IT systems. It will give you the best of both worlds—a best-of-breed tool for customer interactions and powerful IT solutions that can help address your requirements around compliance and asset management.

IT UNIQUE USE CASES

Here are some unique use case ideas for your IT team:

  • How about placing an iPad on every floor? Because it’s important that IT support agents be where their customers are and where work is needed, this method (along with the Zendesk for iPad app, of course!) for connecting with customers—answering tickets, tackling work orders—lets them do it on the move.
  • Or, what if you’re trying to efficiently support employees who are spread across multiple buildings? Your IT team might consider building kiosks around the company where employees can go and get support. The kiosks can be equipped with laptops and iPads ready for a request.
  • Perhaps a kiosk set up close to your IT department, with iPads set into the tabletop, might do the trick. You could consider using Zapier to trigger the creation of LeanKit cards when a ticket is identified as being an enhancement request.

CONCLUSION

At its core, great customer service is about two things: attitude and ability. It’s customer service best practices combined with a communication platform that enables individuals to reach out for help through various channels. And from there, using the same system, different teams and departments can customize and adapt how they work together.

Bringing customers—all customers, external and internal—closer to the people who can help them, in a way that is meaningful, personal, and productive—that’s what great customer service is all about.

Want to learn more about how Zendesk uses Zendesk? Check out the forum discussion that came out of our all-day, moderated CSM Spotlight series event on May 22nd. This month’s edition highlighted how Zendesk uses Zendesk to manage its customer interactions across multiple departments. Read the best practices shared, and add a comment.