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Maintaining customer relations with CAFM
More in this issue:
Taking your organization’s maturity to the next level / Ask your customers for feedback! / Working more efficiently with linked systems /
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Service Management Simplified
When you think about it, service management is actually quite straightforward. You have colleagues or customers; they want to do something, and you can help them with it. Simple. To be able to do that well, in my opinion, you need just three things: a tool, processes and good people. It’s only logical. But those three things often pose a number of dilemmas. Suppose you’re a facilities department. Do you use CAFM software (Computer Aided Facility Management) or not? If you don’t, you are criticized for forgetting things and getting your wires crossed. If you do, you are bureaucratic and not customer-friendly. You just can’t do right. However, it is possible to use a CAFM system for exactly this reason: to become more customer-friendly. By doing this, you turn a disadvantage into an advantage. When it comes to processes, we encounter exactly the same problem. There are hundreds of models and theories on how to provide a high level of service. These models tend to be an oversimplified version of reality, which in theory should make matters easier. In practice, however, it just gets more complicated. But why? It’s not possible to apply all models just like that. For example, there are some fantastic theories and models for football games. But if you apply a model to a football team in the wrong way, it will be a disaster and players will end up standing in the wrong position. Having been forced to play there, they will not stick to their assigned role. They will get in each other’s way, and worse still, you may even lose two of them, leaving you with an incomplete team. That’s why it’s important not to become overly obsessed with the need to implement a model alone. Models often distract us from what’s really important: the people who actually provide the service. No matter how smart your processes are, or how good your tool is, an employee who treats a customer poorly is still a bad service provider. You will recognize the theme of simplicity throughout this edition of the magazine. Service management is in fact very simple. But to preserve the simplicity in service management is the toughest challenge yet.
The TOPdesk Magazine covers subjects that are topical in the world of professional service desks in IT, facilities and other service providing organizations. TOPdesk Magazine is intended for managers, service desk employees, facilities organizations and electronic city councils – anyone who is involved with supporting clients on a daily basis. This concerns both the processes and the technology behind these services.
TOPdesk Magazine is a TOPdesk publication Tel: +31 (0)15 270 09 00 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Editor Niek Steenhuis Editors Nienke Deuss, Claudia Funk, Timme Hos Translators Nicola van de Velde, Hazel Hollis Contributors Kim den Brok, Kirsten Crown, Jildert de Groot, Rob Haaring, Tiago Krommendijk, Patrick Mackaaij, Jasmijn Moerman, Annemarie Moeijes, Gökhan Tuna Graphics Joost Knuit, Louise van der Laak, vanderSchaaf/Hoogendoorn Layout Elise Kerner, Dutch Designers Collective Photography Ted Erkkila, Aad Hoogendoorn Website Timme Hos
Contents May ’11
News Trends: Maintaining customer relations
10 On the line:
Ask your customers for feedback!
Blackbaud conducts customer satisfaction survey
Taking your organization’s maturity to the next level
17 Column: The things you can learn from a four-year-old 18 Little things can make a big difference
Learn all there is to know about Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
22 12 24
Working more efficiently with linked systems The benefits of collaboration in TOPdesk
Tips + Tricks
TOPdesk in European Top Growth Companies 2010
TOPdesk has been awarded 52nd place in the list of Europe’s Top Growth Companies 2010 by Europe’s 500, a non-profit organization for entrepreneurs. This is the highest position to date that TOPdesk has been awarded in Europe’s 500, demonstrating that successful entrepreneurship and strong growth go hand in hand at TOPdesk. Wolter Smit, TOPdesk CEO, was already announced as one of the nominees for the prestigious title of ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2010’. A number of TOPdesk’s customers also made the list. TOPdesk would like to congratulate its customers on their success. About Europe’s 500 The list of Europe’s 500 comprises the 500 fastest growing companies within Europe. Companies on the list must have an entrepreneurial management team, must not depend on other companies and must have at least 50 full-time workers. Europe’s 500 looks at the relative growth in the number of employees (the number of jobs that have been created) over a period of five years. Europe’s 500 was founded in 1996 and currently represents over 2,300 growing organizations throughout Europe. The aim of the organization is to stimulate entrepreneurship and growth, and in doing so to create job opportunities within the European market.
Success at the Service Desk & IT Support Show
TOPdesk was once again highly successful at the 2011 Service Desk & IT Support Show. This year’s show was held on 19 & 20 April at Earls Court in London, and was one of the busiest shows ever for TOPdesk UK. The TOPdesk stand had an unprecedented number of visitors; there were no seats to spare at the lecture on Shared Service Centres, given by TOPdesk consultant Rob Goldsworth. Leontine Dekker, managing director of TOPdesk UK, hosted a popular Hot Topic round table discussion on the theme of ‘First time fixes’. University of Edinburgh partner, Matt Beilby, joined the TOPdesk team to promote the launch of UniDesk, making this UniDesk’s first ever business fair. TOPdesk was incredibly happy with all the positive response received during the show and is looking forward to next year already.
