IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

Help Desk

international help desk support
  • 13 Jun 2016
SITS 16 takeaways: Service Desk and IT Support Show
Last week we attended SITS 16, the Service Desk and IT Support Show for industry professionals, at Kensington Olympia. It was a great opportunity to meet up with familiar faces, chat to partners and network with new ones. With nearly half of IT Professionals looking to upgrade their current Service Desk solution in the next 24 months, today’s blog brings you the latest industry insights from the show. As this year’s winners of Best Managed Service Desk at the Service Desk Institute’s annual IT Service & Support Awards, it was great to catch up with their Directors and Research team at the Service Desk Institute‘s stand. We enjoyed speaking about the latest developments in our Help Desk team and to our technology – especially App Academy. App Academy is an online e-learning platform used by our customers to learn best practice by way of our applications to increase operational efficiency. As noted in the SDI’s latest benchmarking report, self-service usage has increased to 81%, and so is a valuable tool for our Help Desk customers to increase their knowledge and self-deliver simple fixes. As a forward thinking business, invested in the quality of our service delivery, we would highly recommend entering the SDI Awards. The awards process really helped us to identify our key areas for development, part of our continuous improvement process that is embedded in our team’s DNA. As well as complementing our improvement, the Awards have played a key part in our Help Desk culture, providing the team with a huge boost. The Award is a well-deserved recognition for their work in supporting the leading UK retail and hospitality businesses worldwide. Here are some of our key takeaways from the Expo: Customer Satisfaction Did you know that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without ever interacting with a human? This notable statistic is research from Gartner, shared by Hannah Price from TOPdesk UK in her seminar on customer satisfaction metrics. With interaction on the decline, it’s more important than ever to engage your customer in the most relevant way possible, and customer feedback is one of the most important assets any business can tap into. That’s why we’re committed to sharing the results of our Help Desk customers’ feedback, in order to show where we’re improving based on their experiences. In summer, we’re holding a Help Desk Advisory Board with one of our most high profile hospitality customers, a leading UK coffee chain, in order to truly understand how they use the service, and how we can develop together to support their business objectives. Top 3 takeaways for a successful customer satisfaction survey? 1) Time it right – avoid busy periods, as these solicit a poor response rate 2) Talk the same language – avoid jargon and make questions easy to answer 3) Spread the good news – communicate the survey results to encourage a proactive culture and inspire confidence in the service Innovation, innovation, innovation The message from many industry experts and service…
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IT Help Desk
  • 5 Oct 2015
IT Service Week 2015: Vote for our Help Desk!
This week, we’re participating in the Service Desk Institute’s IT Service Week, running from 5th to 9th October. It’s a great chance to showcase our Help Desk for providing brilliant support to our customers 24 x 7 x 365. There’s also a prize and trophy up for grabs from the SDI, so we’re encouraging our Help Desk customers to vote for us to become the Top IT Service Desk of 2015, by filling in this quick 2 minute survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VR2ZRFB. So, what are the top 5 reasons you should vote for our IT Help Desk to be Top IT Service Desk? 1) Our Help Desk is UK based, at our Head Office Support Centre in Nottingham, but our multilingual call analysts speak 7 languages and support over 200 international stores. We are supporting our customers in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Portuguese and Hungarian. Our customer Karen Millen experienced a 55% reduction in problem resolution time overseas just 6 months after using our dedicated multilingual service. 2) Our unique service provision benefits from call analysts with front-line retail and hospitality experience. They understand our customers’ problems first hand, and how critical the impact of issues like till downtime can be. We’re supporting big retail and hospitality brands such as Vue Cinemas, Cath Kidston, Karen Millen and more. 3) 24 x 7 x 365  support: customers are truly supported around the clock for peace of mind that their systems are up and running when they need it most. This not only means that out of hours and non-standard trading hours are covered, but global time difference is also no issue. 4) We provide a single point of contact, for 100% visibility of IT issues from one single source, regardless of where they are throughout your business. Our customers experience faster resolution times due to this trusted and transparent relationship. 5) Perhaps our proudest asset to date: we were an SDI Awards Finalist in our first year of entering this year, for the category of Best Managed Service Desk. We’re looking forward to next year’s Awards after implementing continual improvements to our service levels, and the accolade is important to us as an industry body that we set our standards by. The title of Top IT Service Desk during IT Service Week would mean a lot to our teams. Of course, it wouldn’t be fun without prizes! So, over the course of the week, we’ll be closely monitoring our SLAs, and rewarding the teams who have the lowest average ring time, and have closed the most incidents. As part of the celebrations we will also end the week with “Pizza Hut Friday” to say “thank you” to the whole team, getting in pizzas for all on the Help Desk to enjoy for their hard work and 24×7. If you’re a customer of our Help Desk, or want to nominate a service desk superhero, just follow this link to a quick 2 minute survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VR2ZRFB  – it would mean a lot to the…
