Accountability at the Help Desk

No More Excuses

When "we're working on it" doesn't cut it.

What does accountability really mean in a service industry like hardware support? It's funny how that word makes people uncomfortable. No one wants to be left holding the bag when a situation goes sideways. At M Global, we don't shy away from this idea of accountability. In fact, we see it as part of the service we provide. That's the point of a hardware support contract, you pay us to be the one responsible to clean up the mess, get you out of a jam, be left holding the bag—whatever metaphor you want to use to describe your IT disaster.

You might be under the illusion that failures never happen, and everything always goes the way we expect them to. And if that's the case, you might wonder if this sort of stuff even matters. Sorry to burst that bubble, but sh** happens. Devices fail at the most inconvenient times—usually right in the middle of a long weekend when parts are impossible to ship or when they are needed most and time is of the essence. Until you experience the pain of crappy service in the middle of an IT crisis, or conversely, finally experience the relief that comes when you are being taken care of, it doesn't mean very much. It's when stuff really hits the fan that you know what kind of support you've got and the sort of company you're doing business with.

Accountability in Action

There's nothing more irritating than getting the runaround and feeling like you have to dig for answers. We gathered some standard service responses we've probably all heard before. These might be fairly standard and just fine when everything is going according to plan. But when something unforeseen arises and the situation takes on critical status, vague, generic responses just don't cut it. Let's take a peek at some of these generic responses and how the M Global Help Desk strives to do things differently.

Scenario: Parts are taking longer to source and ship because of a holiday.

Generic Response: "We're working on a solution." This is such a waste of time response. Who is working on it? What is the solution? What is the ETA? What can I expect? You are left with more questions than answers with this frustratingly common response to a support issue.

M Global Response: "Here’s the situation. Due to the holiday, we’re not able to get the part to you today. But first thing on Monday, we're going to be reaching out to our vendors to source the part that’s needed. We have a couple shipping options, whether it’s same-day shipping or priority overnight out to you. We expect delivery on Wednesday. We'll keep you in the loop with any updates to the situation."

Delivery Person Holds Out Box

Notice the active language we employ in our responses. We take ownership of the process and outline the steps we will take to find and execute the solution. This means our clients don't have to worry about it anymore. They can trust that we have a plan to resolve the situation.

Scenario: Diagnosis and review process are taking longer than expected.

Generic Response: "We've forwarded those logs on for review." This kind of response isn't particularly helpful, especially if you keep getting this same response multiple times without any other details.

M Global Response: "Our engineers are reviewing the logs now. We expect to have a diagnosis and next steps soon. We'll follow up with progress in x (amount of time). "

Alternatively, if we have an idea of some of the parts involved while we are waiting for the official diagnosis, we might say something like, "Our engineers are reviewing this, but based on what we can see, it might involve this part. So in the meantime, we will start working on sourcing that part to speed up the process."

Scenario: The situation is still in the troubleshooting phase, and there are no solid details to provide.

Man Gives Clueless Response

Generic Response:  Any number of versatile and vague responses might be inserted here. "we're working on it," "we're looking into it," but one of the more revealing responses in this situation is, "Let me check on that." This is a pretty good indicator that the contact person may not know what's actually going on with your case. It certainly doesn't inspire much confidence.

Anybody that knows anything about the case should be able to plan ahead and give some details, even if it's just working on the parts logistics. When someone doesn't have a solution or they're scrambling—that's when you get these kinds of generic responses.

M Global Response: "We're still troubleshooting the problem. I will follow up with our progress by the end of the day, and as soon as we have a diagnosis, we will be able to source the part, give you an estimated delivery day, and schedule a field engineer."

Any relevant information we do have, we will provide. For instance, we may have more diagnostic steps to share or further questions that could help expedite the troubleshooting process. Even if we do not have exact details or timelines locked in, we try to keep our clients informed as best as possible and answer the questions, "What is happening? What can I expect? When will I know more?"

M Global's Got It Covered

Regardless of the situation, when you work with us, you'll never have to go digging for answers or be left wondering what is happening. That's just not how we roll. Rather than being laden with negative connotations, the idea of accountability for us falls more in line with its traditional definition of being responsible for and having an obligation to our customers. We take the idea of being called on to give an account of the situation and what we are doing about it very seriously.

Not only does that mean we share the details of what is going on, but we also take ownership of the process, outlining the steps of what will be happening and when to the best of our abilities. You'll be able to talk directly to someone who actually knows the ins and outs of your case—no barriers or layers to fight through. As the customer, you should never have to feel like you have to fight to get the service you paid for or renegotiate services with your vendor every time you need to submit a service ticket.

Want to find out more about how M Global is bringing accountability back to the hardware support industry? Give us a call or fill out a form if you'd like to find out more about how we do things here at M Global.

Angie anime

Author Note:

Written by Angie Stephens with contributions from M Global team members including SMEs, management executives, and more.

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