Resolution Ownership - It Matters for BSM!
Ownership and Accountability
Every customer dreams of problem-free technology, uninterrupted service and productivity unburdened by repetitive issues! When issues do arise and the customer contacts the support center, the ideal situation from their perspective is getting their issue fixed on the first contact. If not, the issue is escalated to specialized support groups within the organization, the customer wants to simply know who will contact them and when. This is the basis of setting expectations and making a business service commitment to the customer by confidently knowing that you “own” the issue to resolution. To do this you must have an agreement with the all the specialized groups (L2/L3) for response / resolution timeframes based on business impact, urgency and prioritization. Communicating these important follow-up details to the business customer while following-up and following through establishes a relationship of credibility, respect and professionalism ...essential for success with any Business-oriented Service Management (BSM) initiative. A customer-focused service culture designed with the customer in mind will quickly benefit from the practice of Total Contact Ownership (TCO), where there is no ambiguity of ownership and accountability when it comes to the customer experience and ultimate satisfaction.
"You Answer It; You Own It"
The concept of Total Contact Ownership is relatively simplistic, “You answer it; you own it.” It’s the consistent delivery and alignment of all support groups working together to deliver end-to-end, seamless and transparent services. In pursuit of issue resolution and getting the business customer back to productivity, the support professional executes their role by being resourceful in utilizing all the available tools to properly troubleshoot, diagnose and resolve the issue. As stated earlier, if the issue cannot be resolved at first contact or a viable work-around offered, then the support professional, practicing quality ticket documentation, assigns the incident to proper technician / group.
As the single point of contact / communication, the Service Center provides proactive updates to the business customer regarding the issue resolution status. By viewing the Opened Incident Records by Me”, the support professional dedicates a part of their day to reviewing the tickets that were opened by them, assigned to other resources and in need of status updates / resolution. At this point, every service and support professional should accept the BSM fact that they ALL work for the Service Center. From a CIO perspective, it’s should not be an option given that most customers interact with the front-line Service Center more than any other group in their organization. The Service Center should be positioned as the “Face” of IT and the “Voice” of the customer. Any questions?
The process of Total Contact Ownership is built on these foundational BSM valued principles:
It is critical that all groups within the IT organization that are actively involved in any sales, service or support process have a defined role as a “customer touch-point”. Whether they are accountable, responsible, consulted or informed, everyone should have the same level of communication, buy-in, training and accountability for doing their part - the right way - achieving measurable results. There is no room for the uncommitted or “stealth” players who feel that Total Contact Ownership is a strategy-de-jour. Total Contact Ownership will cease to matter as a result of the “IT business” not treating everyone like a customer.
The Benefits of Total Contact Ownership (TCO)
From an impact perspective, the contagious ripple effect of culture-based ownership / accountability is powerful. Just by eliminating the ambiguity of “who’s on first” or “who’s in charge” is a very positive step in the right direction for BSM initiatives. Since I now know who is accountable, I can “sign my service” with my unique way of handling the customer, deliver my value proposition / service differentiator. The primary reason for implementing TCO is to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction and give the service organization the means to deliver on committed service levels. Every customer would like to believe that service organizations understand the business issues (…BSM) as well as the technical issues and empathize with the situation enough to resolve the business problem first. The service organization must also be skilled in assessing the experience, skills and knowledge of the customer and incorporate that into the overall communication and issue resolution approach and style. TCO addresses the customer’s biggest fear – “if I hang up the phone, my issue will most likely fall through the cracks. I will be frustrated by having to continuously call the Service Center to hunt someone down who can resolve my issue in a timely manner”.
In addition to helping support service level management, an effective TCO strategy can certainly identify the “weak links in the chain” giving management performance improvement opportunities. Increased Service Center pride is a wonderful boost to individual and team morale. It facilitates higher levels of engagement and performance. Another positive outcome of TCO is in the increased quality ticket documentation as well as the tracking of 100% of all incidents and requests. If I am being held accountable for all issues that I first address with the customer, then I want to ensure that I first, have a record of it, secondly, that I properly account and document the details of the issue or request in support of “if it’s not in the ticket, it did not happen”.
The BSM benefits of Total Contact Ownership include but are not limited to:
To implement TCO successfully and ensure the proper buy-in and empowered ownership, please follow these recommended guidelines:
Sign Your Service by Taking Ownership. Good luck and God Bless!
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