A look back on the itSMF congress 2011
Shows and Exhibitions
Champagne Demo Days 16 & 17 June | TOPdesk office, London
On Thursday 17 March 2011, the annual itSMF congress took place in Antwerp’s Metropolis. TOPdesk was invited to be part of the programme of this year’s busy event, of which the theme was ‘Leadership leads the way’. The presentations by TOPdesk were received with great interest. Kevin Bruin, consultant at TOPdesk, gave a presentation on the interpretation of KPIs. The mini session held by Nancy Van Elsacker, managing director of TOPdesk Belgium, was also a great success. She used three case studies to demonstrate how an ITSM tool can improve collaboration between departments, leading to increased efficiency and reduced costs.
Scottish Learning Festival 21 &22 September | SECC, Glasgow
TOPdesk HR Themed Session 7 June | Media Plaza, Utrecht
Champagne Demo Days
Back by popular demand: TOPdesk will again be hosting Champagne Demo Days at the TOPdesk office at London Bridge on 16 and 17 June. Every attendee will receive a free bottle of bubbly and have the opportunity to ask questions. Attendance is free. For more information, call us on +44 (0)20 7803 4200 or send an email to email@example.com
itSMF Tooling Event 22 September | De Montil, Affligem, Brussels
TOPdesk Demo Day 13 October | TOPdesk office, Antwerp
Maintaining customer relations with CAFM
Implementing a CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management) system in your organization can cause the facilities department to have less face-to-face contact with the internal customer. During a TOPdesk implementation, we often hear the departmental staff voice their concerns. ‘Can’t customers visit our department with questions any more? Or have we just stopped being personal?’ CAFM, however, can actually help improve customer relations.
KIm DEN BROk & JaSmIjN MOERmaN
... are both consultants at TOPdesk in Delft in the Facilities Management and Service Management fields.
The level of personal contact between the internal customer and the facilities employee is under increasing pressure from digital tools, such as Outlook, Excel, smartphones and supporting software such as CAFM. Tools like these are often implemented to support and improve service levels. But what often makes the job of a facilities employee, caretaker and receptionist most attractive in the first place is being in direct contact with the customer. The challenge is to maintain customer relations and use digital tools diligently while simultaneously remaining focused on the customer. This is an inspiring challenge, but how do you manage it? The key to implementing successful customer-oriented methodology, without losing contact with your customer, is to develop a harmony between people and systems. It is possible to implement a system in such a way that contact with the customer actually improves. On the following pages, you can read tips on how to improve the customer focus of your facilities department by using CAFM, while still maintaining contact with your customers.
BEING IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE CUSTOmER IS WHAT mAKES THE JOb ATTRACTIVE
TIP 1: TEAMWORK
Customer-oriented working methods can be compared with team sports, in which the team strives to reach a common goal. At a facilities department, insight into the department’s various responsibilities is essential. One important distinction we often see is the differentiation between a front office and a back office. Both parties should be aware of each other’s tasks; the front office should know which specific information the back office will need from the customer. This information will make it easier for the back office to do their job, which results in a quicker customer support. When a customer reports the malfunction of a piece of equipment, the front office must ask the customer for their exact location, so that the mechanic (back office) knows immediately where he must go to perform repairs. For this reason, it is important to register all questions asked and activities carried out in the action field of a call card. There is nothing more annoying than a customer who cannot be helped due to a missing piece of information concerning their call. Collaboration within the department is therefore paramount. Teamwork is also about exchanging knowledge. The knowledge base in TOPdesk is an incredibly practical tool designed to help employees share knowledge with each other. In this way, people do not need to reinvent the wheel every time the same question is asked. The structure of the knowledge base should be clear and concise so that information can be found easily; and information within the knowledge base should be kept up to date.
TIP 2: SURPRIsE!
Besides collaboration, the customer’s expectations and experiences are just as important in influencing procedures. For this reason, it is important to find out what the customer’s expectations are. But how do you find out what your customers really want? One helpful resource is a customer satisfaction survey that focuses on the department’s services. You can use the Survey Module in TOPdesk to do this. Results from this kind of study tell you how customers experience your services, and where improvements can be made. Keep in mind that measuring customer satisfaction alone does not mean that things have changed; the trick is to translate the results into effective and realistic measures. We may even ask ourselves whether fulfilling the customer’s expectations really is enough nowadays. It seems to have become the most normal thing in the world to meet customer requirements; however, the customer will only be really impressed when their expectations are exceeded, and the best way to exceed their expectations is to surprise them! If you are in danger of not meeting an agreement, for example, you should get in touch with the customer, explain the situation and try to provide a temporary solution. Instead of an angry customer, you will see that they are happily surprised. You can also exceed expectations through accurate visitor registration. We have noticed that in practice, a lot more can be achieved in this area. It occurs regularly that a visitor is not registered on time, meaning that there is no visitor pass or parking space ready for their arrival, or that the visitor must endure a long wait for their contact person. Automate this process with the Visitor Registration module in TOPdesk. In this way, the reception is always fully informed about expected visitors. You could even hang up an information screen in the reception lobby on which you project the names of expected visitors (make sure their name has been spelled correctly!) with the corresponding room number. TOPdesk has developed a free add-on with which reservations in TOPdesk can be displayed on a screen. For more information about this add-on, please contact our TOPdesk Support department or your consultant. This attention to detail gives you the power of surprise. The best arrival is when the customer does not even have to mention his name, but is instead greeted with “Good morning Mr. Smith, we’ve been expecting you. Mr. Jefferson will be with you in a few minutes. Can I offer you something to drink?”
