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Showing posts from February, 2010

Reading Material III

48 Days to the Work you Love
While the title might indicate that this is a guide to finding a new job, that's actually not what this book is about!  This book is actually more of a process to help you find out who you can be.  Once you've learnt this about yourself and made this discovery then you can actually understand why you are in a job you hate!

Dan Miller will help you see clear patterns which will help you in making your future job and career decisions and along the way, help you find the work that you really do love!  The book does a good job of giving you purpose for finding work that has both passion and meaning.

Starting off Dan Miller covers whether or not work and play can co-exist and why doing both is not a bad thing to actually enjoy your work (i.e. not just to pay the bills and "work to live NOT live to work").  Then he covers the fact that the current work environment is not that of our parents or grand-parents universe - the fact that most employe…

How do you measure First Call Resolution?

What is First Call Resolution?
Probably the first question to answer is “What is FCR?” – In its simplest form it is a measurement used by most technical call centres to determine how often a customer’s call is resolved at the first interaction.
Measuring FCR
Now while this statement is fairly easy to make ... measuring it gets a bit difficult as you can well imagine.  Measuring this correctly depends on how you are tracking customer issues – if you are able to correlate the customers to their issues you should be able to pull reports that inform you if/when a customer issue is re-opened and that metric would apply as a negative value.  If you do not have such a tool available or in house, measurement gets significantly more difficult.
In addition, you must account for time of reports and the potential of customers re-opening closed issues incorrectly.
As I’ve mentioned, you need to determine an appropriate time frame as customers will often utilize the same (fixed) issue when reporting a n…

Play to your strengths! - The Question of Outsourcing Part III

Continuing my posts on Help desk Outsourcing - discussing some key decisions regarding whether or not to outsource your help desk.

Play to your strengths! - The Question of OutsourcingPlay to your strengths! - The Question of Outsourcing Part II
Location & Scale -  Despite the urge to keep your outsourced staff in-house (where you can keep your eyes on them and make sure that they're doing a good job!) its actually better to have them in another facility.  If you choose a vendor that is supplying multiple other businesses this is obviously self evident, but even for a smaller operation, by keeping your supplier "in house" you mitigate any potential cost savings that you could see.  By choosing to have your calls with a larger organization, you are also able to take advantage of "scale".  As these companies have to keep staff for other clients anyways, you will be able to utilize these resources when your business is busy and when other businesses aren't. …

The Importance of Training (Part II) - Management Skills

How important is it to ensure that your skills are up to date?  Assuming that you received your certification or degree several years ago, has the technology you are supporting changed?  Are the teams you are managing still using the same tools and resources they used to in the past?  
The one thing that is constant in this world of ours is that change is inevitable and universal.  This very much means that what you knew last week and last year is now obsolete. Just as it is important to ensure that your team is appropriately trained to support your customers and products, it is also essential that you are trained on the latest and greatest.
The Importance of Training
Think about it like this - in school a syllabus would change from year to year.  Regardless of the subject being taught, neearch and knowledge constantly advanced and grew and what the next batch of students were taught differed in a lesser or greater degree.  Now, it was fine in school as you were with your peers and every…

Play to your strengths! - The Question of Outsourcing Part II

Continuing my posts on Helpdesk Outsourcing.

Play to your strengths! - The Question of Outsourcing Part I


Helpdesk and Customer Service positions while generally entry level should still be staffed with people that have ambition and can grow to other roles within your company.  If you are not hiring for this type of person, you are not getting the right person you need.  In addition, in some environments, the helpdesk itself is very stressful leading to significant churn and retention problems.  In addition to the staff themselves, you generally need to have a supervisor and manager to ensure that they are performing to standards and that you have the resources in place to cover sick days, vacations and other gaps in the schedule.  Finally you want to think about growth ... as your business grows, will the size of your helpdesk?  How many extra resources will you need for 10 customers, how about 100 or 1000?  What is your projection with regards to your growth prospects?  Are you going …

Play to your strengths! - The Question of Outsourcing

To Oursource or not to outsource ... while not exactly a question that plagued William Shakespeare (hence the lack of any really good quality plays about it!), is a very valid question for the small and medium size business!

While my natural inclination is generally to urge businesses to support and service their customers directly - after all the only one who can really tell you what you are doing wrong and right are the people paying for your service - there are sometimes very valid reasons to outsource your helpdesk and support operations.

As you helpdesk is your primary and first point of contact with customers, they are the people that your customers will most likely work with whenever they are having a problem.  The question to ask yourself though - especially if you are a smaller business - is ... is this the business you are a specialist in?  If your skills are in manufacturing or cooking, perhaps picking up a phone and troubleshooting a customers service issue is really not yo…