Why Use display boards in a Support Center? What types of displays should we have? How ought we to use these, and what benefits might we gain? Display boards are becoming increasingly popular in a support center these days, especially in view of the fact that …
- Change is picking up pace (change in products and services to be supported, changing customer environment, changing regulations, and changing business priorities. Since the service desk is the “front line” support arm of the organization, they must be informed of all changes in the external and internal environment that could impact support.
- The service desk/support center is also dependent on other back-line support groups for resolution assistance, so its important that all support groups have a common view of the support situation, and feedback displays relevant to their group.
- All support teams need to be aware of the shared vision, mission and priorities of the support organization that they participate in. This includes not just the tier 1 service desk, but other support teams as well.
- Support teams (tier 1, 2 3) need to be aware of incoming issues, and their performance to goals/service level targets on addressing these issues
Add to all of this the fact that we need to integrate call management systems, ticketing systems, monitoring tools and survey systems to feed and drive these displays, and the task of displaying “the situation” accurately and in real or near real time can become quite daunting.
What is a “display board”? Typically an electronic panel integrated with one or more of the supporting systems listed above – monitoring tools, ticketing system, survey tool, or phone system. But keep in mind that a “display board” could also be a simple white board, or “electronic” white board, for purposes of carrying Problem Management – tracking progress on problems that are triggered from incoming incidents! These sorts of board are becoming popular as well, as resolving some issues require problem management, and a team to get to the root cause and come up with a solution.
Display boards can be updated in “real-time”, from the supporting monitoring tool, phone system, ticket system or other tool; or manually, as the process moves forward in resolving the problem or project.
Whether manual or automated with an integration to one or more support systems, display boards in a support center can and should be used to keep the entire team informed of current status, and their performance to common performance goals. Examples off display board use include:
- Display board for updates/news/issues in the external environment which might impact the mission of the support center – for example, climate changes, political events, business issues, etc.
- Displays for communicating the shared vision, mission of key priorities (goals) of the support center – so that all support teams will be aware of, and can join in in supporting a common mission and goal
- Real-time displays for showing incoming calls from the call management system, showing calls queued, calls waiting, assigned, and other phone metrics such as average hold time; abandon rate; analyst availability status, etc.
- Displays for showing incoming work and progress on other channels of support – email, web ticket,s walk-up, etc. Its important to monitor, report and manage all incoming channels of support!
- Displays that show team performance against key goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This is the “scoreboard” feedback your team gets on their performance to the key measurements that they are held accountable to. Popular KPSs for support center include performance on First Contact Resolution rate (FCR); Average Speed of Answer (ASA); Average Resolution Time (ART), Abandon Rate, etc.
- Displays for recognizing and reward support staff who have gone “above and beyond”, doing an outstanding job – you can post on the display board the analyst of the month, a team member being recognized for an outstanding achievement, someone who has been on a volunteer mission. This can result in better staff morale, and higher productivity
- Displays that show the status of tickets as they progress through their life-cycle – incidents/requests queued, assigned, in progress, resolved, closed
Be sure to think about where to place the various types of reporting displays so they can have the desired impact. Displays reporting vision, mission & goals should be in the entry to the support center. Displays reporting overall status of of incoming issues should be clearly viewable to the entire support team (keep in mind the data displayed will be slightly different depending on whether the team is tier 1, 2 or 3). Your display on performance on key goals and KPIs, should be clearly viewable to the whole team and be very prominent in the support center. Displays should reward and recognition should be prominent, so that all can view them as they pass by (in an entry way, or shared break room?)
Concerning the display for performance against key goals and KPIs, there is one other element to consider. Consider having not just a display of team performance against share goals and KPIs, but also equipping each support team member with a private individual “dashboard” of their personal performance against support center goals and KPIs. In this way, you are informing the team member of their personal performance (privately), and also giving them a view of how they impact the shared team performance. Taking such a two-pronged approach to displaying the “performance scoreboard” tends to motivate individuals to maximize their own performance, while at the same time doing their best to ensure the team meets their overall goals and objectives.
Bottom line, play your display board reporting systems carefully. Consider display board for a variety of purposes, as mentioned above. When you implement display board reporting with shared vision mission and goals; integrated supporting systems and tools to automate and drive the displays; shared goals and KPIs that are tied to reward and recognition, you end up with a feedback system that can truly drive both individual and support center performance, resulting in optimized performance for the entire support organization!
Paul M. Dooley
HDI Instructor, Consultant and Auditor