Wednesday 12th March 2014
by Daragh Doohan

Daragh Doohan

Dealing with cobbler’s children syndrome – employee technical support

There once was a busy cobbler. Renowned for producing the finest shoes, he was never short of work. When his own children needed new shoes he promised to make some for them as soon as he had free time. Of course he never had free time and so the children went without shoes. The analogy applies to many businesses that fail to look after 'things at home' despite their best intentions.

The customer is seen as the final source of sustenance for the business and so resources are directed towards them. However this can result in neglected employee support, undermining a business’ capacity to provide customers with the best service. Customer relations are of course a critical element of every business but ensuring IT uptime and access for employees is also vital. In fact many core customer relations management principles can be applied equally to internal support. Whether you decide to partner with an experienced IT support specialist or not, there are some key concepts to keep in mind when approaching internal IT support. Evaluating the status of your support system regularly and comprehensively is vital to providing your employees with the service they need. Many of the metrics applied to measuring standards of customer support can be used to measure employee technical support. These may include:

  • Incident volume by channel
  • Hold time and abandonment rates
  • Incident handling time and average talk time
  • Response and resolution rate
  • First contact resolution
  • Escalation rates
  • Incidents resolved within 24 hours

There are also a number of practical policies that can be implemented to ensure a more efficient and more effective IT support system for your employees. Common Problems Checklist Every internal support team will end up dealing with the same set of often minor issues over and over again. By setting up a simple checklist of possible solutions for these common problems, IT support teams can potentially save themselves a lot of time to focus on more complex problems. Create Knowledge Resources As well as minor or common support issues, IT is also likely to receive many calls and emails regarding issues that are not within their normal scope. Work with IT support staff to create reference material and other Provide Response Times Even if it is only a rough estimate, if employees have an idea of when a problem is likely to be resolved they can plan how to use that waiting time more effectively. It can also reduce repeat calls from employees looking for status updates. Consider a Co-Managed Helpdesk Linking your IT service desk with a managed services supplier means that your IT staff can choose to handle certain tickets internally or to escalate them to your external supplier based on which team can most efficiently resolve the issue. A co-managed helpdesk provides an efficient and traceable process for happier IT users. Cobble Shoes for your Children When the cobbler made sure his children had shoes they were better able to help him around the workshop, ultimately allowing him to make more shoes for more customers. When a business ensures employees have everything they need to do their job efficiently and effectively the business as a whole is better able to serve their customers and ultimately attain greater success.

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