In 2013 we started HappySignals to bring solutions to a very important and rising topic in the consumerization of Enterprise IT and the Happiness of IT department’s customers, the Employees. We all at HappySignals have long background in building internal services, like Self-Service Portals, Intranets, Enterprise Social Networks and other digitalized processes. All of us felt that how these things were measured and how the business cases were built around them, were still lagging compared to the consumer world. We set-out to change one of the most traditional parts, IT Service Management.
You get what you measure, as the old saying goes, has been very normal in the outsourced IT Service Desks. Service Level Agreements have been the norm for 1st level Service Desk personnel in the enterprise world, where as in the consumer world this has already changed into Net Promoter Score type of satisfaction/recommendation measurements. SLAs dictate that you need to respond, act and close (not solve) the issue in certain time constraints, this allows the buyer and the provider follow that they are getting what they pay for.
But are they?
TICKETS ARE CHEAP, EMPLOYEES ARE NOT
As the IT departments squeeze the prices for the Service Desk providers, they increase pressure to handle tickets quickly. Handling the tickets quickly means that you need to make compromises, and these typically might mean; cherry picking the easy tickets first, closing tickets without making sure everything was solved and being stressed if the conversation with the customer is starting to take too much time. But if the price of a ticket is let’s say 5€ and the hourly cost of your employee is 75€, then would it matter if you would pay 50% more per ticket but save 1h of hassle, frustration and unhappiness from the Employee. And this is underestimating the cost of a bad experience.
A bad customer service experience in the morning can ruin the productiveness of that Employee for the whole day. As Ariana Ayu in her article “The Enormous Cost of Unhappy Employees” writes, business owners know this, but they would be shocked to understand how high the cost actually is. These figures are missing from all the CIOs budgets and yearly plans as far as we have seen.
LET’S CHANGE THE APPROACH
That’s why we are introducing Happiness Score™ as a new approach for Service Management (ITSM, ESM) measurement. We agree that you still need the SLAs behind the SD contracts for now, but the driving factors for improving the service experience should be changed and that is what IT departments should be paying for.
Happiness Score™ is built from four (4) different factors:
- Happiness, which is the sentiment based evaluation for the service your Employee just received. Asked every time employee has an interaction with service personnel or with self-service product.
- Lost Working Time, is a soft value estimated by your Employees. What we are looking here is the trend, so lowering the amount of time that Employees need to spend of their time in problem or service request situations.
- Employee Profile, based on personas we have created for Support Service. Knowing your employees psyche, motivations and goals is the important step to truly understanding how you need to serve your Employees. Please signup for the newsletter and download the eBook to read more.
- Focus Factors, asking what was the main factor for the happiness or unhappiness. Very important so that you know where to focus your service improvement & development budget.
Having Happiness Score™ as continuously running in your Service Management environment allows you to understand what is really happening with your Employees. This should not be once-per-year type of Customer Satisfaction Survey, since it’s too long period to actually make any significant improvements to your service. Our solution for this is HappySignals.
HAPPINESS WILL SPREAD
When you will bring happiness measurement into your Service Management, it will start to affect everybody involved. Employee naturally start to see that Service Agents are actually caring about their problems and not just trying to get rid of them. Service Desk Agents will get recognition from bringing happiness to their customers, even if their ticket was very difficult one and it violated their SLAs. Happy customers create happy service personnel, which increases the motivation to be even better at their job. Happiness is the #1 productivity booster as written by Alexander Kjerulf in his blog post “Top 10 Reasons why Happiness at Work is the Ultimate Productivity Booster”.