Earlier this year, we won the Inspiring Herts Award for Excellence in Customer Service. We were absolutely delighted to win and not only because it is always lovely to be a winner but because, for Lumina, excellent customer service is the most vital element of our business.
When you contact a helpdesk, you expect the person manning it to be technically competent – that is a given! But what many people do not get is a great customer experience. Our overriding ethos is ‘service first, technology second’, which essentially means that whatever the IT issue is and whether or not it is something we can put right, it is important that the client is happy with their experience.
We do this by making sure all our technicians understand your ‘journey’ and are willing to adapt their service to your needs. When you call the Lumina IT Support team, you will not only be talking directly to an engineer, you will also be talking to a human being who is willing and able to spend time on your issue. We get a lot of positive feedback about the fact that our team is not overtly measured on the time they spend on a ticket … unlike the helpdesk team at one large multinational which has a policy of only allowing five minutes per call.
Our view is that the longer you spend with your users, the better the relationships, which is why we positively encourage our team to foster good working relationships with clients.
Getting to know you
It is not just about getting to know you as a person, it is also about getting to know your business. When we are onboarding new clients, we will spend time going through their processes so that we can brief our team to talk the same language. For instance, one of our clients refers to their PCs as ‘sets’. When someone from that company calls our Helpdesk and says there is an issue with their ‘set’, our engineers immediately understand where the problem is. Otherwise it would be frustrating for both parties if we are constantly asking what they mean when they say ‘set’.
As everyone is different, we understand that there can be no ‘one size fits all’ policy when it comes to dealing with clients and users. We will, therefore, ask how you prefer to be communicated with, i.e. when there is an issue that needs to be dealt with, how often do you want us to update you? Some clients want to be kept informed every step of the way, while others just want to know when the problem has been fixed.
We are also mindful of your own time pressures. If you call us with an issue, we may ask if we can take control of your computer to investigate, but if the problem is going to take more than a couple of minutes, we do not just keep working on it, we will always ask you how you would like us to proceed. It may well be that you would prefer it if we took control of your computer at a more convenient time, in which case, we would be happy to do the job later.
The engineer who initially answers your call will always take ownership of the issue until the ticket is closed. If it is something they cannot fix and therefore need to pass on to a third party, they will continue to take responsibility, keeping you informed of progress and making sure it is resolved in a timely manner.
We give our engineers regular training that includes getting them to understand the psychology of how they communicate – encouraging them to think about how they talk and showing that sometimes standing up or smiling when you talk helps enormously.
We also make them aware of how to give the right amount of information the user needs, i.e. a summary, not a blow-by-blow account of what they’ve been doing!
It is also important to have a bit of fun. IT should not be boring and we do not want users to feel that calling our Helpdesk is a chore. So unless the problem is urgent, we will encourage our engineers to build up a good relationship with you to enhance the user experience, which means having a chat, talking about what you did at the weekend, or about your holiday etc.