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“What Are You Doing?” The Benefits Of Having An ISO 20000 Certified Service Desk

To quote scientist W. Edwards Deming “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, then you don’t know what you are doing.” When it comes to Customer Service, you definitely want to know what you are doing.

By Richard West, Service Director, Marval

A few months, we were audited by DNV-GL, successfully passing and renewing our ISO 20000 certification for another three years. We are now entering the 13th year of being an ISO 20000 certified Service Desk; a great achievement for our team!

The scope of our certification is based on the delivery of services to our external customers in the UK and Ireland. Our Service Desk is directly responsible for managing 12 processes, as either the owner or the executor, and is evaluated for its efficiency at following these processes successfully. Being ISO 20000 certified means that we have a benchmark to refer to, and can compare our operations to proven best practices and standards. Furthermore, it endorses consistency in our service delivery, promotes accountability and nurtures a progressive, customer-centric culture.

Today, all our Support Analysts are ITIL Foundation Certified. It’s part of their development plan, as it provides them with critical knowledge that will help them be more effective and successful in their job. Our Support Analysts use this knowledge to extend the skillset into the delivery of service to the ISO 20000 standard. Our internal training plan includes mandatory sessions on process management with a focus on incident, change, configuration, capacity and availability.

When we have an audit with an external auditor, our Analysts are always there. In fact, they are encouraged to participate in the process, contribute their views and see the results of their work through the eyes of an independent visitor. It’s an experience that has helped us bond as a team, as well as learn and evolve. There’s nothing like having some of your requests critiqued on a 52” monitor by several people, to guarantee attention to detail in the future!

A vital part of the preparation process for being audited by an independent body is carrying out your own `internal` audits. These are carried out by process owners themselves but looking at those processes that they are not responsible for. This allows people to look objectively at how each other works and because we embrace Continuous Service Improvement this is then fed back into the machine that is Service Management.

One other benefit of this process is that we regularly refine how we work and keep it in line with what the standard says. Service Desk staff may have the best intentions to provide good service, but that’s not enough. They need to be supported in their role. To quote Edwards Deming again, “A bad system will beat a good person every time.” Knowing that they have a good system in place helps our Analysts offer exceptional customer service every time, and do that in confidence, following a proven and documented process.

Being audited can be a stressful and, at the same time, rewarding process. By showing our staff the benefits of following process we have a better than average chance of delivering a consistent quality of support to all levels of customer. Our Support Analysts certainly know what they are doing. Our Service Desk consists of great people who will deliver a great service, following a great process and supported by great technology. We have a successful ISO 20000 audit to prove it.

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