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Helpdesks Should Have Hearts and Minds...and FMs Ought to Know Better

19 June 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970

OK let's deal with the photo of the signage taken  in the gents loos at ExCel and ask the question - if you know this surface gets wet when slippery why put it in a place where it's going to get wet and slippery? If however, you simply feel like adding yet another 'don't sue me sign' perhaps you should word it so you don't make yourself look quite so stupid.


Now on with the show

Propertyserve's Ian Robertson believes that helpdesk 'partners' need to shatter the call centre image.

He said: "Over the last 10 years, the role of the FM has changed significantly. Today, they are involved in increasing amounts of admin, which is eating into the time they have to carry out the more practical elements of their job.

"Helpdesks have become a necessity for the busy FM - helping them to properly serve tenants and property portfolios. I have Five Golden Rules when it comes to outsourcing a helpdesk:

Use helpdesks not call centres. Call centres are volume-driven, can be impersonal with poor service levels, have a

high staff turnover, and are often accused of being faceless. Frontline operators in a helpdesk need to be empowered and to take ownership of situations. They need to understand their sector and to enjoy the work they do.

"Rule to is information is power. An operator has to have knowledge about the site they are working with, along with the tenant's demises and the applicable contractors. The helpdesk has to become an integral part of the FM's day-to-day role. Inaccurate information can be harmful.

"Next on the list is understanding an FM's business. Helpdesks need to understand the businesses they are working with and they need to appreciate the expectations of the FM. Spend limits should be introduced to help control costs.


Rule 4 - dedicating a team

"A helpdesk has to develop relations with the FM and to constantly engage with them. Operators should be trained to understand FM terms and concepts. Motivation levels should remain high and this should be reflected by higher salaries being offered. When procuring a helpdesk, always check the calibre of staff and the turnover ratios.

Finally, ensure intelligent implementation - helpdesk operators should be encouraged to meet with the FM and to break down barriers. Success will be borne out of strong communication."

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 19 June 2014


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