AsureQuality must be ready at any moment to carry out its role testing for food assurance and pest incursions.
One significant part of the New Zealand Government-owned organisation is its service desk, which helps AsureQuality’s team of food assurance experts to maintain a high standard of quality and safety in food in New Zealand.
When Lynn Cooper began five years ago as AsureQuality’s IT service delivery manager, she was given the task of reviewing the organisation’s service desk offering. She started by interviewing the staff.
“It was clear there was a lot of dissatisfaction with the service,” says Lynn.
“What service you got depended on who answered the phone. We also had service desk agents around the country, and they would tend to prioritise staff in their own office. People were trying to do the right thing and coming up with an unsatisfactory result.”
Lynn had a decision to make: attempt to rebuild AsureQuality’s in-house service desk support from the ground up or seek a partner who could help fulfil the function to a much higher standard, with room to scale up significantly when the workload demanded it.
She chose the latter and asked Datacom to support AsureQuality’s customer service desk – a move which introduced 24/7 support, seven days a week, for the first time.
We had service desk agents around the country, and they would tend to prioritise staff in their own office. People were trying to do the right thing and coming up with an unsatisfactory result.
The project started by building a large knowledge database of articles so staff with IT queries received the right support, no matter who took the call.
For staff, from those who work at their desks or in the field, like AsureQuality’s veterinarians testing animals on farms or its surveillance officers scanning barcodes on traps in the field, it meant technical support was now just a call away.
“Our veterinarians, auditors, and surveillance officers know a lot about animals and biosecurity issues, but they are not experts in technology. And they shouldn’t need to be,” says Lynn.
“At AsureQuality, we talk a lot about continuous improvement. Datacom lives and breathes that.
“After we switched over to the service desk, our service became quickly more consistent.
“Our people in Singapore and Melbourne were delighted. They can now enjoy the same support as everyone else in the company. This was something they hadn’t had before.”
From the knowledge database to the call logging software and calling platform, which connects to AsureQuality’s 0800 number, Datacom takes care of everything, with service desk agents able to resolve 80 per cent of issues on first contact.
AsureQuality and Datacom trust each other to make the right decisions. I am confident that whatever hour of the day it is, or whoever answers the phone, our people get quality service every time.
When call volumes for IT support doubled during the first weeks of New Zealand’s initial pandemic lockdown, Datacom was able to scale up to meet demand. That capability could prove crucial in the event of a major food-related incident.
The high-performing service desk has been integral to supporting AsureQuality’s change programme, which has seen several major technology upgrades, including a move from the GroupWise email and calendar platform to Office 365.
Now, when Lynn surveys staff about the service desk support they are getting, the feedback is very different. AsureQuality’s Net Promoter rating for IT support has gone from -10, in the bottom quartile of companies, to be consistently above 50, signalling the remarkable improvement in the quality of service.
“What has enabled this is the partnership with Datacom,” says Lynn.
“We trust each other to make the right decisions. I am confident that whatever hour of the day it is, or whoever answers the phone, our people get quality service every time.”