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Service Desk establishes proactive call monitoring


The ITS Service Desk had always monitored calls in some informal fashion. In November 2017, ITS Service Desk Supervisor Christina Artis implemented a formal process to enhance the skills and capabilities of her staff members and to ensure they continually improve the service they provide to customers across campus.

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The Service Desk has been conducting this incident monitoring only since November so Artis does not yet have a year’s worth of data. From preliminary feedback and what she’s seen so far, though, Artis is confident that customer satisfaction results will show that her team has elevated its performance.

Incident monitoring is essential to the success of the Service Desk operation, she said.

“We are doing a better job of making the customer feel at ease — whether we are resolving their problem or escalating their issue,” Artis said. “Our customers feel they are in good hands.”

Christina Artis

The Service Desk staff was receptive to this new proactive approach. It was important to Artis to gain that buy-in, to get input from her staff. She didn’t want it to feel like Big Brother.

“We were going from something that was informal and less frequent to something that would be a monthly process,” she said. “If they understood the process and if they were a part of the process, it wouldn’t seem as intimidating as something that was being mandated by management.”

In July 2017, the management team outlined to the Service Desk staff a proposed method for scoring them on their phone calls and explained the reasoning behind it. Staff members offered their suggestions on the scoring.

“In the end, management was more lenient on the grading scale than they were. They were holding themselves to a higher standard than we were,” Artis said.

From July to October 2017, Artis and individual employees listened to recorded calls together and graded those calls together. Artis wanted to ensure her staff members felt comfortable before officially implementing the call monitoring process. If something didn’t seem fair, they would tweak it.

Since November 2017, Artis has been listening to the calls and scoring performance. She provides the link to the recording and her score to individual staff members and then they discuss that during their one-on-one monthly meetings.

Call monitoring is helpful, Artis said. You can hear yourself with the customer. You hear the dead silence when there’s a gap between troubleshooting and looking something up. You might learn how to improve your workflow to capture information in a way that reduces customer hold time.

“It’s like, ‘Wow, did I say that?’ Or ‘I wish I could have done that better,’ ” Artis said.

Artis, center, interacting with two employees at the Service Desk

A big thing she works on with her staff is empathizing. They discuss tone, inflection, asking the right questions. “I’ve been able to tell a difference in the call recordings,” Artis said. “You can tell they’re more empathetic.”

Through this call monitoring, the Service Desk is investing in its workforce. “These skills that we’re teaching by doing this call monitoring, they can take to any job,” Artis said. “They’ll know that they’re asking the right questions.”

After every call and chat, the Service Desk sends out a survey to each customer. The results translate into a customer satisfaction index.

Artis is proud to work on a team with people who want to do the best job they can for the customer. “I’m here,” she said, “because I love helping people with their problems.”


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