Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The help desk shuffle.

Last week in my meeting with the Site Manager, I spoke with him about some of the stupid policies that had been instituted over the rears and that Managements inability to explain the reasons for these policies was one of the things that destroyed morale. I also admitted to ignoring particularly inane or tedious procedure when following those procedures interfered with my ability to to help the user's calling for my help.

Maybe if a Team Lead would say "Yes, I know it's a cumbersome procedure but we have to do it because the XYZ Group is accusing us of hanging up on them deliberately and we have to document what's going on," then maybe we would feel let put upon. We would be a team working together under the same circumstances towards the same goal. Perhaps with that knowledge of why such a procedure was put in place, those of us who are actually implimenting the procedure could come up with something better to resolve the issue.

He responded that he recognized those communication failures and that working with the Team Leads on that was one of his top priorities. He also expressed a committment to customer service.

A new, stupid procedure went into effect today.

Printer support in branches is provided my the printer manufacturer. They have consistantly shown a disinclination to go on site and resolve issues, I suspect because their contract doesn't pay them extra for on-site visits. So now, we have a new layer of troubleshooting. The analyst who gets the call needs to troubleshoot the issue. Then, if they cannot resolve it they must go to either J**, C**** or J*** to take the call and perform troubleshooting. If they are unable to resolve the issue then they need to conference in the Manufacturer Support Line to have them troubleshoot the call. Only if that does not work, then a ticket will be opened.

All the while, the user is waiting and waiting and waiting.

This is not good customer service. It's not good communication as to why this assenine procedure was put in place. It's not really workable. And, of course, when push came to shove, I ignored it.

Well, I didn't exactly ignore it. I waited for one of the Printer Triumverate but one was away from his desk, another was on another call that looked like it was going to take quite some time and the third, the person who is the head of our Hardware Escelation "group" doesn't usually bother with reading the entire ticket becauee he's so busy so why should I expect him to have time to troubleshoot.

I opened a ticket and said in the freeform that the "printer troubleshooting anaysts were unavailable".

D****, who I have had many a run in with before, threw a copy of the procedure on my desk, on top of what I was doing at the time. He had thoughtfully highlighted just the steps that I had violated. I was on a call, threw his paper out of my way, and took a moment to put the call on mute so I could tell him that noone had been available.

"You could have said that in the ticket."

"I did. Read the freeform again."

I'm pretty sure that D**** came up with the procedure, just as he has been the architect os so many poorly conceived and executed policies and procedures. And, that this happened yet again show me that the Site Managers rhetoric of last week was just that; empty rhetoric.

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