The help desk holds a strategic importance often missed by CIO’s not realizing their help desk controls the identity of IT on every call. The relationship of the help desk to the identity of an IT department also extends to the CIO. It is a reflection of how much a CIO values customer service and the users.
More than anything else, the thing that makes the help desk strategic and so critical to CIO success is the help desk is the face of IT to the organization and every help desk technician a CIO ambassador.
Moments of Truth
Every hour of every day the help desk engages with the organization to support people and service their needs. The quality of the customer service experience and the service resolution are what makes these interactions absolute moments of truth for IT.
With hundreds or thousands of these moments of truth every day, they become the primary basis for people judging IT and CIO success. The judgement is not just one of customer service and IT capability. The judgments are personal regarding if their needs matter to the CIO. It is from this place, your organization determines the IT department’s true identity independent of the image you are putting out there.
The Strategic Help Desk
Talent Matters: Use more experienced help desk technicians supported by an experienced manager. Consider blended staffing models that rotate level 2 resources through the help desk to augment level 1 staffing and improve the connectedness.
Resource the Need: Resist the temptations to make cuts in staffing, tools or professional training. You will only starve your users of the help so critical to them being productive in their jobs and the primary service used to judge IT performance.
Quality Matters: The cost of poor quality is not just monetary. Bad customer service and poor resolution rates can negate everything else you’re trying to do strategically. Poor quality can also keep you tactical and shorten your tenure as CIO.
CIO Intimacy: As CIO you must be intimate with your help desk. Your help desk software should be your window into IT performance and user’s customer service sentiment. Trust but verify and regularly do follow-ups on cases good and bad.
Service Strategy: Developing service strategy for the help desk services is just as important as your technology plan and security plan. Put help desk in your IT strategy today.