Business Relationship Management & the Service Desk


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Why the service desk must build business relationships if it wants to prosper

This presentation was delivered on SITS13 in April 2013.

Suppliers, partners and customers; successful service desks manage these relationships effectively and professionally. Learn how your service desk can shape the customer experience by providing and maintaining excellent business relationships.

1) How to improve customer satisfaction by building relationships
2) Advice for empowering service desk staff so they build relationships
3) Understand business relationship management from a non-process structured point of view

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  • Suppliers, partners and customers; successful service desks manage these relationshipseffectively and professionally. Learn how your service desk can shape the customerexperience by providing and maintaining excellent business relationships.
  • Business Relationship Management (BRM) is an advocate for customers, but has a role which exists internally within the service provider.This role is generally embraced by key players in the IT Department: Service Delivery/Service Managers or the Service Desk teamBRM can exists inside and outside the IT Department.It isn’t just the IT industry that relies on business relationships.
  • What ties us together? – The common goal, the services provided and supported.What’s in it for me? – Services used are the most appropriate for those using them there are no disruptions, service providers and supporters seen as friends not enemies, part of the same teamIt can be applied to interactions between service desk and the customers.
  • SR: Traditionally people who delivered service were known to their customers.They expected to interact with the same person the next time they needed service and over time they developed a history of shared interactions.SE: The service providers are functionally equivalent and therefore interchangeable, so in principle it makes no difference which provider delivers the service.
  • Service Providers recognise their customers’ need for relationships, so they try to fake it:Call them by their first namesIf the interaction happens over the phone they will smile and carefully use a certain tone of voiceThis does not replace the true shared interactions which lead to real relationships. Customers may view this fake relationship with contempt.
  • The Oatmeal, who is one of my favourite comic strip creators shared the following cartooninfographic on his webpage which started with a strong statement.
  • How to stay real – practising BRM is about being natural, straightforward and honest. Just like in your personal relationships.
  • Empower the service desk to be confident, to recognise their role in BRM.
  • A change can happen as a result:of new members arriving or old members leaving the team changing customer base, changing business requirements,changing business awarenessthe complaints or negative result to customer satisfaction surveys
  • Make them understand that even one instance of negative customer interaction leaves a bad mark on the Service Desk profile. This can severely impact the business relationship.Give the team clear roles in the BRM process. If possible send them out to the business. Make their role desk-side not phone support one.We will always remember how people made us feel.
  • Business Relationship Management & the Service Desk

