I probably already know.

Published by Matt Setchell on

Over the last 3 weeks, one of which being half term, we have been busy. Busy doing large scale projects, which have required more attention, because we have done multiple schools at once, whether that was migrating 8 schools to our new broadband, or moving 5 schools email to Office365 in half term. All whilst handling day to day support and GDPR changes we’ve needed to do.

We have managed to do this and to continue to smash our SLA targets for response and resolution times. Our FCR rate is over 80%.

It always makes me smile, however, when customers suddenly realise the scale of what we now do, and how stretched we have to be. They could walk into our offices and see some totals on our displays, or see our weekly updates or simply, ask us!

Probably not things I’m supposed to admit too – but being non profit and part of education, as in, still working for an academy, our budgets are being squeezed to get more for less, because our schools want more for less. They want to use IT to drive down costs, and pay less for their IT support and development.

There is a surprise too, when they realise I already know where we need to improve. I can see where, for whatever reason we have had slow responses to a site, we’ve missed our high SLA targets, or I can see frustration from clients due to their feedback. I can see where we have escalated more then normal and I can see what topics people are looking for.

And actually, it’s not just me, our whole team is learning how to react to the new data we have from our Helpdesk to provide support where it is needed.

The last piece of the jigsaw now is showing schools how much we do offsite through the Helpdesk. I’d guesstimate that 95% of our tickets are solved centrally and remotely, or could be. But the value of having someone sat onsite should not be missed. Reassurance and a smile are key to our fantastic feedback.

Our networks change the way schools use our support, we see over time a huge shift in reliance on onsite support to remote support, because fixes are needed instantly. We offer the best of both worlds, but sometimes we encourage schools to remember how far they have come, most in short spaces of time.

Over longer terms, our high level of support and fast responses become the norm. We have a very tough SLA in place, because we should be being proactive to reduce support calls.

The issue is, when you are central, hidden, a User doesn’t speak to you in person to understand the demand, they just focus on their needs, understandably. They have just seen people in an office, why do there need to be so many in there? Why are they emailing me responses and not coming to see me like they used to?

Why have they suddenly just given me a link to an article, this isn’t personal?! We used to chat away for hours!

It’s not that things are slower, they are not, black and white figures I have prove that we are working harder then before, to higher standards that we consistently meet and exceed. But our users keep demanding more, I keep demanding more and our team demands more of me.

It’s also interesting to note the shift based on the type of person we are supporting, people who don’t want to engage with IT demand more of us. They just see it as a problem, and how dare we upgrade from office 2000 they have always used. Whereas those younger teachers are demanding so much more.

It’s pleasing to see that our new self help articles actually please both types / instant support for eager users, step by step guides for those who panic at us taking control of their screens.

I’m the one who goes into schools, when asked – often following a recommendation, to sell the team. Trying to showcase what we do, and how we do it better isn’t hard, and we are growing fast for it – people keep telling me, but I already know, it can’t and isn’t affecting the support we are giving to existing clients Negatively – in fact they say it shouldn’t affect it at all – but that isn’t true, it should change us for the better, to be more effective, more responsive, more proactive – it’s driving us to be efficient, to make proactive changes to solve issues before they arrive on a bigger scale and allowing us to learn from the nearly 7000 people we now support. So one bad experience doesn’t replicate to them all.

Bit of a ramble after a tough week this one, but to some up – support is changing, we can prove it works in so many different ways. It’s time for the last few people to realise it.