TIP 3: COMMUNIcAtE
Exceeding expectations can only be successful if there is good communication. Many organizations hear complaints of people not being informed about the progress of their question or malfunction (call). You can prevent this by automating your communication flows. Use TOPdesk’s Event Management module to send emails automatically after important events, such as immediately after registration or closure of a call. Do your best to answer the most frequently-asked questions in these emails; for example by specifying the expected duration of the call. If you use the Self Service Desk, remind your customers of this in the emails you send to them. In TOPdesk you can place a hyperlink to the corresponding call in the email (see explanation), which allows the customer to access the call and view its status with one click. Additionally, specify whether the customer was satisfied with the solution that was offered before closing the call. A support department must be accessible at all times, preferably through a variety of communication channels. Customers can find this challenging, particularly in the early stages of a digital self service desk. Besides a digital service desk, you may wish to schedule walk-in hours every week, enabling personal contact with the customer to continue. During walk-in hours at the front office, you can provide your customers with face-to-face information, explanation and reassurance. It is important that your department’s appearance remains recognizable; the front office is important for your personal contact.
You can refer to the Self Service Desk of TOPdesk in an email by including the following URL: http://IP ADDRESS: port number/tas/public/index. jsp?jspurl=/tas/public/incidentpublic&unid=[-UNID-] You can retype this URL, but you can also copy and paste it from http://www.topdesk.com/en/magazine
These tips, combined with the correct application of TOPdesk, will help your department become more customer-friendly. The most important means to doing this are collaboration, communication with the customer and being able to surprise them. You don’t need to implement all these changes in one go. Take it one step at a time, and improve your services slowly but surely; pulling your hair won’t make it grow faster!
Why not give your CAFM a yearly ‘MOT’?
We often notice that the setup of TOPdesk is not evaluated after its initial implementation, while working methods and processes within the department undergo significant changes. People start looking for new functionalities; they find certain procedures time-consuming or can’t get the right management information out of TOPdesk. Users often learn to get on with such deficiencies or inefficiencies. As a result, people complain about the application, but due to time or knowledge constraints no one looks for alternative solutions. This issue requires structured attention. There are often more possibilities than you think! Your car is given a yearly MOT, why not TOPdesk?
On the line
Ask your customers for feedback!
Blackbaud conducts customer satisfaction survey
Text: Claudia Funk
Keeping your customers satisfied is the primary task of a service desk. But how do you stay on top of your game? In this edition of ‘On the line’, Blackbaud will answer exactly this question.
Administrative tasks are often time-consuming and prone to errors. For this reason, both non-profit organizations and profit-driven companies frequently outsource these tasks to specialists such as Blackbaud. Blackbaud provides non-profit organizations with CRM software and services tailored perfectly to every aspect of their customer-oriented business processes. This software enables fundraisers and member organizations to map out exactly how charitable their donors are and allows them to set up targeted marketing and communications campaigns. Linda Bouman, who is an experienced consultant, was appointed service desk manager at Blackbaud two years ago. The Blackbaud office in Almere, The Netherlands, currently employs 30 people, five of which are service desk employees. The employees not only provide support for using the CRM system; they also offer a number of supporting services, such as importing bank payment files, creating and sending collection files to the bank, importing (prospect) files and exporting database selections.
Linda Bouman is service desk manager at Blackbaud
10 ON THE LINE
Meeting your commitments
Once every six months, Blackbaud sends out a questionnaire to gain insight into its customers’ satisfaction level; after all, the quality of any organization is judged by its customers. “We conduct this survey on a regular basis,” says Linda, “which gives us the opportunity twice each year to adjust our services.”
Customers of the service desk focus primarily on the response time and duration when resolving a problem - areas in which Blackbaud recently made some significant progress. “Our most recent customer satisfaction survey, which we conducted just a few weeks ago, resulted in a much higher score than 18 months ago,” explains Linda. “Our customers often have to meet tight deadlines regarding campaigns and mailings, and we should be able to join them in the pace at which they work. We can’t change their deadlines, but we can work on our own response time.” Although response times are usually fairly short at Blackbaud, it can still prove difficult to offer customers a quick and technical solution. “Sometimes, it may take a little longer than expected to retrieve certain data. It is then important to communicate this delay to the customer well in advance, as any waiting times can involve a considerable amount of money. The message might not always be positive, but at least you’ve informed the customer in good time so they know what to expect. This can prevent frustration on the part of the customer and enables you to maintain a sense of calm within the department. Just make sure you inform others of what you’re doing to meet your commitments.”
Improving your services
Following the analysis and findings of its customer satisfaction survey, Blackbaud has set itself new goals for the next six months. “The most important goal for this year is to shorten our processing times,” explains Linda. “Our service desk has grown considerably and, as a result, we have had to reorganize the way in which we share knowledge. Previously, each of our employees could answer questions off the top of their head, but this is no longer possible. We have now set up an internal Wiki in order to support our employees in finding the information they need when dealing with customers on the telephone.” But they’re not quite there yet. “Every now and then, we come across a query for which we’re dependent on the specialist knowledge of one particular person within the organization,” says Linda. ORgaNIZatION: Blackbaud SERVICE DESK: offers support for use of the CRM system and other services, such as importing bank payment files and exporting database selections. Any issues raised by the customer satisfaction survey are tackled by Blackbaud immediately. “If we manage to improve upon all these points in the next couple of months, then this will also have a positive effect on our services and customer satisfaction,” Linda says convincingly.
ON THE LINE 11
Taking your org maturity to the
CobiT, MOF, ITIL, ISO, ASL, BiSL, Six Sigma. With all these frameworks, it should be child’s play for a service organization to improve its service levels. However, applying such frameworks can still take a lot of thought. Where do you start? And how extensively do you implement each process? To answer these questions, three TOPdesk consultants have put together a pragmatic model to help organizations improve their level of service - one step at a time.
JILDERt DE GROOt, GÖkHaN TuNa & TIagO KROmmENDIjk
…are service management consultants at TOPdesk investigating the applicability of process models.
Assess which process has the highest priority
mANY ORGANIZATIONS EXPRESS THE NEED FOR A GUIDELINE
A service organization wanting to improve their service levels often uses a combination of various frameworks to do so. Existing frameworks for IT service management often focus on the desired outcome for the service organization. Countless books and articles analyze which processes play a part in this and how they are related to each other. In the previous edition of TOPdesk Magazine, Sander Jerphanion presented the ‘best practice framework’, ITIL v3 as one such example. This framework distinguishes between almost 40 processes that an organization can implement, whereby each process must fulfil certain requirements. ITIL v3, however, does not define how an organization should actually achieve its goal; and that’s exactly what often causes headaches for service organizations. In practice, it is not possible to implement all aspects of ITIL v3 successfully in a short period of time. It’s more important to point out that most successful organizations have gone through a very long
anization’s next level
period of development. By learning from their mistakes, they have formulated methods and processes that work well for them. Therefore, prioritizing the processes you are going to implement is of utmost importance. succeed in its goal, each component of the process must be given attention. It is not recommended to implement all the components in one go; instead, determine the order in which they should be introduced.
Define each step of each process
Prioritizing your processes alone is not enough. For each process you must determine, step by step, which parts of it you are going to implement. Organizations trying to implement a large process in one go often come up against problems. Below are a few real-life examples of the problems that organizations can experienced while implementing a process: •• An organization has defined SLAs for dealing with incidents, but in practice the agreed SLAs are never met. The option to display breached incidents in red is then deactivated, because it appears to be too discouraging. •• The telephone at the service desk rings, but nobody feels the need to answer it. •• A CMDB was once implemented, but is no longer updated because no one felt responsible for it. The question that remains is what causes these situations and, even more important, how do you prevent them from occurring? Firstly, we need to determine the nature of the process. A process is often presented as a simplified drawing of a sequence of activities, but in practice it is just not that simple. A process comprises many components; each component must be clearly defined and all employees must understand their respective role. For the process to
Service Development Model (SDM)
When implementing the ITIL framework, you should first draw up a priority list of the processes you intend to introduce. Next, you should do the same for the various process components. The question now arises how you, as a service organization, can prioritize these processes, and how you decide which process components to implement. We have noticed that many service organizations express the need for a guideline. That is why we have created the Service Development Model. This model is based on three existing frameworks, that each cover a separate area of IT Service Management: ITIL, CMMI and ISO 20000 (see the following page for more information). ITIL can be used to provide an overview of the various processes, the CMMI is used to analyze the maturity of the entire service organization and ISO 20000 is used to determine the maturity of each process. As such, the SDM can help service-oriented organizations to work towards their goal one step at a time. The SDM model examines the stages of maturity within service organizations. Maturity is evaluated on two levels:
LEvEL 1: The overall maturity of the service
organization (or department)
LEvEL 2 : The maturity of each process within
the service organization
LEvEL 1: Maturity of the Service OrganiZation
The abbreviation CMMI stands for Capability Maturity Model Integration and is the name of a model originally aimed at evaluating government suppliers who were leading a software project. Even though it originates from the field of software development, it is used as a generic model to test the maturity of processes (e.g. ITSM processes) in serviceoriented organizations.