    1. 1. Copyright © 2013 Tata Consultancy Services LimitedAndrea KisService Management and Integration ConsultantApril 2013Business Relationship Management &the Service DeskWhy the service desk must build business relationships ifit wants to prosper
    2. 2. Document NameTCS ConfidentialAgendaBusiness Relationship Management and ITILPersonal RelationshipsService InteractionsRather being punched than call customer services?BRM is like being in a relationshipThe Service Desk’s role in BRMReal life examplesQ&A
    3. 3. Document NameTCS ConfidentialContent‘At some point in our lives we can all be both customersand service providers.’Andrea KisTakeaways•Understand business relationship management from a non-processstructured point of view•How to improve customer satisfaction by building relationships•Advice for empowering service desk staff so they build relationships- 2 -
    4. 4. Document NameTCS ConfidentialBusiness Relationship Management“Business Relationship Management aims to maintain apositive relationship with customers. ITIL BusinessRelationship Management identifies the needs of existingand potential customers and ensures that appropriateservices are developed to meet those needs. “ITIL v2011- 3 -
    5. 5. Document NameTCS ConfidentialThe Theory of Personal RelationshipsThe categories of personal relationships:What ties us together?What’s in it for me?The focus must be on the relationship from the viewpointof the customer rather than the service supplier orsupporter.- 4 -
    6. 6. Document NameTCS ConfidentialThe Two Types of Service Interaction- 5 -Traditional: Service RelationshipNewer form: Service EncounterPeople went to the samebutcher, the same barber,the same doctor and thesame bank teller whenthey needed service. Takes places between twostrangers who do not expectto interact in the future.
    7. 7. Document NameTCS ConfidentialThe Hybrid Service InteractionHybrid model: Pseudo relationshipDon’t fall into the trap of ‘fake relationships’- 6 -
    8. 8. Document NameTCS ConfidentialRather being punched than call customer services?Result of a ‘fake relationship’ 7 -
    9. 9. Document NameTCS ConfidentialBRM is like being in a relationshipTreat yourcustomers right Be fairandhonestwith them,build theirtrustListen toyourcustomersShowthem youcareTreatthem likea valuedpartnerHelp themtounderstandlife on theServiceDeskShowthem theirfeedback& opinionmatters.Be openaboutyourmistakesTakeresponsibility,regardless of theoutcome- 8 -
    10. 10. Document NameTCS ConfidentialThe Service Desk’s role in BRMGood BRM requiresunderstanding and effortfrom both parties (theService Desk andcustomers/the business).- 9 -Empower the SDDefine their rolein the BRMprocessPrepare them forencountersanywhere atanytimePrepare the teamto become theambassadors of aservice providerProvide themtraining oncustomer/businessawarenessPrepare the SD forthe changingcustomerneeds/businessrequirementsProvide themwith the righttools for theirtradeMake them helpthe business tounderstand life onthe Service DeskThe Service DeskManager shouldlead by example –influence BRM
    11. 11. Document NameTCS ConfidentialThe Evolving BRM and the Service DeskCustomer relationships can evolve and change overtime, just as the Service Desk can change and evolvetoo.The Service Desk plays a vital role in this changeAn Individual or team‟s behaviourdetermines the relationshipService Desk = IT (Support Provider)in the eyes of the Business- 10 -
    12. 12. Document NameTCS ConfidentialSummary - The Service Desk plays a vital role in BRMBRM is easy, it is a natural behaviour we practice without thinkingabout it in our personal lives.- 11 -TRAINCOACH EMPOWERLET THE TEAM BUILD REALRELATIONSHIPSGIVE THEM THE RIGHTTOOLSLET THEM LEAVE THEIRDESKS
    13. 13. Document NameTCS ConfidentialBRM examples from those working on the Service Desk“There is nothing quite like ensuring that the team is aware of what the business does toensure that our customers know we understand what they do. Recently I have sentService Desk Technicians out to our mobile information units (buses) for the day. Thisgives us a real insight into the issues experienced by them and the customers value being„listened to‟ by the Service Desk.”“Building that relationship with the customer starts from the time aService Desk Technician picks up the phone. Yet it seems to be one of theareas that is not always addressed.Listening/silent monitoring calls identified that some technicians were very good atengaging with customers. It became clear that comprehensive training was required for alltechnicians to ensure that the customer experience when contacting the Service deskwas always of a high standard now referred to „Customer Etiquette‟. One of theexamples is that we don‟t always assume that the customer is available to talk to us whenwe call. I truly believe you can get more out of the customer if you have made the effort tounderstand your customer and your customer needs.”Lena Gaston, Service Desk Manager – Macmillan Cancer Support 12 -
    14. 14. Document NameTCS Confidential“When I worked for a major New Zealand broadcaster, I initiated a new Service Deskteam, replacing the existing team with people from a non-technical background withpeople with customer facing skills. They ranged from an ex-desktop support engineer,through to an ex-Vodafone CSR to an ex-repo man.The repo man was excellent in the fact that he was able, through his training andexperience, to diffuse difficult situations and bring irate customers back "onside". Thenew team were also good at keeping customers / users (if Rob England is watching, thenhe will have a view on whether these are customers or users :-) ) informed and updated.Visibility and communication are more important in a way than speedy resolution times.Although the latter is important too.”“The other example was with a NZ energy provider where I mentored the SD manager,and explained to her the benefits of getting out and talking to the business more.I encouraged her to go to the power station, go and talk to the tradingteams and build relationships, and get to understand what they wantedfrom the SD.One thing I didnt mention was the fact that by building these relationships, when thingsdid go wrong, they knew that the SD understood and cared, so they were more tolerant.”James Gander , Gander Service Management Ltd. 13 -BRM examples from those working on the Service Desk
    15. 15. Document NameTCS ConfidentialQ&A- 14 -
    16. 16. Thank you for listening Twitter: @AndieKisLinkedIn: