By Laurie Chidlow • March 18, 2019

Enhancing the Customer Experience: 7 Key Aspects of a Successful Service Desk

When HumanTouch opened its doors 21 years ago, we started with a name and a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of human connection. Over time, HT developed a strong practice providing service desk and contact center services to federal government agencies, all while maintaining the human element as the prime focus.

Improving the Customer Experience

The President’s Management Agenda for modernizing government includes 11 cross agency priority goals. Goal 4, Improving the customer experience, has become a government-wide buzz word. Agencies are being asked to “provide a modern, streamlined, and responsive customer experience across government, comparable to leading private-sector organizations.”

The Office of American Innovation started a Centers of Excellence program to support the administration’s IT modernization goals. Five COEs were developed, including one focused on customer experience and another on contact centers. The other three? IT infrastructure optimization, cloud adoption and service delivery analytics.

The Significance of the Service Desk

Developing a highly-rated service desk for the federal government is no small task. It involves numerous technologies, inconsistent call volumes, multiple handoffs, tough SLAs, hundreds of employees and challenging staff turnover rates.

You may be wondering why all of this matters.

According to McKinsey & Company’s article, “When the Customer Experience Starts at Home,” serving end user customers begins with your employees. McKinsey emphasizes the importance of internal employee services such as IT and how the quality of these services can directly impact the customer’s experience.

Think about it, an IRS employee who spends three hours getting support from the service desk to fix an issue has just lost three hours that could have been spent processing income tax returns. A FEMA executive whose email won’t load on a smartphone is missing important information while potentially working on a national emergency. The speed and quality of the agency’s internal service desk matters – a lot.

The pressure on federal employees to improve customer service continues to increase. Government-wide dashboards, customer satisfaction surveys and private sector benchmarks are increasingly being used to measure agency performance.

Our service desk work at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of the Treasury involves customers, processes, technologies, and, of course, our people.

The most valuable component of the HumanTouch customer experience is our award-winning, customer-focused workforce.

7 Key Aspects of a Top Tier Service Desk

Having a strong service desk with multiple contact channels is critical to a federal employee’s satisfaction and productivity levels. According to the new Contact Center COE, now managed by the General Services Administration, there are several best-in-class features of a service desk/contact center that provides a strong customer experience. These include:

  • Multiple contact channel choices
  • Hiring for attitude and training for skill
  • Resolving inquiries at the first contact
  • Leveraging human-centered design techniques
  • An engaged workforce committed to the mission of the federal organization
  • Leveraging data to improve customer experience
  • Integrating service desk and contact center with other delivery channels

The HT Way

These best in class features describe the HT service desk staff to a T. We prioritize providing technology and customer service training to our analysts and technicians, requiring a high ratio of supervisors to employees and continual knowledge sharing as critical to delivering first-class IT support services.

Providing our employees with opportunities for upward mobility is also important, as it strengthens institutional knowledge and helps to reduce staff turnover.

Additionally, we leverage the power of data. Analyzing ticket data, call volumes and trends helps us to continually improve workforce management strategies, training programs and ultimately, the customer experience.

At HumanTouch, we don’t view service desk and contact center work as merely support services, but as mission critical services to our very important federal government customers. The HumanTouch customer experience starts with our employees and ends with very happy customers.

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