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How Frequently to Survey IT Users?

Periodic Surveys

Quarterly or annually a survey should be sent to all customers asking them their general opinions of the support they receive. You cannot ask for specific information when you do periodic surveys because customers only remember their last one or two incidents. Periodic surveys are not a good measurement of how your organization did for the year. Another limitation of periodic surveys is that survey responses will not be specific to each Support Group or person assigned the case. Customers do not really know, or care, what group handles their request.

Here is a great White Paper on Implementing Service Level Agreements. See https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/index.htm

Select Implementing Service Level Agreements: "The Critical Element in Service Delivery"

Service Level Manangement and Satisfaction Surveys

Checks and Balances

There is a tendency when first starting service level management to focus in on the response performance. It is easy to make the numbers look good. All you have to do is close a case within the time specified without doing anything. While this makes the numbers look good, in the end you will have customers upset. Customers do not really care about the numbers. They only want their issues taken care of to their satisfaction.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys are one way to provide checks and balances to the empirical numbers of SLA compliance reports. Another way to make sure customers are taken care of is to have a policy for re-opening a case if the customer calls in to say they are dissatisfied. You should then have a report that shows re-opened cases. Management should use this for continued training.

Here is an example of a good Customer Satisfaction Survey Report:

Full_Customer_satisfaction_Report

 

Here is a great White Paper on Implementing Service Level Agreements. See https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/index.htm

Select Implementing Service Level Agreements: "The Critical Element in Service Delivery"

Service Level Agreements-SLA Compliance Trends Reports

This report shows SLA compliance over a period of time. Managing trends toward a higher goal can dramatically increase customer satisfaction. This SLA Compliance Trends Report should be part of your standard reports that you study every week.

 

Example SLA Compliance Trends Report

 

SLACOMPLIANCETRENDS

Service Level Agreements-SLA Compliance Reports

Measuring Success

Success of service level management can only be measured by reporting on what percentages of cases by Severity Level were resolved within the goals of the SLA. The reason that you want to measure each Severity Level is that it is absolutely critical to resolve high severity level cases consistently within the SLA. However, sometimes lower severity level cases can fall outside the goals. In other words, we would like to say that we resolve 100% of all Severity Level 1 cases and 90% of Severity Level 4 cases within the times stated in the SLA. Customers will appreciate the process more when they know that if they are really in trouble, there will be resources there to help them.

 

Example Service Level Agreement Compliance Report

SLACOMPLIANCE

 

See Dashboard Reports at https://www.givainc.com/help-desk-dashboard-charts.htm 

Here is a great White Paper on Implementing Service Level Agreements. See https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/index.htm

Select Implementing Service Level Agreements: "The Critical Element in Service Delivery"

Example Service Level Agreements for IT Help Desk

Implementing Service Level Agreements takes time and effort. Bring people along with the process. The IT department should be the place to start first. Let your employees (customers) know how they are going to be affected by the new Service Level Agreements. There will be significant benefits. When they really need help, they will be able to get it because your team is going to differentiate between service requests. Is the firm's business halted due to this service request?

Examples of Service Level Agreement  

servicelevelagreement

Some Helpful approaches to implementing Service Level Agreements:

 

1) Implementing within IT first

a) Apply appropriate Severity Levels.

b) Escalate cases according to SLA rules.

c) Report on performance.

 

2) Send out the formal announcement to employees

a) Purpose of SLAs

b) How Severity Levels are applied

c) Responsibilities of support organization

d) Responsibilities of customers

e) Performance reporting

 

Here is a great White Paper on Implementing Service Level Agreements. See https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/index.htm

Select Implementing Service Level Agreements: "The Critical Element in Service Delivery"

Implementing Service Level Agreements-IT Help Desk

Need help in implementing your Service Level Agreements?

1) Pre-SLA. Before you announce the SLA, practice as if you have an SLA. This includes the following:

a. training the Support Center staff,

b. monitoring response time to ensure SLA compliance,

c. resolving cases in accordance with the SLA,

d. setting customer expectations,

e. managing the work flow within the Support Center and between the second level.

2) Training the rest of the department.

a) Weekly meetings. For the first month it is beneficial to meet regularly to find ways to improve communications and workflow, review Cycle Time Reports and exception reports.

b) Service Group Feedback. Ask other service groups to review their cases for the proper Severity Levels. If they find discrepancies, ask them to provide a list of case types and the appropriate Severity Levels. This will be the basis for Support Center training and documentation.

 

Here is a great White Paper on Implementing Service Level Agreements. See https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/index.htm

Select Implementing Service Level Agreements: "The Critical Element in Service Delivery"

Benefits of Service Level Agreements for Service Desk

Every day each one of us experiences the setting of expectations. The following are all examples of setting expectations: setting an appointment time, asking for a delivery time and asking for the wait time at a restaurant or car repair shop. Why should your customer service/call center or help desk organization be any different?

