Customer Service Reviews

When I was a Support Engineer, my manager would make a point of visiting as many customers as possible to find out what they thought of the department's service. He would not just visit the senior managers at the customer, but more importantly he would want to talk to the people who used the service of the Support Department on an every day basis. At the time, when he would do all this, I would think to myself, "Are these visits necessary? Surely it is obvious whether you are providing a good service or not". Later on, when I managed the department, it became apparent that I sometimes did not have sufficient visibility of the pain experienced by the customers or even how and why they were using the service of the Support Department in a particular way.

I'm five months into my current role in a new company and I am realising that these kinds of "Service Reviews" are more important than ever. It is easy to drop into a false sense of security, because the "customers" for this Service Desk are internal. I speak to the managers and team leads of these "customers" regularly, but I am only now realising that I don't get from them the full detailed picture or understanding of the customer's requirements.

The elements I am covering in these reviews include:
  • How the customers find dealing with the Service Desk. Some of the typical feedback I have got includes things like "not being given estimates of how long things will take;this means the customer is not sure whether to get on with other work"
  • Frustrations the customers are finding with the applications/services supported by the Service Desk. Feedback in this area includes issues relating to the instability of the applications and certain reoccurring incidents in the infrastructure.
The feedback from these areas feeds into the continual improvement of the Service Desk. Ultimately, it does not matter how elegant the infrastructure is or how well things work - the real measure of your success is dependent entirely on what your customers think of you.