The HR Service Center from an IT Perspective – A Trip Back in Time

After last week’s post to the HR community about how the delivery of services to customers from IT and HR in many ways are similar, I was reminded of their similarities directly. In an attempt to file some benefit information I was not able to access a document on the HR system. I called the number for the HR Service Center and after being transferred through a few “technicians” it was determined that this was an IT issue. The HR analyst I was dealing with told me they would transfer me over to the IT support line where I could be helped. While waiting for what seemed to be forever the connection was completed and I spoke to the IT support technician? The unfortunate part was that I had to start all over again since there was no detailed record of the question/answer session that was completed. After I got my issue sorted out I asked the IT support technician why the HR information wasn’t transferred with the call. She proceeded to tell me that it’s not just that they don’t use the same ‘ticketing’ system as IT but it’s that they really don’t track work in that way at all from her understanding. I thanked her for the assistance and hung up the phone.

Interesting, I thought to myself, that this was what the Service Desk may have been like in its infancy. While I felt as though the HR team handled the call, transfer and general information in an adequate way I wondered if there really was no record of this transaction.


The questions then came to me in a flood as I sat there. But the one that held the most weight in my mind was how would are they able to improve on their service delivery if they don’t have some insight into what they are doing or have done currently?


I went up a few floors to see my friend in HR and asked this very question. He mentioned that they have been doing things this way here for a while and it works pretty well.


“How can you know that?” I asked
“Well, no one complains, people seem pretty content with the service” he shrugged
“IT doesn’t get any complaints, but we still look to validate our performance” I added
“That’s because not everyone bothers to tell IT when something sucks after a while” he blurted. It was then that his laughter turned into a realization that he may be talking about HR in the same light.


Seeing that a light bulb had appeared on his face I went on to ask him about how they manage the flow of getting the same calls over and over again. While IT still faces many challenges with this even now, we work hard to reduce those repeat calls to streamline service response. He indicated that they work really hard with the communications group to post reference information and send emails about new benefits or HR functionalities to minimize “question call” as he put it. He even went on to admit that they may almost have too much information for the callers to sift through so they may even end up just calling or emailing the HR service Center rather than looking for it.


I explained that IT certainly doesn’t have all the answers in managing the way the Service Center managed call flows but we have found ways to identify the constraints on the flow in a way which we could quantify a solution and show value on implementing it. We decided to get together and look closer at where we may be able to make things easier for the folks in the HR Service Center.


I love feedback and questions, leverage my service management experiences. Let me know about how your HR Department manages these escalations and what has worked and what has not.


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