D'Arcy Gue


Amp Up Your Hospital’s Service Desk Agents

February 28, 2018


IT Service Desk 3 Minute Read

Are your IT Service Desk users literally your “best customers?” You bet. Every time they must contact the hospital Service Desk they are paying with their precious time, likely stress, and their patients’ time and access to proper care. And like customers in a bank or retail store, they are expecting value for their interaction with Service Desk agents: a fair, speedy, even generous return for the time and effort they’ve invested in their inquiry. For optimum service, managers should encourage this concept: Lose the word “user” and replace it with “best customer.” You can start by downloading our new high resolution poster, chock full of inspiring quotes from the world’s great service providers. Put it up on your bulletin board!

To clarify, are these “best customers” tech dummies?  Of course not; medical schools now work with EHRs, and hospitals and clinicians have relied on large IT systems for years. Many if not most of the hospital professionals that some Service Desks consider relatively clueless “users” have  become computer-savvy. What hasn’t changed is that they are still irritated at having to make a call to their hospital Service Desks, and impatient to get answers and take their next step in doing their jobs.

When a Service Desk agent’s attitude is positive and concerned it makes a huge difference. When an agent regards each caller as one of many rings on the phone, he or she may feel bored or annoyed with the stressed physician or nurse who can’t take a next crucial step in providing care to a patient. He may not listen well. He may be less cordial and accommodating than he realizes. He may do less than his best work, which in turn may be an ongoing impediment to mutual respect between the entire IT department and the rest of the hospital — a common problem. As is often said, the service desk is the face of the IT department. We’ve conducted enough hospital service desk assessments to see how ugly that face can appear.

There is no question that the job of a hospital Service Desk agent has its own challenges: waiting, sitting, irate callers, technology emergencies, off-hour schedules, and even insufficient staff. A program of integrated management efforts, including proper hiring, training, mentoring, reinforcement, adherence to KPIs, and performance rewards by a qualified and caring leader can make all the difference between happy customers  and queued “users,” and between happy agents and agents looking for another job. For more about KPIs, see last week’s post: a detailed overview of the top ten KPIs Service Desks should manage in order to be successful.

Customer service is exceedingly important in every industry. We’ve gathered some quotes from extraordinary service providers into a poster for your service desk bulletin board — or even a wall (it’s sized to print up to 24″ X 36″). Here’s a copy, and the downloadable file is available below. If your facility can’t print it, go to a local printer who will charge little to provide you a sturdy large version. Every Service Desk agent needs inspiration!

Service is often defined as ‚Äútaking action to create value for someone else.” If your service is not all about the customer, it’s time to transform it. To offer your Service Desk staff a daily reminder — Next steps: Download, print and post your high resolution poster!

service desk


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