A few weeks ago, thousands of IT Service and Support professionals landed in Orlando, FL for the annual HDI Conference. Transformation was a key theme this year. HDI unveiled a brand new logo and tagline, Vanilla Ice shared his journey from Ice Ice Baby to The Vanilla Ice Project, and the breakout sessions were heavy on case studies on how organizations are transforming Service and Support in the digital age. In this article, we’ve called out 5 ways to embrace transformation in IT Service and Support. Make a Conscious Effort to Engage Employees Everyday – Kirk Wiesler kicked off HDI 2019 with a question for attendees. He asked the audience to document the best moment of their day and share it on Twitter. One of the easiest (and often overlooked) ways to engage your employees is simply an open line of communication. That’s why we should be asking ourselves and our teams this question EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Alternate Voice Channels Should be Part of Your Omnichannel Strategy – Many IT Service and Support organizations are so focused on chatbots and text-based channels that they are blind to the next big thing – voice assistants. Amber Mac said “The voice revolution will lead to a more engaged and interactive society.” Who else is excited about this? Technology on its best day can’t compete with the power of human connection on its worst. Unfortunately, as humans become more and more dependent on screens, we become less and less dependent on engagement and interaction. This mindset is leading to a more impatient, short-tempered society that wants everything yesterday and that is having a profound impact on agent/tech morale as well as IT Service and Support performance overall. Personally, I’d much rather ask Alexa or Google to connect me to an agent than make the effort to go through a complicated IVR menu or even initiate a chat online. Amazon seems to have recognized this which is why Audible users can now contact live support from their Alexa device. Marketing IT Service and Support is Critical – One of the most common challenges I hear when speaking to IT Service and Support professionals is a lack of end user training, so I’m always listening for unique and creative ways organizations are marketing IT Service and Support to their end users. Cory Rothman of Tiffany and Co. said “Treat your agents like the experts they are. They have the pulse of the business.” If you are looking for opportunities for end user training, your agents are a great place to start. Cory is also a strong advocate for personal scorecards, annual benchmarking, an open door to leadership and managing phantom IT support. Finally, Cory’s peek inside the blue box revealed an incredible internal marketing tool called BlueTube. Tiffany’s IT department broadcasts on TVs throughout the building to stay top of mind, push out important announcements and offer tips for things like password resets. How cool is that? Build Intelligence into Customer Surveys – Andrew Gilliam said “Over time, absolute resolution (AR) empowers anticipatory service.” We’ve all heard of FCR, but who here measures AR? This metric can be calculated by adding a question to the front of your survey. For example: “Would you like us to contact you to address any concerns or unresolved issues?” If the user answers yes, the survey ends, the Service Desk is notified and a skilled agent reaches back out to resolve the issue. If the user answers no, the survey continues. To see it in action, check out AndyTG.com/HDI. World-Class Performance is Meaningful and Achievable – I recently read Ben Brennan’s book. It’s a great read, but there is one bold statement I couldn’t really agree with. I won’t quote it because, full disclosure, Ben’s book uses pretty colorful language, but essentially he claims that World-Class status is meaningless. Now call me old fashioned, but if something has a clear methodology and definition, it’s absolutely not meaningless. Jeff Rumburg addressed this very statement in his breakout session when he said “Everyone talks about World-Class, but no one knows what it means… Until now. World-Class IT Service and Support organizations are ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction compared to a comparable peer group (high quality), ranked in the bottom quartile for cost compared to a comparable peer group (low cost), follow industry best practices, and achieve an ROI greater than 100%.” Jeff also added level -2 to the Shift-Left chart… That was a big hit in his first session at HDI 2019! I hope one or more of these transformation initiatives resonate with you. If you’re looking for more highlights, this thread is proof that the HDI Conference lives on after the closing keynote! Finally, let’s not forget to celebrate! So many deserving individuals were honored at HDI 2019. Congratulations to all the award winners and nominees and a special shout out to Roy Atkinson – HDI’s 2019 Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award Winner! What an incredible way to celebrate – on stage with Vanilla Ice! If you missed HDI 2019, I would encourage you to purchase the audio recordings and plan to attend for Support World Live in 2020!