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10 New Year’s Resolutions for Service Management Professionals

By Robert Hall, Support Analyst, Marval


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the time of year to have fun, spend quality time with the family, share some holiday love, and think of plans for the next year. Most of us will have made lofty plans at some stage to get fitter, eat healthier, give up smoking, become more organised… and then forget all about them by the end of January (till next year).


In Service Management, we have our very own plans for improvement. Some of these plans are personal, other involve the whole team or the enterprise, but all of them need attention to make sure they won’t slip away like many other resolutions!


Here’s my suggestion for 10 resolutions for Service Management professionals which are likely to stick (and generate positive results):


1. Get healthier. Keeping a healthy IT environment would result to increased functionality, faster and more reliable operations, less service interruptions for our customers, and less of our time spent on managing requests. How about reviewing trends to see if for example there is a printer that is always failing and really should be replaced? Let’s start the new year with listing and reviewing our configuration items, checking life cycles and removing equipment that should have been retired some time ago!



2. Go smoke free - or rather interpret the smoke signals faster! Just imagine having a serious IT security breach. Usually the signs are all there, but we often miss them or identify them with significant delay. Failing to put the pieces together and recognise a problem early enough can result to serious business consequences (lack of regulatory compliance, for example) and will only add to the stress and pressure on the staff. Technology can help not only identify any emerging problems faster, but also ensure a safer and more available infrastructure - and yes, efficient life cycle management is key.



3. Eliminate stress. Work-related stress can be a real issue in the modern workspace, and Service Management professionals have a lot of it! Research has shown that work-related stress is a result of people feeling they are unable to cope with their job demands, have little control over their work or feel unsupported by their colleagues and line managers. Developing techniques and ways to reduce stress is imperative for the team’s wellbeing and overall performance. Some ways of reducing stress are: effective prioritisation of requests, task automation, and the adoption of good processes that will enhance the Analysts’ confidence and efficacy. Being supported by a great Service Management tool will help Support Analysts reclaim and maintain control over their day-to-day work, feel more confident, be more productive and efficient, as well as work more closely with their team mates.



4. Have more fun at work. We all want to do our job faster, better and more cost-effectively, but who said we can’t make it fun too? Just like any other professional, Service Management staff need to feel valued at work; they want their feedback to be heard, their contributions to be appreciated, and their suggestions to be taken on board. They need to have clear responsibilities within the team, so they decrease conflict and maintain a healthy work environment for everyone.



5. Learn something new. There are always new things to learn (a language for example, or how to play the guitar); surely there are professional skills we can develop too. Whether obtain an IT-related certification, or attend a refreshing course on the tool we use, we all can enhance our skillset with new fields of knowledge or expertise, that will help us perform our job better and faster, and make us fill good with ourselves (and improve the customer experience, too).



6. Share knowledge. Informal learning is important for teams to work effectively and collaboratively. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the time to create knowledge articles or share useful advice and work-related tips. Adding knowledge sharing in our resolutions’ list could be the starting point for our teams to become more empowered, engaging and self-efficient.


7. Contribute to a cause. And what better cause than to make people feel good every day! Customer Service can make a real difference in the way a business is perceived in the market. We have the power to make customers feel good by making things easier to them. Better service management starts with service strategy: can we review the Service Portfolio with a fresh or critical eye? On another note, here are some great ways to improve service delivery and our interactions with the customers: always follow the process, be reassuring and polite at all times, set the right expectations at the beginning, keep the customers informed about any updates. Oh, and ask for their feedback, so they know their opinion is valued.



8. Monitor progress. Workdays can be hectic in our line of business. Many of us are guilty of not spending enough time evaluating performance and reporting on our progress. Perhaps we have issued customer satisfaction surveys and have not got around to collating and inspecting the results? Unless we properly monitor, analyse and understand our performance rates, we cannot really know if things are on track or whether we are making any progress towards our targets.


9. Wreck a record. Customer satisfaction; or the first-time fix rate; or response times. What was your best result within 2017? Why not try to break your previous record and excel at something you are already good at? Improving your greatest result so far can be very fulfilling, exciting and team bonding. And a target that most of us would probably stick with!



10. Celebrate the team’s successes. My experience is that Service Management teams consist of dedicated professionals who work really hard to provide great customer service. Our work can be challenging at times, but it’s always rewarding and critical to the organisation’s growth. It’s something we tend to forget: we are a crucial business unit within the business, we contribute a lot and often make a real impact. We should be proud of our achievements and successes, no matter how big or small they are.


Happy New Year!

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