Call us Today +44 (0)1536 711 999

Marval logo

Hope Is Not A Business Strategy Or, How Technology Can Help Align Customer Service With Your Business

Lack of preparation, misunderstanding of roles and responsibilities, and unfortunately, office politics too, can leave you feeling hopeless at meetings. Here’s how to overcome the hurdle and make the most of them.

By Robert Hall, Support Analyst, Marval


I have worked in a handful of different companies, and thinking back to one particular would like to tell you of a couple of lessons learnt (painfully) there.

Now trust me when I say that these two lessons are not remembered as a bad experience, rather they needed to be learnt, and I think should be practiced everywhere.

In the early days of an implementation project I was included in the roll call of a weekly managers’ dashboard (called a “top line meeting”) to pass on the project progress and also learn what other business issues were in existence.

That meeting could be a harsh session, with some participants keen to make a point often at the expense of others. Consequently the Chair, our Managing Director, ran them with an iron rod and the good old micromanaging techniques. Hardly surprising: poor corporate culture is often the result of weak or dated management. One day I had just welcomed a Consultant on to the premises so that he could start work on his part of the implementation project. This just happened to be dangerously close to the start time of the dashboard – 11:00 am. So rather than leaving him to twiddle his thumbs until my meeting finished, I spent a few minutes settling him in at a desk and rushed upstairs to join the meeting. I walked through the door a minute and a bit past 11:00 to be greeted by the silent stare of the managers and a robust reminder from the Managing Director that the meetings started at ELEVEN, not after that time when people could be bothered to turn up! Lesson one learnt: Always make an effort to turn up before a meeting is due to start.

Lesson two, in a meeting of the same managers but chaired by a different Director: Have your reason for being at the meeting uppermost in your mind and don’t hope your contribution will fall into place on the actions of someone else. This meeting coined the phrase “hope is not a business strategy”. What he meant was everybody round the table was responsible and accountable for a team or department, these teams have to work together in the business and must therefore fully understand the flow of work around the business, they must not hope something happens.

At this meeting, we were individually asked if we know why we were at the meeting and had to state out loud what our understanding was. It is easy to arrive at a meeting without reviewing or rehearsing your contribution to it, especially during a busy day. You will not fully understand why this falls into place if you just hope another thing happens. And never say you hope something!

But it’s not just about meetings’ protocol, is it? At least not with Customer Service teams. It’s mostly about having your Service Desk aligned with the business. Cross-departmental meetings for example provide a great opportunity to share feedback: all the good things that happen on your Service Desk, as well as things that need improvement or the management’s immediate attention. The Service Desk Team is usually the first one that comes across issues in several areas: from insignificant customer nagging, to potentially serious security breaches. And this feedback can be crucial to the company’s business and operational success.

Therefore it’s imperative to go to a meeting fully prepared and with the right documentation to support your arguments. That’s where technology comes in: having a smart Service Management tool in place will provide you with the documentation you need to evaluate critical business metrics, such as productivity, responsiveness, first time resolution rate and customer satisfaction, while highlighting potential risks and vulnerabilities.

Hope is not a business strategy, and it shouldn’t be. Advanced technology will help you attend corporate meetings fully prepared and with a clear view of your team’s roles and responsibilities – and yours, of course. It will help you reposition your work, justify your decisions and document your reports. And while it might not be able to help with office politics, it will help improve your organisation’s culture around Customer Service. Yes, Marval MSM can do that.

There is hope after all.

Contact Us View all Articles

Similar Articles

Endless possibilities with Marval...

Whatever your aspirations might be, we have the technology, the expertise and the people to make them happen.

We know you may have some questions...

  • Request a

    Discover the benefits of implementing MSM software, designed to improve service quality, customer satisfaction and reduce costs

  • Download

    Your central repository of interesting and useful information on IT Service Management

  • Customer
    Case Studies

    See how organisations all over the world use Marval MSM software to address their most critical IT Service Management challenges

  • Contact

    Contact us to discuss your service improvement requirements