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When Sticky Plasters become a Solution

By Dean Johnson, Support Analyst, Marval

Let’s be honest, we’ve all done this at some point: Something’s broken, or not implemented or applied properly in the first place, but instead of fixing it we improvise and find an instant bypass, a temporary solution to make things work. For example, when we painted that piece of furniture without cleaning its surface first – and it looked fantastic for a while, before starting chipping. Or when we glued the broken pieces of our child’s toy together, instead of using a screwdriver to repair it properly. Or when we decided to put all dirty laundry in the washing machine, instead of separating them (that actually could end up in a total disaster). At some point, we may have tried to make things work faster and easier for us at that particular point, without considering the long-lasting effect (or realizing that our temporary solution will probably not last for long). I am guilty as charged.

Often, “sticky plasters” become a solution (unfortunately, sometimes they become a permanent one). Instead of finding and applying the right therapy, we place a plaster on the problem and, miraculously, it seems to be cured (or fixed), at least for a while. This temporary solution moves our focus on something else and the real cause is never identified or addressed properly. And yes, this tends to lead to the same problem being repeated down the line.

If your Support Team is a busy one, there may be cases when your Analysts have opted for a “sticky plaster”. This can happen more often than you think - and it’s quite normal as well. Just think of an overwhelmed Analyst, who has to deal with an upset Customer who demands a fix – now. Or phones ringing continuously, with an enormous number of incoming requests piling up. Or incidents that should probably be escalated, but nobody was authorised to make the decision. Your stressed Analysts would probably try to find a quick and easy fix to keep the Customers happy and at the same time reduce the work overload. But this quick and easy fix may not last for long, and you should expect disappointed Customers calling back to report the same issue.

So how do we find the right balance between keeping the Customer satisfied and managing the requests properly? The answer is in the process. By adopting well designed processes (and employing the right technology to support them), organizations can strengthen their customer-centric approach while improving performance.

Fix it properly, fix it once: it’s not a secret recipe, it’s only common sense. It’s also what we do here at Marval’s Global Service Desk, being assisted by a solid customer-centric culture, great processes and the advanced functionality that Marval MSM provides.

 

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