The first level concerns the service organization (or department) as a whole. Whereas other frameworks simply describe an ideal situation or final stage for organizations, the SDM outlines five different stages of growth. These growth stages (see diagram 1) describe how a service organization can develop from an ad-hoc organization into a customer-focused organization. 1. Awareness and control Employees should be made aware of their position within the service organization and the three basic processes (Configuration Management, Communication Management and Incident Management) should be set up. 2. Managing the basics The three basic processes should be optimized in order to effectively manage these processes on an operational level. Additional processes are introduced, such as Change Management and Problem Management.
ISO 20000 is the first international standard for IT Service Management. This standard consists of two parts. The first part describes the minimum specifications for introducing the application of an integrated process approach. The second part is viewed as a code of practice; it describes best practices for service management.
Process is optimized and will be adjusted continually
MATURITY OF THEVAN ORGANIZATION VOLWASSENHEID DE ORGANISATIE
Project Management Problem Management
Operational Management Change Management
The abbreviation ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, which describes the setup of processes within service providing organizations. ITIL can give processoriented organizations a boost in quality. A proper application of ITIL can ease existing pressure points within service management, stimulate methodological procedures and introduce a common terminology.
Configuration Management Communication Management Incident Management
3. Internal Excellence The goal for this stage is to optimize your organization’s internal performance. The processes discussed in step 2 should be optimized and new processes such as IT Service Continuity Management and Access Management are introduced. 4. Service Focus Firstly, the processes introduced in step 3 are optimized. Once this has been completed, the organization’s internal performance will be incredibly solid, and the time has come to focus on service levels and collaboration. Implementation of Service Portfolio Management and Service Level Management begins here.
5. Service Excellence Collaboration with the customer is improved by optimizing the processes introduced in step 4. An essential part of this is fulfilling the agreements made with the customer. The sequence in which these processes should be introduced is based on years of experience gathered by service management consultants at thousands of service organizations. It is particularly important to optimize the current processes in each growth stage before introducing new processes. For example, introducing the Problem Management process is of little value if the Incident Management process has not yet been optimized.
Service Level Management
Service Level Management
TION STRATEGIC DIREC UNICATION EXTERNAL COMM UNICATION INTERNAL COMM ECTION OPERATIONAL DIR ROLES IONS WORK INSTRUCT CEDURES PRO & SS CE PRO
LEvEL 2: Maturity of the various processes:
The second level of the SDM describes the components of each process. By examining its components, it is possible to measure the maturity of a process. We distinguish between seven process components, from process description to strategic direction (see diagram 2). It is also necessary to decide in which order to introduce the various components of these processes. You could say that the bottom half of the diagram (defining the processes, procedures and roles) provides the basis for professionalizing your service, while the top half (operational and strategic direction) comprises the final stages in the maturity of the process. For example, a service organization is not ready to let customers register their own incidents via the Self Service Desk if the service organization’s employees are not yet familiar with the procedures and roles for that process. This would mean that there is no guarantee that incidents registered through the Self Service Desk will be dealt with, and the Self Service Desk will not fulfil its purpose.
Management is in good order, Configuration Management has been implemented but has not been optimized, something is being done with Capacity Management and SLAs have been defined that are not entirely achievable. In a bid to improve the level of service, the organization has focused on processes from different maturity levels, and as such has skipped many of the essential steps in the processes. In this case, we would advise the organization to leave SLM alone for the time being and to focus on implementing processes such as Configuration Management, Knowledge Management and Capacity Management. Only when they are well managed can you progress to the next stage.
To help organizations on their way to the next development stage, TOPdesk offers several services aimed at piecing together a picture of the service organization. One such service is a short scan. In one day, we perform a quick analysis of the service organization and give advice about which steps to take to improve service levels. Additionally, we can gain an in-depth understanding of the organization’s maturity by performing extensive research into the two levels described in the Service Development Model. The organizational scan is designed to determine where the organization stands at that point in time: what is the maturity level of the organization as a whole and which processes should logically be focused on first? Next, a process maturity test will provide insight into the maturity level of each process. Any gaps discovered in the process are identified, and recommendations are made as to how to raise its maturity.
Mind the gap
The two levels of the SDM, namely the maturity of the service organization as a whole, and that of every process are compared with the processes implemented in the organization. This will identify any gaps in the development. Once this is done, you can start drawing up a step-by-step plan. Take a look at the customer’s situation in diagram 1. On the right hand side you can see a situation that we come across regularly at organizations: Incident
This service development model helps service-oriented organizations raise their service levels. This doesn’t happen all at once, but step by step. And that’s exactly where the strength of this model lies. It gives organizations not only a tantalizing goal, as do the various theories, but also the concrete footholds needed to realize these abstract goals.
‘Yes, but why?’
