April 2013

ABS Named a Finalist in the HDI Awards

Service Desk Team of the Year Nominee

We are pleased to announce that ABS has been selected as a finalist for HDI’s 2013 Team Excellence Awards which will be held in Las Vegas from April 16th through the 19th. ABS is one of three finalists remaining in the team excellence category, having nominated the ABShelp™ support center for the award.

ABS will be presenting live event updates via Twitter and Facebook. We wish the ABShelp™ team the best of luck!

Continued Growth in 2013

During the first quarter of 2013 ABS not only realized a continued growth trend but also solidified our loyal customer base with the renewal of 3 key clients including a large health insurance provider, medical device manufacturer, and a national title insurance company. This is truly a testament to the top-notch service provided by our professional and experienced, U.S.-based teams.

Our primary focuses for the remainder of 2013 will be on developing new strategic partnerships in the service desk arena, building new client relationships and, as always, delighting our existing client base.

Empathy 101: Customer Service First, Technology Support Next

In the service desk support business, pleasing the client is everything. From a technical standpoint, that means troubleshooting an issue through to resolution so they can get back to work with minimal interruption to their daily tasks. To this end, expertise comes standard with the client’s expectations. But we must acknowledge that, although the cause of the temporary operational glitch may often be technical in nature, from a service quality standpoint, there are pronounced, non-technical factors at work and how we address those factors can strongly influence the client’s perception of the overall service quality that they receive. For this reason, even the most technically adept, certified service desk agent who resolves the client’s issue immediately may already have lost the perception battle by simply failing to address the caller’s frustration and acknowledge the emotional impact that the issue has wrought. Since we are indeed a people business dealing with human emotion, the capacity to empathize is a huge part of our success.

Empathy is a soft skill that can’t be faked. And considering that the caller at the other end of the line is eagerly anticipating a smooth resolution to a likely stressful issue, you can bet that they’re honed in on the service desk agent’s every word, will pick up every inflection, and essentially have their empathy sensors set at full strength. So what’s the first step in this process? Listen. Any good service desk agent will tell you that merely allowing the end user to describe how they interpret their problem and its impact to their day without interruption will set you on a path for high customer satisfaction ratings. Granted, service desk agents are often under pressure to meet their KPI objectives including keeping their Average Talk Time low, but this should never be a priority when it comes to letting an end user vent. Even if the agent instantly identifies the root cause, like a companywide server outage, it’s important that the caller’s story is heard which could even include totally unrelated vignettes such as a spilled coffee, flat tire, cat allergies. It is essential to let the caller talk before moving the conversation forward. Anything short of that would be akin to cutting off a joke teller just before the punch line and saying “I’ve heard that one before” or, yikes, “get to the point.” In other words, you shouldn’t have to be Dale Carnegie to know that letting people talk is a fundamental rapport building skill.

And for more service desk related articles on the ABS blog click here.