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Taking the “Service” out of Customer Service

Darren Baker
July 19, 2013

DarrenBakerSogetiProfilePictureRecently a contact of mine at a major software vendor had an issue with his Active Directory account. Somehow the account was locked out, and he contacted the support desk to resolve the issue. In this case, the support desk is actually outsourced to another Solution Provider,(a competitor to Sogeti whom I won’t name). The technician on the support desk, apparently couldn’t resolve the issue with the account quickly, deleted the original account, created a new account and closed the ticket. I have been a network administrator for several companies in my career, and I have always made it my responsibility to ensure that the issues are resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. In this case, being the end user. Today, it seems, in the effort to keep costs low we have forgotten the “Service” in customer service and have set Service Level Agreements, or SLA’s, on the end result which is closing the support incident. While creating a new account for my friend immediately closed the ticket for the support technician, it ended up creating hours of frustration for my friend. Let me explain:

  1. A new account means his existing profile doesn’t work anymore. While the machine is still a member of the domain, he will get a new Active Directory profile and start his machine with a blank configuration.
  2. A new account and new profile means his files on the network don’t map to his account anymore, and will probably be deleted in the near future.
  3. A new account and profile means he will have to install and configure all his applications, settings and favorites again.
  4. A new account means in Microsoft Lync, none of his contacts will appear and he will need to re-add them.
  5. If his contacts in Lync don’t appear, then the people who used to contact him via Microsoft Lync won’t see him anymore either.
  6. The new account also means a new Exchange mailbox. Any emails he had in the original account will not be available. It also means his cached contacts will also not be available.
  7. Anyone who contacted him with a cached contact will receive a “this account no longer exists” email message from Exchange leading people to falsely believe he is no longer employed at this company.
You have to realize that people are busy. If they contacted you via Lync or cached credentials in Exchange, and those methods don’t exist anymore, they hardly will think to go into the global address list and see if it changed. It’s easier to give up and assume the worst has happened to you unless someone tells them different. Or you contact them first. In the support technician’s rush to close the support incident quickly and check the little box on another ticket closed successfully, he created 2, perhaps 3 days of work for my friend to reestablish his ability to do his job. So I ask you, was this cost effective? When you take the service out of customer service, and end up transferring the effort to someone else, are you actually saving money? When I was a network administrator, I didn’t close the incident until the person I was helping was back to work. What happened to the customer satisfaction aspect of customer service? Why isn’t customer satisfaction a part of that SLA with the Support Desk? It’s clear that the service technician was doing was exactly what he was measured on. The contractual SLA has likely set the cost as being the most important to IT, set at a specific dollar per ticket, and not what was important to the business. The business should want workers that are enabled to do what they have been hired to do rather than doing administrative tasks that have no business benefit. This is a perfect example of SLA’s not set correctly or being interpreted incorrectly.  Sogeti has worked with many customers to better align the business and IT services.  We can offer a fresh perspective that keeps costs in check, provides quick solutions to clients and measures customer satisfaction. When these are all aligned – there is true partnership between the business and IT, and business accelerates. Michael Eggenberger of Sogeti USA contributed to this article.

About the author

Partner Manager | USA
Darren is a strategic leader with years of executive management and business strategy experience in System Integrator Partner Management. Darren has a strong interest and understanding of current and emerging technologies.


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