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Is your Service Desk a SPOC or a SPOF?

No. Not that kind of SPOCK. Do you have a single point of contact or a single point of failure? The IT Zealot helps you determine the answer in this blog post, using the example of two different companies and their IT situations: Company A has all the latest gizmos and gadgets, but no real help desk. Company B has older technology and processes, but their help desk exists and helps users get up and running whenever there is a problem. Now, which one do you think is more useful to the company? The Single Point of Contact (SPOC) is often also the first point of contact as well ““ and as such this person is essential in setting the tone for the entire experience of the user. A company can have every sort of wiz-bang solution possible, but if the user feels as though they are merely an inconvenience, they won't care how many buttons your computer has. But it isn't just the gift of gab that help desk SPOCs need. It's also thorough knowledge of applications and the service catalog: The service desk not only needs the communication skills to deal with the angry user A, but also the business-skills to understand the relative impact & urgency of both user, the service-knowledge (including SLA and service catalogue) to determine how to respond to this. Any technical skills might help in the initial diagnosis, but so does the knowledgeknown error database. Without these skills and the true service attitude (always remember that without IT most organisations would still exist, but without those organisations most of us wouldn't have a job!) your service desk may still be a SPOC, but it might very well also be a SPOF. The takeaway is this: your SPOCs need to be well rounded in both customer service and in organizational knowledge. Too much one way or the other and you risk making a first impression a first failure.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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