Quick Tips for Running a Smooth Business

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Renee Truvalu, Negosentro | Running office operations smoothly is as simple as ABC. However, many find it frustrating because of a few inefficiencies. It often requires two things:

  1. Organize operations
  2. Leverage technology

When any department is overwhelmed with work, it’s often due to lack of a clear vision and strategy on operations management. That is why the best way to increase efficiency is to organize.

Consider most IT departments. They handle wide-ranging issues in the office including:

  • Managing user accounts
  • Computer hardware support
  • Office network issues
  • System and application management
  • Projects
  • Maintenance

Is it unreasonable to expect a department to be overloaded with work? Definitely not. The various problems that staff handle in this department can be tiring and overwhelming. A simple solution is to break such an IT team into groups. One can handle the technical engineering like system management and maintenance, Another can deal with user support.

Depending on the particular needs of the organization, the number of groups can vary. The trick is to let teams handle specific tasks to boost efficiency and increase specialization. Hopefully, this will also result in fewer flare-ups among employees because of misunderstandings.

Leverage technology

With organized teams, use of technology can increase efficiency. It’s critical to find the right technology for the job. Some software is incredibly versatile and can handle many different tasks. Often, however, it’s best to opt for a software that specializes on one specific task, or type of work. For instance, a  service desk does one function, provide service, and it does it very well. It’s better to find software that does one thing incredibly well than lots of things kind of well.

Running a service desk without a customer service portal is one mistake to avoid. Another thing to avoid is trying to run finances all by yourself. You’ll want to get professional software to help you out there. A customized offering like QuickBooks can improve efficiency. Where the business is big, and the limitations of QuickBooks become apparent, consider an effective QuickBooks alternative that suits your specific company.

Another important thing about the technology is it should be easy to use. Otherwise, the IT department will be bombarded with requests and issues.

Use Smarter SLAs

Set goals for customer satisfaction and track performance. The SLAs should be easy for staff to understand and follow. Rather than sticking to a template, customize the SLAs to be relevant . SLAs fail to achieve the intended purpose when they are insensitive to unique metrics in the organization.

As such, before coming up with metrics, identification of processes that provide the most value to the business is key. After that, focus on identifying measurements that can give a clear indication of the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the team.

Have a vision

While performance indicators can serve as good tools for employee motivation and performance assessment, they should be in line with the bigger picture. What is the most important thing for the organization?

With this in mind, data is more actionable and crafting solutions to problems becomes more straightforward.

Rollout self-service

Studies show that 72% of customers prefer self-service support. So the onus is on an organization to create a self-service support that is easy to use and addresses issues.

A self-service portal, knowledge resources and Q&A forums are some of the avenues that can be leveraged to boost customer satisfaction.

Track progress

A service desk is ultimately measured by the number of issues handled and solved. To check growth, the service desk must regularly be assessed with a focus on the effectiveness, health, and maturity of its operations.

While tracking progress emphasis should be put on the processes that are of the most significance to the business regarding delivering value. Some metrics that can be used include the percentage of tickets closed without escalation to the second or third line and positive responses by users on the service.

The mistake to avoid with metric is setting too many at the early stages of a service desk. The metric should be accurate, timely, reliable, specific, well-defined, and relevant in meeting business objectives. They should encourage positive behavior and lead to a better understanding of the processes with the ultimate organizational goals as the bull’s eye.

As duties grow, the metrics can change to reflect the added responsibilities of the service desk.

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