The Managed Service Desk: a platform for ongoing service improvements and enhanced customer communications
Throughout the past year, organisations across all sectors have been forced to adapt to lockdown requirements, with omnichannel communications replacing many familiar methods of face-to-face contact. In light of this shift, the familiar service desk's role has broadened, acting as many customers' and end users' primary means of contact with their service providers.
In this way, organisations have been able to maintain 'business as usual' as much as possible, without compromising service quality, but this has also significantly increased the demands placed on internal teams, who are forced to balance their responsibilities to their customers and end users with the challenges of maintaining the corporate IT infrastructure.
The challenges are many and varied, but as organisations and their technology partners consider them, numerous opportunities to enhance internal efficiencies, service quality and cost control are sure to reveal themselves. At Exponential-e, we have seen this repeatedly throughout 2020 and in the early days of 2021, with the managed service desk we provide for many of our channel partners proving to be an essential part of their overall business continuity and customer contact strategies.
Based on these experiences, we expect organisations across all sectors to begin developing their service desk systems and processes, working with trusted technology partners to put the following improvements into practice:
- Always available, 24 x 7 / 365. Our collective experiences over the past year have shown that we must always do what we can to be prepared for the unexpected. You can never predict when an emergency will arise, and cyber criminals work 24 / 7 to breach corporate infrastructure. The service desk should not only be available be 24 x 7 / 365, but provide ongoing monitoring, to allow any potential threats to be automatically identified and fixed.
- All relevant accreditations in place, for effortless compliance. Compliance requirements for many sectors are becoming increasingly complex - compounded by the rise of the distributed workforce and the associated challenges around data protection. All accreditations should therefore be in place well in advance, and regularly audited. At the bare minimum, we would recommend that all service desk processes are ISO 20001, IS0 9001, ISO 27001 and ITIL v3 certified.
- A focus on cultivating true partnerships. A major difference between service providers and long-term partners is the willingness to take a proactive approach to resolving issues and offering suggestions for further improvements. Ideally, you should be informed of a fault's resolution before you are aware of the issue. This can be supplemented with live bandwidth and circuit intrusive tests, conducted on a regular basis.
- Specialists available with just a single click. The recent stream of improvements in unified communications technology, largely spurred by the rise of remote working, means service desk staff can now access the full range of experts they need to ensure swift resolutions. This should include highly qualified 1st and 2nd line engineers, able to carry out diagnostics and troubleshooting at the point of contact, supported by 3rd line architects, who can respond to escalations and offer specialist support, such as configuration changes and further escalations to third parties.
The partnership between our own team and the Exponential-e service desk is about far more than just resolving problems when they occur. It's about providing our teams with the freedom to focus on our customers and drive new innovations across our entire ecosystem.Dean Burgin
Managing Director, Boxx Communications Ltd