Do you want to leave a trail or make a path? Stacey Morales Associate Director of Customer Service Information Technology Services (ITS) Louisiana State University (LSU)
Definition: Trail • drag: to lag or linger behind; • chase: go after with the intent to catch; • move, proceed, or walk draggingly or slowly; • a track or mark left by something that has passed; • a path or track roughly blazed through wild or hilly country
Definition: Path • way: a course of conduct; • a way especially designed for a particular use • an established line of travel or access • a line or route along which something travels or moves;
The trail we were on… • High call abandonment rates • Unsatisfied Customers • Inadequate and out of date tools • Inaccurate and out of date documentation • Mis-routed tickets • Missed appointments • Untrained student employees • Unhappy and frustrated employees • Bad reputation within ITS
Plan Specifications: Our Mission • The mission of Customer Service for Information Technology Service at Louisiana State University is to enhance the productivity of the University community and empower our users by making information technology accessible. We achieve this by providing a world-class, customer -focused, single point of contact for quality IT services and technical support.
New Challenges • All new staff and student workers • Adoption of Campus Directory Services • Imminent secure wireless deployment • Additional operating hours • Very little “Real Estate” – Help Desk Call Center, Campus Directory Services and Walk-ins share the same space
We started digging our path • We filled a vacant analyst position. • We hired a new team of student analysts. • We physically moved all of our offices to the call center. • We made changes to “real estate” to maximize our available workstations. • We practiced “active listening” everyday. Listening to our customers and our peers in ITS and sharing openly what worked and what did not. • We set goals like “empty the open incident queue” everyday before leaving work. • We updated all of our documentation and tools including rolling out a new tracking system and remote desktop tools.
We dug in some more • We monitored the tickets very closely to see trends and relay these as possible “problems” to our technical analysts. We brought to the surface several major system problems with account creation, degree audits, guest accounts, portal links and others. This has not only helped lower our call volume but also improves customer service because users have a more reliable system. • We recruited high quality student workers from local high schools by recommendation from the high school faculty. All student recruits were interviewed. • We took an interest in our student staff, their ideas, their strengths and coached their weaknesses. • We hired Help Desk Institute to train our staff onsite. All of them completed the “Help Desk Team Lead” Course and have now passed the exam for certification. • We continually update and contribute to our knowledgebase, grok.lsu.edu.
Do we have a path yet? • Yes definitely, but the landscape is still improving.
What made it happen? • Rearranged the physical space so that we could all be in the same location. • Tackled the low-hanging items first….things that would quickly make a difference. • Asked for feedback often from our student staff, FTE, customers and other ITS personnel, and acted on it. • Began asking questions of our peers in ITS, lots of questions…. Why, why, why, how, how, how. • Always thanked those who helped us. • Treated every customer like they were our only customer. • Began calling as many customers as possible back instead of using email communication to gather information and resolve incidents. • Worked as a team. • Created a mission statement. • Offered training, training, training. • Allowed our student staff to be part of the team. • Made people accountable for their actions. • Lagniappe (a little something extra). Like bringing in snack baskets for the student staff for mid-terms and finals, donuts, pizza parties, boot camps. • Made work FUN!!!!
What does our path look like now? • 95% and above call answer rates? • 5 minute or less firt call response • Very few missed appointments • Very few mis-assigned incidents • Improved communications within ITS • Improved communications with our Departmental IT Contacts • Fast, accurate service • Updated documentation • 18 fully trained student analysts who most now have one year with ITS customer service. • 4 HDI certified team lead analysts • ITIL Foundations Certified Director • A Help Desk manager • A Director of Customer Service • A new incident tracking software package and remote desktop tool • A grass roots outreach program • A student mentor program • Wireless headsets • TV’s / Monitors for the call center
What’s the future of our path? • Service Catalog • Service Level Agreements • More Outreach • Better web presence • 24 Hour Support • An additional walk-up location in our student union
What were some of our obstacles/challenges? • Changing perceptions. • Asking “why” to our technical IT staff was sometimes a dirty word. • Campus directory services call volume was much larger than anticipated. We had to adjust our tactics mid-stream. • Weeding out those who were not “on board”.
So why all the pics? • These are the people that have helped make our path and will continue to shape and enhance it in the future. Without them and their desire to “make a difference” we would still be following the same old trail we were on.