Face-To-Face vs. Instant Messenger: Why You Need Both in Business

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Chat clients like AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ revolutionized the way we communicate with others. Since then, we’ve sacrificed a little old-fashioned social interaction in the name of convenience and connectivity.

This being the customer service environment, your business users will expect to engage in an office experience similar to how they talk to people outside the workplace. Corporations use instant messaging services such as Skype for Business to help connect employees across globe. Users gravitate toward IM when they need a response or information from another staff member quickly.

You should give your team this option to communicate with each other and with business users, but it’s vital to ensure these moments of communication are captured in your ITSM system as part of your team’s natural service management routine, and as a part of their use of service management best practices. Take care not to change the standard user experience your business users expect with a chat service.

These valuable exchanges enable fast, efficient knowledge sharing and improve the user experience without breaking productivity. This quick exchange can deflect the need to call your team and reduce lengthy call queues. It enables your team to identify a point of information required to resolve an issue or request quickly.

Face-to-face

When business users and the service management team are in the same office, or for highly mobile users who visit the office infrequently, it’s not uncommon to experience “walk-ups” where a user demands immediate attention, often at a time not suitable to your team. If support isn’t provided when the user wants to engage, the relationship is fractured.

In other situations, it’s your ITSM team that attempts to track down a business user for a desk-side visit, only to discover the user is in a meeting. To alleviate these time-sapping situations, consider offering a “genius bar” style of walk-up service to make this a win-win scenario. Work with your team to set aside time for face-to-face appointments, possibly incorporating gamification to encourage adoption.

Enable your business users to book appointments with your team through the self- service portal that publishes a calendar of dates and times your team is available and block out times it isn’t.

Mobilize your team

Too often, service management teams are hidden away from the rest of the business. Set aside time for your team to walk the floors of the business to assist and progress relationships with users. Issue your team iPads connected to your service management system. They’re able to work as if at their desks, logging or updating issues and requests in real time. Make your team easy to identify with ‘here to help’ T-shirts.

Business users better understand technologies that are available to them and are reminded that your team is there to help in the future, reducing potential Shadow IT challenges. This continual presence builds relationships with end users and offers your team insights into how the business interacts with systems and services.

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