An interview with the Head of the Helpdesk, Cristina Zannoni, after having received a Special Mention for the project from the Italian Banking Association for the Prize for Innovation 2015. (Italian only)

We have all had experiences of Helpdesks, some going way beyond our expectations, others far below the minimum standards expected. Imagine the challenge of unifying a series of internal helpdesks under one physical roof and alligning processes and mindset.

Impulse was consulted over turning around a situation in which a Financial Institution’s internal helpdesks were considered to be the worst departments to work in as well as the least appreciated by other members of staff.

The principal difficulties were defined as:

  • Demotivation of the call centre workforce
  • Perception of the Call Centre in the rest of the organisation
  • Unsatisfactory tools and methods for information management
  • Lack of a client/supplier rapport

Dissatisfaction with a current situation is a strong driver in any change initiative. However, when that situation has been established for many years, great effort needs to be made to show stakeholders involved that things really can be changed for the better.

The project was divided into two phases to allow the members of the Helpdesk to see the achievement of results in order to re-establish their faith in themselves and the surrounding organisation, before facing up to major challenges such as the introduction of new ways of working.

#1 Creation of a Unique Helpdesk

  • Sharing of Vision/Mission
  • Branding of the Helpdesk – including new location
  • Empowerment resources and consolidation of new culture

#2 Bridge to Quality

  • Reorganisation of products into product lines
  • Creation of Product Teams
  • Elimination of wastes and optimisation of workloads

The maintenance of solid, empathetic relations with all members of the Helpdesk and to empower the drivers, whether or not they were gerarchically recognised leaders, provided the critical mass of opinion shift from “We’ll never be able to do it!” to “We’re doing it!”, was a key element in turning the group around.

The change of environment, both physical and mental, provided evidence that things were changing. In particular, the total involvement of the members of the Helpdesk in its branding acted as a catalyst for the empowerment of the team and reappropriation of a sense of pride in their role.

With this renewed, well-grounded enthusiasm, the team was ready to deal with its more technical challenges.

It was truly a case of ‘from worst to first’.

  • First level contact resolution + 12%

  • Time for First level resolution – 43%

  • Average waiting time – 35%

  • Clients hanging up -26%

 For the Financial Institution:

  • Involvement and trust leads to empowerment.
  • Once empowered, give people the tools and guidance and they will achieve.

For Impulse:

  • Achieving results is not enough, particularly where poorly motivated teams are concerned – positive results need to be made highly visible and CELEBRATED.