Do you often receive orders passed down from top executives and wonder, “Are they kidding? Do they even know what it’s like down here?” In many cases, the answers are: “Yes, they are serious because no, they don’t know.” Some CEOs graduate elite schools with MBAs and never know what it’s like for rank-and-file employees. Others start at the bottom and work their way up, but over the years they eventually lose sight of what it’s like “in the trenches.” Is it time to invite your CEO for a stint on the old IT service desk? Here’s what she or he might glean from the experience.
Understanding the Service Desk
What problems do workers face every day? Are the tools working out as planned? Hearing a sleekly-dressed salesman pitch a new piece of software is one thing, seeing it put to work in a real-world environment is quite another. Is your asset management software performing as advertised? Having the CEO sit at the service desk makes it much easier to demonstrate what is working, what isn’t, and how things can be improved.
CEOs can often get wrapped around the metrics — how long it takes to resolve a ticket, how many tickets get resolved per day, how many tickets have to be escalated to the next level — but the metrics are only a part of the overall equation. By spending some time working with the service desk’s tools and facing the customers head-on, instead of just reading reports from the ivory tower, the CEO can fully appreciate what is needed and what a stellar job the workers are actually doing.
Understanding the Customer
Who is your customer? CEOs are like the ship’s captain — always looking out to sea to determine what competitors are up to. The service desk is like the first mate, with eyes focused internally on making things run as they should. By stepping off deck and into the bowels of the ship, the CEO can learn what customers are asking, what they’re confused about, and how they truly feel about the job your company is doing.
Whether your business sells products or services, customers buy from you in order to meet a need or desire. If you can’t meet that, or won’t meet that, they will find one of your competitors instead. On the service desk, your CEO can see beyond the customer satisfaction surveys and market analysis and hear directly from the heart and soul of the business: your customers.
Understanding How Service Desk Tools Can Be Applied Across the Organization
Beyond your workers and your customers, at the service desk your CEO can see how the IT infrastructure plays out across the organization. She or he can understand the tools being used and how those tools can benefit other departments. For example, a robust IT asset management system doesn’t just benefit the IT department, it also keeps costs down and equipment maintained across the organization. There are many such processes, systems, and procedures that the CEO can learn on the service desk better than anywhere else.
Wish you could show your CEO what you’re talking about, instead of just telling him or generating lots of reports? Send an invitation. Shows like Undercover Boss have made it cool for the top brass to spend some time with customer-facing workers. Not only will it open the eyes of your ship’s captain, it might also give your service desk workers a different perspective on the company as a whole.