Apprentices bring real business benefits
By Stuart Janicki • 22 Jul 2013
Unashamedly, we pursue to offer world class customer service.
We want to provide one single helpdesk so that our customers get consistently excellent support for every service. We aim for easy, fast and hassle-free problem resolution.
This approach has resulted in our 75% Transactional Net Promoter Score, our end-of-incident survey which asks our customers to rate how likely they are to recommend us to a colleague or friend. To put it into context, 75% is higher than Apple or First Direct.
As any helpdesk manager would tell you, the juggling act is striking a balance between responding to new incidents, resolving open cases and meeting service level agreements.
We hope our new apprentices slot straight into this conundrum. Their first role is assume front line support, with the view to graduate into a dedicated first line support team.
This benefits everyone - our apprentices, our existing support team and our customers.
Our apprentices gain experience of understanding customer problems and products, real-world business IT issues and beginning to know how to resolve them. They gain the interpersonal skills from these situations, gaining more confidence and understanding of other organisation cultures.
Our existing support team are able to work more efficiently, being able to concentrate on fixing existing incidents from their task list. Spending time getting resolutions from vendors and communicating issues back to customers.
Our customers benefit the most. Rather than outsourcing our front line support to a screening company or call centre, our customers get to speak to a real human who is ready and waiting to take their call. They get to explain what the issue is and the severity of the situation, in return we are able to relay the process of how we’re going to solve it. Over time, the apprentices will be able to offer first-time fixes for some problems where possible.
This by no means implies a drop in service or a delay in responding to cases. Whilst we endeavour to perform as many first-time fixes as possible, but there will always be issues which require further investigation and dedicated time to getting the best resolution – not the most convenient.
Because of this, we want to ensure that senior engineers are able to focus on open cases, and reducing the need to pause work on an issue to answer a new call. With a brand new front line team, calls are effectively managed and cases are handled appropriately. This makes sure we meet our SLAs with a fairer support system that results in more cases closed quicker, more efficiently and focused on.
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