Emory Report

February 16, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 21

Technology Source:

Call center streamlines help desk functions across University

Information Technology Divison's Customer Support Center (CSC) aims to be a vital resource for desktop computer users at Emory. Since August 1997, CSC's Jean McGraw and Karla Fields have transformed desktop technical support from a series of small, independent help desks to a single centralized department serving the entirecampus.

The call center provides immediate solutions to desktop-related technical problems. Call center staff reflect CSC's overall commitment to the most efficient and customer-friendly service possible that meets the short- and long-term information and technical needs of Emory.

The call center has expanded its operations over the last six months by hiring six full-time and 10 part-time technical specialists. Staff members are trained to answer questions ranging from "How do I check my e-mail from home?" to "How do I reformat my hard drive?" As a measure of their success, call center representatives succeed in resolving more than 92 percent of all desktop technical support calls from the Emory community. And while the majority of these problems are solved over the phone, faculty, staff and students may also schedule appointments at the call center or read online manuals at <www.emory.edu/ITD/HELP>.

With a volume of more than 1,000 calls a week, the call center relies heavily on the ITD call-tracking system, SupportMagic. Implemented last fall, the system allows staff to track the problem and resolution of every technical support call-preventing even a single call from falling through the cracks. The statistics and reports generated from SupportMagic help to spot trends in technical problems around the University. Furthermore, technical support representatives can easily view the details of any problem ever logged onto the system and see the problem's solution. This prevents asking customers to repeat the details of their problem and generates a quicker resolution.

Although much has been accomplished, McGraw and Fields foresee even greater levels of service and technical expertise provided through the call center. They have visited other leading universities to benchmark their technical support centers' efforts and innovation. Nevertheless, CSC considers its callers the most valuable source for learning how to grow with the needs of the Emory community.

CSC hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to midnight, Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to midnight. Call 404-727-7777 or send e-mail to <help@emory.edu> for more information.

Ashley Gibbs is desktop specialist at the Customer Support Center.

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