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I occasionally still do some band and gig photography, although I used at one time do way more.
Often, I would meet bands when taking photos at a local venue and could be invited to city venues to take gig shots. Sometimes this just meant your name was left ‘behind the door’, other times if you were ‘on the list’, that was your ticket in. Sometimes that included a visit to a dressing room and a share of the ‘rider’. Maybe bottles of Grolsch, fried chicken, samosa’s or other more chemical treats, as requested.
Key to all was that if you weren’t ‘on the list’, you weren’t coming in.
|Moco - Palace Levenshulme 2009|
Getting on the list was often trickier than it needed to be. Often members of the band would genuinely promise to sort it, although musos are not always the most organised. Sometimes their manager, agent or designated roadie would sort it, as they generally were ‘on the list’ too. Only when you were through the door were you home and dry.
I see a very often parallel to the ‘list on the door’, in my working life. It’s called the help desk call log and your software supplier is the doorman in this instance. There are a disproportionate amount of ill-feeling towards help desks from customers, it got to be said. Adjectives such as ‘slow’, ‘unresponsive’ and nouns like ‘black hole’, are not uncommon to my ears.
So, are supplier helpdesks rubbish? Well some can be, but not always, some go bad, some improve, and others never even see your issues. That’s because a lot of issues never reach a helpdesk. Often someone (maybe from IT) says, “I will log that for you” (and forgets/never gets around to it). In other instances, someone at your software supplier is told about an issue and an assumption is made that a call will be logged (rarely happens). Thirdly, your local busy ICT folks, triage a problem or issue and it never hits your supplier helpdesk. This might be correct, but rarely does the right communication occur to help the end user. Like the gig door list, if your issue has not got a call log number, its generally a non-issue. Its just living rent free in your users’ heads.
Goodness knows enough ICT staff these days have an ITIL course on their CV, but how many put the salient principles into practice? If you obtain a number, you have a valid issue on your hands. No number, no issue – end of.
Its not unusual for me to hear users getting steamed up and the issues have never been assigned an issue or a call number. Once these are logged with a priority (determined by your software contract), they should be responded to in a defined time and resolved in another defined time. That clock starts counting from the date/time logged, not from when your users knew about it.
Some lucky customers have penalties and service credits in their T’s & C’s, to better enforce outcomes. However as my Scottish friends would say, “We can all be cannier, if we try”.
If the above is new to you as a manager or user, maybe you need to be starting to use it to your advantage, from here forward. It’s the start of having a healthier and more transaction based relationship with your software supplier. Understanding the helpdesk is a start. In our next post, we will explore getting the most from supplier helpdesks – so hold tight.
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The The - Helpline Operator.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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