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1 million Help Desk calls
  • 10 Aug 2015
Celebrating 1 million calls: The Help Desk’s golden ticket and golden years
Last week was all about our special Golden Ticket Event, celebrating 1 million calls to our Help Desk. To celebrate this million milestone, we hid Golden Tickets in chocolate bars for our employees to find, in Nottingham, Northampton, London and Stanton Harcourt. It was a tasty treat for all, and our lucky winners received a special Golden Ticket prize. Vue Cinemas Westfield, who made call 1 million, were also rewarded with some champagne for their contribution to the milestone. However, there’s more to this event than first meets the eye. It’s not about the chocolate, the prizes, or even Willy Wonka… We wanted to thank and recognise each member of our team, the people who make the great relationships with our customers possible, and power customer engagement with big international brands 24×7. The Help Desk is really at the centre of our operations, allowing us to provide retail IT support internationally in multiple languages, work with customers across the globe, and provide critical support at all hours. You might not know that when the Help Desk came into being, in 1999, the two original team members that manned the desk and took that very first call, are still working for Retail Assist today. And when the team expanded after Retail Assist’s first retail contract was made with Adams (a childrenswear retailer), and the numbers went from 2 to 6 analysts, these members are also still here. They’ve worked with numerous customers, and changed offices twice, from Cabourn House in Bingham, to East Street in Bingham, to Friar Lane in Nottingham, where they still work today. This isn’t just nostalgia: it really speaks volumes for the development the Help Desk has experienced, and the talent and dedication these people have given back to the business. The original members of the Help Desk now work in Store Systems, Store Development, have taken up positions as Project Managers, and even in Sales. And the pattern has continued, as this video below demonstrates. Our Store Development Analyst, Jahmel, also started out as a young rookie on the Help Desk. Retail Assist values our people as our best asset, and The Help Desk is the talent pool of our company. From 2 members in 1999, we now have over 50 analysts taking around 600 calls a day, communicating in 7 international languages, and supporting over 5000 stores (over 200 of which are international). So, to our employees old and new, a big RA ‘thank you’, and we hope you’ve enjoyed our first 1 million milestone!…
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Help Desk 1 million calls
  • 3 Aug 2015
A special Golden Ticket for the Help Desk
As you may have read in our latest Retail Assist news piece, we’ve just marked a very special ‘million milestone’ as a business. Late last week, out-of-hours at around 9pm, our IT Help Desk received its MILLIONTH call – our very own Golden Ticket. Vue Cinemas was the customer that made call number 1,000,000, the international cinema chain we’ve been supporting since 2009. The significance of the call is a testament to how we’ve developed since the company’s inception in 1999. From 1 IT support call to 1 million, the Help Desk is integral to the Managed Services we provide. Supporting brands across the world, our service desk provision is truly international; not only are our call analysts multilingual, providing support in 7 languages, but our 24x7x365 cover means time differences and out-of-hours trading are never a problem for the retailers and hospitality operators we work with. As a thank you to the Retail Assist teams that work 24×7 to support our customers trading in an omnichannel world, powering customer engagement anytime, anywhere, we’re having a company-wide Golden Ticket event. We’ll be sending each one of our employees a special chocolate delivery, and a lucky person from each of our UK offices, in Nottingham, Northampton, London and Stanton Harcourt, will be the winner of an RA Golden Ticket! Look out for these winners on our Twitter page this week, using the hashtag #GoldenTicket. At Retail Assist, we strongly believe that Our People are our most valuable asset. Next week, our ‘million milestone’ blog will focus on some of the people who have contributed to the Help Desk’s growth and development since we began, allowing us to achieve our Golden 1 millionth call ticket. The Help Desk is the talent pool of our organisation; strongly believing in personal development and internal opportunity, some of our longest serving members began at Retail Assist working on the Help Desk. In fact, the call analyst that took the millionth call is one of them. Find out more next week, and here’s to the next million!…
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Customer Engagement by Retail Assist2
  • 20 Jul 2015
Customer Engagement Powered By Retail Assist