The things you can learn from a four-year-old
The same applies to the second question: what is the average duration when processing a call? An average can be interesting, but this information isn’t sufficient to draw an appropriate conclusion. You should look further into the complexity of the call. For example: Does the first line work really quickly but does the second line take a lot longer to find a solution? And does this mean that second line calls are more complex, or is the second line service overloaded? As you can tell, a simple question can lead to a number of increasingly in-depth reports that provide detailed information on what you’re exactly doing. This information can help you to find specific ways to improve your services. Improvements will not happen if your reports remain pieces of paper with interesting colours, stuck on a notice board and left to fade. Instead, challenge yourself to take an in-depth look at your organization and don’t be afraid of less-than-pleasing numbers. Each report can be used for the next report, and will give you more insight into your own organization. As long as you continue to ask the question ‘but why?’ you might sound like a young child; but it will yield more valuable information than you had expected.
I was recently asked this question by a four-year-old child, who continued to repeat the question about twenty times in the course of several minutes. This leaves you with not only a difficult conversation, but it also sends you into a deeper train of thought. Then the other day, when I was giving a Reporting with TOPdesk training, I realized that reports are not much different. A report leaves you with questions, which lead to another report, which in return is the basis for the next report, and so on. It’s a shame that many organizations consider reports to be a necessary evil; a few attractive colours and diagrams on a piece of paper, or a way to delegate your responsibilities. The report is often seen as the final result of the process; ‘This is what we’ve done, and these are the results’. A report, however, is only just the beginning! If you are a service-providing organization and want to stay ahead of the competition, or if you want your service department to start working more professionally, then a report on your performance is the place to start. A report can provide an overview of the number of calls logged by your department, or the average duration of processing a call. In the first example, the report could be interpreted in various ways. For example, is it a good sign when the number of calls has increased as this could mean that customers can find us better? Or is it better to have fewer calls because apparently our product has improved? To find out the answer to these questions, it’s interesting to know whether the number of individual callers has increased, or whether the same group of callers simply logs more calls. And if this group of callers does log more calls, do these calls all concern the same topic, or do the callers all have varied queries and problems?
…is a consultant at TOPdesk and has years of experience with implementations and changes within diverse organizations.
Little things can make a big
Learn all there is to know about Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
Would you like to maximize your service desk’s efficiency? Using the telephone integration feature, you can identify callers automatically and view their personal contact details. This is useful for the support of both internal and external customers. TOPdesk’s Support department also uses the CTI module for this purpose. “The only disadvantage of the CTI module is that once you start using it, you won’t ever want to stop,” says Roland de Schepper, TOPdesk Support specialist.
Text: TImmE HOs
About the CTI module
The CTI module integrates your telephone system with TOPdesk and other applications. When a customer rings your service desk, his or her name and company or site information are automatically displayed on the computer screen, enabling your service desk operators to easily navigate to calls, reservations or changes linked to that particular caller. Furthermore, the CTI module can be used to make calls directly from TOPdesk to customers, suppliers, colleagues and more.
TOPdesk has been using its own CTI module for a little over a year now. “Before you start using it, you might wonder whether it’s really such a bother to manually type a caller’s phone number,” says Roland. In practice, however, it appears to be a different story. “Having to
type the entire phone number every time someone calls can get quite tedious,” explains Roland, “especially if you’re on the phone all day. The CTI module enables you to select a random (telephone) number in any possible text box of a website or document with your mouse. You then simply press the F8 key and you’ll be connected to the selected number. Because our Support department deals with Dutch, English, German and other international calls, you would normally have to leave out the nought in the telephone number. The CTI module can detect these noughts and removes them automatically.” According to Roland, the advantages of the CTI module can each be considered small timesavers. “In the worst-case scenario, you might spend a couple of minutes dealing with each call. The CTI module can really save you a lot of time, particularly when dealing with special cases, such as putting a caller through. It not only saves you time, but you are also less prone to making errors when you don’t have to enter each number manually. The CTI module prevents you from making crucial mistakes.”
The CTI module in a nutshell
++ Internal and external customers are put through directly to the right service desk operator ++ Details are logged automatically, improving the efﬁciency of
your support department
Useful for both customers and colleagues
The CTI module will not only increase the productivity of your service desk, but also the satisfaction of your customers. “Customers appreciate not having to repeat their name three or four times,” explains Roland. “When you use the CTI module, you see exactly who is calling and from which site they are calling.”
++ Service desk operators remain one step ahead of the caller,
improving customer satisfaction
++ Outbound calls are easily made with just one press of the F8 key ++ Outlook integration provides immediate insight into your
++ Internal chat option 18
The CTI module can also act as a useful tool for you and your colleagues. For example, when a colleague rings your number to put someone through to you, TOPdesk will display the names of both the colleague and the caller. “This is extremely useful”, says Roland. “You can then say: ‘Thanks John, put them through!’. When a customer rings the service desk, the same pop-up message will appear on all your colleagues’ screens. In this way, they can better anticipate the needs of the caller and the right service desk operator can pick up the phone; for example when he or she is the designated contact person for that caller. This spares you the trouble of putting the call through yet again.”
