It was UK Customer and IT Service Week so House-on-the-Hill’s User Group was a natural place for Howard Kendall to be.
In a keynote speech to the software firm’s second annual client meeting in Birmingham the Chairman and Founder of the Service Desk Institute urged IT departments to ‘seize the mantle of being the people’s champion.
He told customers of House-on-the-Hill – which scored highly for customer service in a recent survey – that many organisations were now IT-driven. Service desks on the front line, providing a helicopter view of an IT department’s performance, have the power and influence to change people’s lives for the better, he said. Good service brought employee satisfaction, customer loyalty and higher profits, he went on.
Kendall, who is writing a book on customer service for the British Standards Institute, said service desks needed to spend more time understanding their customers needs, adding that Service Level Agreements (SLAs) were often written from an IT department’s rather than the customer’s perspective.
At the User Group meeting, hosted by BT Expedite, House-on-the-Hill MD Iain Broadhead explained further enhancements to be made to the company’s SupportDesk solution over the next year.
We’re a very open company and want to give our customers as much advance information as possible about our plans, he said afterwards. The information flow is two-way and the User Group gave us more useful feedback from customers to help us develop products they want. He noted that many updates this year had been implemented in conjunction with customers.
Referring to the recent survey he said IT Service Management was now a mature market and gaining a competitive edge often depended on providing top class customer service. In the survey House-on-the-Hill won an average score of 8.2 out of 10 for service, with one in four customers awarding it a perfect 10.
Steve Hearn, IT Manager of retail solutions provider BT Expedite, said the firm had chosen House-on-the-Hill to provide its ITSM software because it was small, dynamic and would react quickly to situations.
BT Expedite, whose customers include Austin Reed and Mothercare, had logged 80,000 calls on SupportDesk since it introduced the tool in 2007, he said.
In a light-hearted finale to the User Group’s plenary session, Kendall chose the lucky numbers and handed over tombola prizes. A House-on-the-Hill goodie bag was won by Jo Thomas of Aareon UK Ltd, an iPod Shuffle by Ian Ward of Regenda Group and a free day’s consultancy by Patrick Salt of New Forest District Council.
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