My name's Adam Turner, Service Desk Team Leader at Netitude. I stepped into this new role a few months ago and have started to settle as the service desk team lead. In this blog, I'll explain the inspiration behind my service desk career, share my four steps to mastering customer interactions, and explain the steps I take to ensure my service desk team ticks.




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Unveiling My Service Desk Inspiration: 

Being a Xennial (people who fall between Generation X and Millenials) and growing up during a time when home computers were becoming more prevalent with the not-so-much-delightful sound of dial-up and screams of get off the phone. 

I was intrigued by the prospect of learning more about how this technology all worked together. This led me to apply to some courses at a local college and subsequently set me on a path towards the customer service industry as I took on my first service desk role supporting various broadband and ethernet services in Shepton Mallet. 

Through that experience, I grew my knowledge and expertise, which resulted in my becoming a senior engineer. This position involved more day-to-day decision-making and shifting my focus towards helping the rest of the team progress. 

After being made redundant and working for another ISP as a shift engineer, an opportunity arose to become a shift team leader. Being successful in that and running the team for three years, I realised it was time to move away from shift work. Therefore, at the beginning of this year, I started working for Netitude.

Mastering Customer Interactions: My Four Steps to Success

I would have to say that my approach towards handling challenging customer interactions always comes back to the same four steps: 

  1. Listen to what they're saying.
  2. Keep a calm head and understand the issue's impact on the customer.
  3. Communicate about what's happening and set realistic expectations that can be met. 
  4. And lastly, take ownership.

Fostering Team Engagement: Strategies for Service Desk Success

I really believe in having 1-2-1 meetings with each service desk team member on a regular (weekly/biweekly) basis. This check-in session gives my team members an allocated opportunity to raise any concerns and bounce off any ideas they may have, which could improve the way we do things. 

I also believe in holding a monthly team meeting where everyone can discuss any tricky incidents or big wins encountered in the past month. These sessions are equally important as they can help us improve and grow as a team in the long run. 

Availability is also really key as a Service Desk Team Leader. I always ensure I'm available to all team members should they need to raise any concerns. 

Apart from that, I'll encourage them to work on their personal development by participating in training sessions and earning various certifications, which will enable them to progress in their career in the future. And if all else fails, buy pizza or doughnuts and grab a cold beer at the end of a stressful day. 

Building on Experience: Lessons Learned and Applied

My most important principle in this role is understanding that everyone is a customer of the service desk, whether that's internal or external. It's also pivotal to realise that there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach; what might be important to one person will not be to another.

Humans are emotional creatures, and this is an emotionally charged job. Therefore, challenges are bound to arise from time to time. What's important is to remain professional by keeping calm and composed throughout each interaction. 

As customer service workers, we have a difficult job as people will respond differently to the words we say, the tasks we set, or the actions we ask them to take. However, I feel that understanding a little bit of brain chemistry and its impact on people and their decision-making has stood me in good stead in my customer service career so far. 

Navigating Escalations: Netitude's Proactive Process

Tickets are graded on impact and urgency; however, we might not always get the right level of escalation for the customer. 

In that instance, we would encourage them to email and follow this up with a call. Once we receive an escalation, we will prioritise this with the team to action. The complete process can be found here on our dedicated webpage. 

Measuring Performance: Metrics Driving Service Desk Excellence

We're currently developing new KPI metrics, including a new weekly ticket closed and engagement scores board. These have had a surprising impact on performance, with our first-line engineers competing for the closed ticket crown each week and the whole team trying to improve their individual engagement scores.

We truly believe in these positive feedback loops, as they have a tangible effect on team morale and hold the entire team to higher standards. I feel a genuine sense of pride when I get the chance to share these kind messages and words of praise about our customer service desk team during our quarterly company meetings. 


Solutions for Team Harmony

As a team leader, it's vital that you remain impartial at all times. It's natural to feel ourselves leaning one way or another, for instance, if one member of the team shares the same personal values as you. However, it's important to recognise that it's your responsibility as the team's leader to adopt an impartial approach by listening to both parties to try and understand the reasoning behind the dispute. 

Hopefully, once we get beyond that stage, we can aim to reach a resolution. If not, we may have to involve the wider leadership team in settling the dispute.

And if everything else fails, I guess we'd have no choice but to resort to a Gladiators-style dual competition in the car park...



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