The benefits of an SLA are many for the Internal IT help desk or service desk:

· Improves customer service. You will find that cycle times (time to resolve cases) dramatically decrease.

· Facilitates communication. The Support Center staff will be able to set customer expectations in two ways. First, they can refer to the SLA document for definitions on how priorities are set and the maximum time the support organization has to resolve the case. Secondly, they can refer to periodic performance reports to inform customers how the support organization is actually performing. Average time to resolve is usually much less than the maximum time goal.

· Negotiated and mutually accepted. Since internal customers and the support center jointly created the SLA all customers will more easily accept the SLA.

· Documents agreements. With the SLA posted to your Intranet or in customer handouts, it becomes an “official” agreement.

· Defines procedures. Procedures should be defined and followed by both the service groups and customers. When there is a question or disagreement, the SLA can be used as a written reference.

· Sets standards for customer service. This is a powerful tool. It says “Mr./Ms. Customer, this is how I am going to provide support to you and this is what you must do in order to receive my support. I am ready to be measured on how I do and I will provide everyone with a report on my performance.”

Here is a great White Paper on Implementing Service Level Agreements. See https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/index.htm 

Select Implementing Service Level Agreements: "The Critical Element in Service Delivery"

Needs Assessment Tool-Buying Customer Service Software

Giva radically reduces the complexity of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) buying process by offering a vendor-independent Needs Assessment Tool that allows companies to make a more rigorous and objective comparison of vendors based upon a prioritized list of feature requirements when buying customer service, call center and IT help desk software.

Customer Service departments, Call Centers and IT Help Desk professionals looking to purchase IT help desk software or customer service software encounter a myriad of problems and obstacles in the purchase process.  Giva is offering its new Needs Assessment Tool on a complimentary basis.

Industry Leading Help Desk & Customer Service Software

This vendor-independent tool allows evaluation teams and senior executives making important business decisions to approach the purchase of software in a much more rigorous and analytical manner. The Tool provides the information essential to negotiate a services contract, avoiding the difficult struggle to understand the differences between software products and assess vague claims.

Here is a quote from a company that used the Excel Tool:

"At Patient Care Technology Systems, we used Giva's Tool to document our requirements across multiple work groups to generate a single prioritized list. We shared this list with a number of vendors and were able to make a more rigorous and defendable vendor recommendation to our senior team," said Jim Kline, Vice President of Client Services, Patient Care Technology Systems. "The Needs Assessment Tool provided the objective criteria we needed to evaluate several vendors on an apples-to-apples basis."

Patient Care Technology Systems used this tool in 2005 to sort through their requirements and select a vendor. They have been a very happy Giva customer for three years. Here is a customer case study. A great deal of their satisfaction is due to the fact that Giva is a great fit for their requirements. Do your homework now to document your requirements.  See https://www.givainc.com/case-study/customer-service-pcts.htm for the medical industry success case.

This Giva Needs Assessment Tool can be a starting place and the single document to drive cross-functional consensus of all the departments involved in the purchase of customer service, call center or IT help desk software. We listened to many companies struggle with this process and they asked us for our help. This vendor-independent Tool really helps management teams make an objective comparison of vendors based upon their prioritized list of requirements.

See the following link for free Access to the Needs Assessment Tool at:  https://www.givainc.com/free-needs-assessment/index.htm

How To Get Buy-in-Service Level Agreements

Marketing your SLA

No one likes to be surprised, including your employees. Once you have your project team working on the structure, wording and goals of the Service Level Agreement, it is time to begin telling your employees about the project. You can do this while on the phone with them in the Support Center. Another approach is to email periodic “Progress Updates” that explains the project, benefits and implementation plan. Sending these out every other week will get them prepared. They will be ready to support the Service Level Agreement when it is approved.

 

Here is a great White Paper on Implementing Service Level Agreements. See https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/index.htm

Select Implementing Service Level Agreements: "The Critical Element in Service Delivery"

User Buy-in for Service Level Agreements In IT

Obtaining Employee Support

At this stage you should have accurate performance metrics, IT support for the service levels and escalation procedures. Now you are ready to meet with employees to get their feedback. What employees should participate? As a suggestion, your most critical employees might be the best. They are great people to have in your customer task force because they really want to see IT meet their needs. They will not be afraid to give you their opinions. They will certainly question your current response time report. Their memories are long and they remember how hard it is to get the support they need to do their job. They will usually be fair. If you can get them to agree to the SLA, you can get anyone to agree. Also, it is better to get any arguments and concerns out of the way now before you go public with the SLA.

 

Here is a great White Paper on Implementing Service Level Agreements. See https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/index.htm

Select Implementing Service Level Agreements: "The Critical Element in Service Delivery"

 

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