When the phone rings, the pop-up screen will display the caller’s photograph and details
request for change or reservation request. During a call, TOPdesk will fill in some of the required contact details automatically in the incident. If someone dials a wrong number or calls the wrong department, for example, you can click on the pre-filled incident and mark the call as ‘wrong number’ with just one click of the mouse.”
Now even easier to use
TOPdesk version 4.3 has incorporated an improved CTI module, which has been enhanced visually. When someone rings the service desk, for example, the pop-up message displays a photograph of the caller. It also includes a number of links to various frequentlyused modules, such as Incident Management, Change Management and Reservations Management. “Using the CTI module, you can easily log an incident from within the pop-up screen. And when someone rings you back about a certain incident, you will be able view their audit trail and current incidents with just one click of the mouse. You can also directly submit a new
Reporting on ‘nonsense calls’
Roland and his department often speak with people who are actually trying to contact a different company, or who call the wrong department by accident. “Some organizations don’t want to register these calls, because the time this takes doesn’t outweigh the advantages,” explains Roland. “But this does mean that your department’s workload is not represented accurately in the reports.” The CTI module enables you to log these types of phone calls with just a few clicks. Using predefined values, you can register the time it takes to process such a call automatically. Reports can then give you insight into how these ‘nonsense calls’ can affect your department’s performance. It could turn out that these calls take up two percent of your time.
The downside? You won’t ever want to stop using it!
Are there any disadvantages to using the CTI module? “The only disadvantage,” according to Roland, “is that once you start using it, you won’t ever want to stop. On one occasion we were experiencing some technical problems with our telephone system, which affected the CTI module. We noticed the difference immediately. Even people who would normally only receive ten to fifteen calls a day noticed, as they couldn’t remember who had called which colleague.”
The CTI module enables you to see exactly who is calling
To find out how the CTI module can maximize your service desk’s efficiency, please contact TOPdesk.
Working more efficiently with linked systems
Using data that has already been entered in other systems by colleagues or suppliers can prevent double entry and inconsistencies. You can import such data automatically into TOPdesk, and link it to data that has already been registered in TOPdesk. Such data is highly useful for day-to-day processes and reports.
Importing source data
Master data is usually entered into TOPdesk manually, which can result in duplicating your work. The risk then arises that this data is not kept up to date in all places, leading to outdated information; and, above all, this data is often more susceptible to inconsistent terminology, such as ‘financial department’ instead of ‘finance department’. Master data, such as the personal details of the people you support, is often already kept up to date in another application. The HR department keeps track of staff details, and the System Administrator monitors login and email details, for example. For external support, an account management system or a CRM package can sometimes be used in which customer details and contact persons are kept up to date. Object details are also useful and enable a supplier to provide a list of delivered items.
...is a consultant and team leader at TOPdesk. He specializes in technical issues and optimizing processes.
HR system CRM system MSSQL Oracle LDAP Access
<xml> <script/> </xml>
System Management tool System Monitoring tool
Excel CSV PostgreSQL
Export of view
Foxpro MSSQL Oracle
TOPdesk IS, CS, ES
Various types of data can be imported into TOPdesk.
20 Work smarter
Via a staff, account management or system management link, you can automatically and periodically import data into TOPdesk. It will take one or two days of support from a consultant to implement these links. The consultant will work directly with either the supplier or database manager of the source application. If the source details need to be registered more accurately or extensively, organizational authorization will be required.
Completing and linking data in TOPdesk
After performing the import, all relevant data will be fully registered in TOPdesk. Very occasionally, a detail may be missing, such as a login name or email address. We recommend amending this information in the source system. If, for technical or organizational reasons, the data cannot be completed in the source system, you can also enter it manually in TOPdesk at a later time. You can then link this data with other data in TOPdesk, such as the physical location, owner (budget holder) or end user. These links can help you to simplify your organization’s processes. Registering company assets, their quantity and which person or location they belong to in TOPdesk, for example, makes it easier to manage and organize stock, new employee procedures or resignations. What’s more, the Incident Management and Change Management processes run a lot more smoothly when the items in question are already registered, and linked to an end user or physical location.
An employee leaving the company in Change Management
Interdependence among Systems
Customers regularly make their systems interdependent, as in the above-mentioned examples. At one large organization that uses TOPdesk, HR enters staff details into the ERP system SAP, which is then imported into TOPdesk. The organization’s relevant suppliers provide data for the CMDB, and this data is then linked with each other in TOPdesk. This procedure provides the organization with a clear overview of the items that are held by every employee. This information is incredibly useful in the event that an employee leaves the organization, is appointed a new position or moves to another department. Because the team leader is also registered in SAP, they receive an email stating which items are registered under the employee’s name. From within the email, the team leader can then acknowledge the information or report any changes to the shared service centre, which collects the items via a bespoke page. This way, the organization never loses track of its assets. The organization also takes care of its cost allocations in TOPdesk. TOPdesk enables you to calculate the total costs by gathering information such as telephone bills and lease costs in TOPdesk’s CMDB. Even the catering is processed in Reservations Management. Costs are allocated to the budget holder that is named on the corresponding Person Card. Developing an Excel report specifically for allocations can take quite some time; however, the organization can then allocate their costs quickly and efficiently. As an additional advantage of this process, end users now have a direct interest in accurate registration, and may even update the CMDB themselves. At the very least, they will check the invoices that they receive!
