I’m Not An Expert

We go to work every day and try to fit in all requests and demands on our time only to leave at the end of the day with more work than we began the day with. “Are you on the phone?” Did you complete that build?” “Can you take this ticket?” “can you get that call?” “why are you over here asking questions?” “Why don’t you go ask someone else?” Can you get that done, please? In frustration, sometimes you challenge the powers that be. You roll your eyes, you say “I just need the answer, not a story”.  How fast can you connect a user at home? Don’t tell them you only have 5 min, don’t cut them off, and just finish it in under 10 min. We don’t care how but we care how.

Relief is not forthcoming, it’s only another suggestion on how you might put that on hold while you take another call. Sometimes it’s a very easy answer and solves the problem, sometimes it’s a question producing another question. Your hands are tied.

Have you ever been between a rock and a hard place?

In hospitality, you are under pressure for the consumer. The goal is to ensure a customer enjoys the facilities and the ambiance and will want to come back next time.

In a daycare, you are the ever-present protector, teacher, mentor, cook, driver, cleaner, the one who does it all and has the pleasure of seeing some of the first new things a child accomplishes and makes their day a good, healthy learning experience safe from harm.

In the military, you are to follow rules, march in time, and do as you’re told in a heartbeat without question and work as a team, together.  All of you are on the same page walking in unison.  Your leaders have a plan that works.

In a call center technology, you are in a state of constant learning, surrounded by people who all know something different from the person next to them.  There’s never  really a dull moment, only endless continuous excitement and demands stacked up and promising to swallow you up.

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I’ve read endless articles on how call centers function and should work, how to cut your call time down how to assist the client and move on easier because when you’re told you must function this way, but you’re not told how then you need to find your own solutions.

Some call centers are support centers for a number of vastly different problems none of which are related and most don’t know that the other exists nor do they care. You are the mediator between all groups, you’re the hub. Your support group needs to be able to supply information at lightning speed so you can effectively resolve the call and take the next one. You need a support base that’s strong and a team that works with you not just for you. You need a little freedom to research and time to do it or include “at your fingertips” answers from your team leads or knowledge-base.

Help desk or a service desk: Is it strictly for incoming calls that merely get moved to a higher support tier and do take minutes to perform or is it an extended form where you are tech support who must resolve the issue sometimes by hand holding and walking the person through the best way to solve the problem they have.  Is it your responsibility to train staff on new technology and keep them working? or is it a problem for on-boarding and orientations.

Service desk also carries out desk side support, delivering that computer or just being close to help with that printer issue or plug in a network cable or check why your computer isn’t working.  Service Desks are support related, sometimes fixing an issue takes some time and it’s not wise to put all of your tickets on hold or do a half baked job in order to get to the next call.  If you’re a really busy center, that time to call back doesn’t exist and you gain disgruntled clients with a perpetual need to try to find a time that works for you and them.  So begins the endless calls generated by a lack of information and foresight to keep the many affected users in the loop.

If we want to spend less time on the phone then we have to fix the information chain. The incoming calls present with problems of the immediate nature and you need to have time for those issues to get the callers back to work. The calls generated by a lack of knowledge of procedure can be changed by educating the company on information they need instead of using your service desk to train thousands of people about the correct procedure.

Foresight. Easy to say, difficult to do. Daily hassles – offline, online, up from your chair, on your chair, running about, sitting for hours, closing routines, opening routines, filling in 4 different time sheets for everyone who wants a copy, meetings, cancelled meetings, denied meetings, chatting to other groups, tickets open, tickets closed, stats, call times, fending off personal requests, online ticket queue, imaging desktops and laptops, answering questions, mentoring, inventory, special support groups, email, chatting, face to face.

OMG!   Maybe the answer is “Don’t care so much” maybe it’s “work with what you have” maybe it’s “move on” maybe you’re in the wrong field. How do you sort out what’s the right way and what’s the wrong way. How do you just survive the melee without succumbing to the process of being assimilated? How do you resolve and keep your persona intact? No one is exempt, everyone is expendable, no one is perfect, everyone is traveling this timeline on their own. There is not one answer, there are many and they generate more questions, more problems and more work.   Some interesting reads on Call Center procedure and managing your service desk people effectively.

Just breathe……

http://www.recipeforit.com/2012/02/15/it-service-desk-building-a-responsive-desk/ http://www.comparehelpdesk.com/article/top-10-help-desk-best-practices/ http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-things-help-desk-techs-can-do-to-improve-service/ http://www.datamation.com/career/article.php/622551/Keep-Your-Help-Desk-Staff-Happy.htm http://www.zazachat.com/kb/live_chat_software/articles/live_chat/improve_help_desk.aspx http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225704/5_annoying_help_desk_calls_and_how_to_banish_them?pageNumber=1

Some quotes I picked up from a video I watched recently

Enjoy:

  • Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every solution.
  • A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it
  • Any fool can know the point is to understand
  • Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving
  • The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination
  • If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects
  • More the knowledge lesser the ego. Lesser the knowledge more the ego
  • I Can, is 100 times more important than IQ
  • In the middle of every difficulty lie opportunity
  • Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
  • You have to learn the rules of the game and then you have to play better than anyone else
  • Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
  • The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.
  • Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
  • Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb trees, it will live its whole life believing that it’s stupid.
  • The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.
  • There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.