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Process 5: Ensure Good Service

Published: April 25, 2008   |   Updated: October 10, 2008

 

The final process in customer service is ensuring that the Service Desk has provided good service to the user. This is done through Service Desk quality assurance and SLA monitoring and metrics.

Process 5a: Service Desk Quality Assurance

The first process involved in ensuring that good service has been provided is performing Service Desk quality assurance.

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Figure 19. Service Desk quality assurance

Activities: Service Desk Quality Assurance

Service Desk quality assurance is an extremely important part of ensuring good service. Good customer feedback can help to justify continued Service Desk staffing and funding, as well as help with the continuous improvement of the customer service process.

The following table lists the activities involved in Service Desk quality assurance. These include:

  • Verifying the resolution of the Help request.
  • Sending a user satisfaction survey.

Table 19. Activities and Considerations for Providing Service Desk Quality Assurance

Activities

Considerations

Verify the resolution of the Help request

Key question:

  • Has the user been contacted directly and did he or she confirm the resolution of the Help request?

Input:

  • Help request

Output:

  • Determination to close the Help request or to continue troubleshooting

Best practice:

  • As part of the end-to-end ownership of a Help request throughout its lifecycle, the Service Desk is accountable for ensuring that the user is able to do his or her job. However, there is a fine line between providing customer service and annoying a user. If another group has provided clear evidence in the Help request that the user has confirmed resumption and resolution, then no additional follow up is required.

Send user satisfaction survey

Input:

  • User satisfaction survey

Output:

  • Feedback and data for continuous improvement

Best practice:

  • Keep the survey short and to the point. The survey should be tailored to the type of request and should generate metrics that link directly to key performance indicators. A 4-question survey that users answer 80 percent of the time is more useful than a 10-question survey that they answer only 25 percent of the time.

Process 5b: SLA Monitoring and Metrics

In this process, you determine the status of the SLA and report any SLA breaches.

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Figure 20. SLA monitoring and metrics

Activities: SLA Monitoring and Metrics

Although SLAs have traditionally focused on measuring technical services, it is important that support services also be measured and monitored. Help request volumes can be significant and IT operations managers cannot manually monitor queues and select incidents that need additional attention. SLA monitoring for Support Services takes over this task.

The following table lists the activities involved in SLA monitoring and metrics. These include:

  • Determining if the SLA is 80 percent expired.
  • Alerting the Help request owner.
  • Alerting management staff and the business.

Table 20. Activities and Considerations for SLA Monitoring and Metrics

Activities

Considerations

Is the SLA 80 percent expired?

Key questions:

  • How is the SLA time measured?
  • What is the target time?
  • What is the target action?
  • What is the appropriate SLA expiration threshold for initiating action to meet the SLA?
  • What SLA objective has been missed?
  • How is it measured?

Input:

  • SLA

Output:

  • Alert trigger

Best practice:

  • There should be default measurements for each priority of Help requests. However, this should be overridden by documented targets within an SLA.

Alert the Help request owner

Key questions:

  • Who is currently working on this Help request?
  • Is the current owner of the request now available?
  • Should an alternate person be alerted?
  • Is there an on-call or duty manager?

Inputs:

  • Help request tracking tool
  • Support schedule
  • Microsoft® Windows Live™ Communications Server (LCS) presence

Output:

  • Alert trigger

Best practice:

  • Alerts should be consistent and agreed upon. Where possible, visual cues should flag Help requests within the tracking tool. However, not all teams will visually monitor the tracking tool at all times. In these cases, alerts should be sent via e-mail or Short Messaging Service (SMS) devices.

Alert management staff and business

Key questions:

  • Who needs to know about this SLA breach?
  • How can the breach be explained in business impact terms?
  • What roadblocks exist to resuming service?

Input:

  • SLA

Output:

  • Informed and engaged management

Best practice:

  • If an SLA is missed, IT management should not find out from a phone call from a displeased user. Likewise, users need to be informed that IT management is engaged and working toward an expedient resumption of service.
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