Exporting and reporting
To guarantee the accuracy of reports, we recommend performing an automatic import. The TOPdesk Report Wizard can group data and display fields. In order to group fields, it is essential that the search list or card names do not contain any spelling mistakes. Besides the standard report options, you can also process data stored in TOPdesk in a separate reporting tool, such as Business Objects, Crystal Reports or Microsoft Excel. Data can always be retrieved directly from the TOPdesk database. Views are included in the TOPdesk database specifically for this purpose. The administrator can find more information on the structure of the TOPdesk database in the Operator’s section of TOPdesk via Reporting > DataDict.
Work smarter 21
The benefits of collaboration in TOPdesk
Company assets affect everyone
All too often, the responsibility for managing company assets is assigned to one department or person; IT is responsible for the servers, and Facilities for the coffee machines. When it comes to other matters, however, the division of responsibilities is often less strict. When you use TOPdesk in several departments, streamlining your cross-departmental processes becomes easy. This method was prone to errors, and caused a lot of ambiguity among the colleagues concerned.
Clear and user-friendly
A number of years ago, we decided that the abovementioned procedure could be managed much more effectively. The IT department decided to neatly link all items issued to persons in TOPdesk, and to give the HR department access to Configuration Management. In this way, the HR advisor can see for himself which items have been issued to that employee. To create even more transparency, a graphic overview is now available on the Persons card from TOPdesk version 4.3. Even without much technical knowledge, the HR advisor can see which items are held by the employee and who is responsible for them. When an employee leaves the company, he or she is easily informed as to which items should be returned, and where to hand them in. On the final day, an HR advisor can check at a glance whether everything has actually been handed in. Both the IT department and the HR department have saved a lot of time, and fewer items disappear.
TEXT: ROb HaaRINg
…is an HR advisor at TOPdesk and a TOPdesk application manager.
More and more organizations are striving to make their crossdepartmental processes more efficient. In the next three issues of TOPdesk Magazine, you can read practical examples of how your HR department can work with other departments more efficiently in TOPdesk.
An employee is leaving – have they returned the laptop?
At TOPdesk, we have also implemented our own software to ensure that crossdepartmental processes flow smoothly. For example, our IT department handles all records of stock held by TOPdesk employees, such as laptops or mobile phones. The HR department ensures that new employee procedures or resignations run smoothly. At first, these seem to be two separate process flows, but upon second observation an overlap appears. As soon as a colleague announces he is leaving, he must return TOPdesk’s property. In the past, an HR advisor went along to the IT department to ask whether the employee had handed in all their belongings.
Would you like to know more about TOPdesk for HRM? Visit www.TOPdesk.com 22
No time for your colleagues?
Enhance the efficiency of your HR Services with TOPdesk
HRM is the process of working with people, but often the administrative hassle leaves you with no time to spare. TOPdesk’s call and workﬂow system can improve your efﬁciency, giving you more time to focus on your colleagues.
Attend one of our seminars in London on 16 and 17 June or in Antwerp on 13 October to see what TOPdesk can do for your organization. For more information, call us on +44 (0)20 7803 4200 (UK) or +32 (0)3 292 32 90 (Belgium)
HR Services Simplified
Slimmer werken 23
tips + tricks
Outlook macro ‘Move to TOPdesk’
The Email Import module imports emails automatically from one or more email addresses into TOPdesk, and registers them as an incident. With this in mind, many companies have created a general service desk email address. In reality, however, customers often don’t send their call to the general email address, but to the personal email address of a service desk employee. These calls are therefore not imported into TOPdesk. To make processing these calls easier, a customer of TOPdesk has created a macro in Outlook called ‘Move to TOPdesk’: ‘We use a macro in Outlook that immediately marks an email as ‘unread’ and moves it to a folder where it will be read in by TOPdesk. We have placed an icon for this macro in the Outlook menu bar. Now you can move an email to TOPdesk with just one click.’ For further information on how to install this macro, please contact the Support department.
Online Help & Support
From TOPdesk version 4.3, manuals, tips & tricks and getting started instructions are available online on the Help & Support website. You can access this site directly by clicking on the question mark icon featured on every TOPdesk process page, or via the menu option Help > Help & Support. New content is added to the Help & Support website regularly. The following manuals have recently been updated and published: Management documentation – found under ‘Basic Functionality’ Change Management Each manual contains useful user information and includes tips on how to get more out of TOPdesk.
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Copyright © 2011 TOPdesk UK limited. Although this magazine has been produced with the utmost care and attention, the writers cannot be held responsible in any way for any damages that may occur due to errors and / or deficiencies in this publication.