Kellie Whitney is the Director of Support Services at Cherwell Software™. We recently spoke with her about her role and why she thinks the service desk is a great career choice. As a company that develops service management software, we thought you may like to know about the people who run and manage Cherwell’s own service desks.
“My heart really is in support. I have so much respect for people who are at the frontline providing support.” ~Kellie Whitney
How did you get started in service management?
I started in the United States Air Force where I was a computer operator for 5.5 years. I learned technical skills, structure and how to effectively work with people. I then went to work for a large telecoms provider, working in a call centre. I spent nine years with this company working in various roles, including sales, sales training, customer service support and communications. I left to join a software company, where I transitioned a customer care team as part of a restructuring program. After a few years with this company, I became Director of Support and Customer Service.
When I started at Cherwell Software, I facilitated communications between the development and product teams and the rest of the company.
What do you like the most about your role?
What I like the most is working with a team and looking for the opportunities to improve the service we provide to our customers, so our customers are successful in serving their customers.
Tweet this: Are you looking for opportunities to improve the service you provide your customers? #ITSM #ServiceDesk
What skill set is key to performing your role well?
It’s very important to have good strategic thinking skills, to be able to do tactical execution and to also have high emotional intelligence as that’s how you connect with people. Everyone on Cherwell service desk teams have different personalities and different needs. The same is true for our customers.
What’s most challenging about your role?
Two things…being part of a fast growing company…and balancing our head count and resources to best meet the needs of our growing customer base.
What do you look for in a good service desk manager?
I look for someone with strong analytical skills, strong conflict management skills, and an ability to develop others.
What’s most challenging about being a service desk manager?
I think the most challenging thing is just keeping up with the variety of different issues going on all at once and shifting from one area of focus to another in a short amount of time.
What skills do you look for when recruiting service desk staff?
For 1st and 2nd level support positions, I look for someone with: 12-18 months service desk experience, a basic understanding of SQL, and some ITIL® framework training. But really a customer focus is key. I also look for someone who is sharp, wants to work hard, and desires continual improvement in their skills and career
For 2nd and 3rd level technical support analyst positions, I’m looking for someone who understands and will promote customer success. This type of person will need to understand customer requirements and think outside the box. It requires picking up managerial responsibilities, such as reporting and acting as a deputy manager when required. I look for someone with strong analytical skills, someone who is process oriented, can solve problems, and communicates well.
What makes working as part of a service desk team a great career choice?
Working on an IT service desk is such a feel-good job. You get a real sense of achievement. People work very hard on Cherwell’s service desk teams, and yes, it’s their job, but they’re also doing it for customers, partners, themselves and their colleagues, and that’s great. They have a real ‘can do’ attitude!
Is the service desk a great career choice?
Yes, especially for someone who has a strong desire to serve, to problem solve, and help others succeed. Also, it offers plenty of ways to stay challenged and it affords lots of opportunities and variety on a day-to-day basis.