Our Help Desk is the hub that powers customer engagement with big name brands 24×7, across the globe. On a typical day out, see how your customer experience is supported in different retail and hospitality outlets, with our “Big Day Out” infographic:     We play a behind-the-scenes support role for all the brands featured, to ensure that their IT systems are supported to enable them to provide the best experience for their customers. Across the various touchpoints in these stores (e.g. tills in bars, coffee shops, cinemas, retail stores; inventory management systems in retail stores; ordering systems in restaurants), our Help Desk has the expert knowledge to support them for optimum performance, and coordinate incident management when things go wrong, which is critical during busy periods. And it’s not just everything you see on this page, as the journey goes beyond this. We like to think that by powering great customer engagement for brands across various business sectors, our support model enables brands to develop better relationships with more loyal customers. Recent research has shown that shoppers in particular go shopping to enjoy the end to end experience of the visit, rather than having a specific product in mind. For example, say that in the Karen Millen store pictured in our Day Out roadmap (we even support their stores in Europe, in multiple languages), one of their till systems went down, consider the impact that this might have in-store for keen shoppers. Queues, stressed staff, and a bad payment experience. Sometimes enough to put a damper on the day out.. If you can’t recover quickly enough from till downtime, consider the size of the impact that this could have in relation to lost sales, by customers abandoning their baskets. Research reveals that the longer your customers spend queueing, the less likely they are to commit to making a purchase. A survey conducted for Barclaycard discovered that 40 per cent of us refuse to queue for longer than two minutes, and 51 per cent of shoppers refuse to even enter a store if they spy a queue. Our expert Help Desk call analysts work 24x7x365 to manage incidents like till downtime, resolve them as quickly as possible, and prevent them from reoccurring. So, next time you grab a coffee, buy some new clothes, order pizza, watch a film, or go out for a drink, we might just be behind the scenes to make your big day out run smoothly.  …
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CEO Managed Services
  • 4 May 2015
Are you losing customers’ lifetime basket value?
Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, examines the losses retailers experience due to poor IT systems support. It’s not just lost sales that damage a business, but the impact of negative customer experience. Picture the scene, it’s a busy Saturday in-store, with customers forming a heavy queue at both till points, excited to make new purchases. There is the potential for a huge surge in sales. But without warning, one of your till systems goes down. With only one working till and very agitated customers, not only does this reflect negatively on your level of service, but it has been estimated that losses due to till downtime could work out in the thousands. Would you have the right support in place in this situation, to get your systems back up and running before such cost damage could occur? If you can’t recover quickly enough from till downtime, consider the size of the impact that this could have in relation to lost sales, by customers abandoning their baskets. Research reveals that the longer your customers spend queueing, the less likely they are to commit to making a purchase. A survey conducted for Barclaycard discovered that 40 per cent of us refuse to queue for longer than two minutes, and 51 per cent of shoppers refuse to even enter a store if they spy a queue. Customers never used to be this impatient, however with the convenience that Internet shopping and click-and-collect delivery provides, customers’ patience in-store is wearing thin. The art of quintessential ‘British’ queuing is lost on the time-poor consumer; perceived waiting time and inconvenience at the purchase stage of the shopping journey are key predictors of shopping cart abandonment. Stuart Neal, head of contactless payment at Barclaycard, commented: “Our research shows that consumers are much less willing to stand in line compared to six years ago and it would seem that as the Internet has become more popular among shoppers, impatience with queuing has increased.” Neal concludes: “Used to buying without delay, customers are even abandoning purchases rather than waiting their turn.” In the face of big queues and inconvenience due to technical issues, it is likely that you have lost that customer’s potential purchase. But it is not just the single basket value that should be taken into account. A bad customer experience could also damage the longevity of the relationship with the brand: and the size of a lifetime basket is much more detrimental to lose. With thousands of pounds worth of lost revenue on the line, having your IT system correctly supported is fundamental, especially during periods of increased uptime. As an example, one of our customers transacted £8.55 per till per minute on average. Using 15 tills during busy periods means that their total revenue is £7,695 per hour, and that’s just in store. By having the right support in place it helps to eliminate the risks of till downtime and other systems-related problems that negatively impact service during busy periods. This not only gives…
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