Higher Education Event Resources

Higher Education Event Resources – 16 November 2018

Thank you for attending our event in Leeds and contributing to the discussions.


We had a fantastic day listening to stories from our speakers, insight from our sponsors and thoughtful input from everyone in the room, hosted by SDI’s Tom West-Robinson in Cloth Hall Court kindly provided by Leeds Beckett University.


If you’d like to revisit any of the speakers’ content you can download the presentations below:

  Alex Allen, Leeds Beckett University 

  Antonia Jones & Gavin Scott, University of Leeds 

  Martin Putwain, University of Manchester

  Martina Holubcova & Kate Carrington, Manchester Metropolitan University 

Service Desk Certification

Some of our speakers mentioned the Service Desk Certification (SDC) programme as part of their improvement or transformation journey – watch this short video for a quick overview, or take a look at our SDC success story case studies for more examples of how becoming certified has benefited other organisations.


Workshop Takeaways

The group workshop discussed common challenges and considerations that you identified around key areas for today’s Higher Education service desk. Here’s a summary:

  1. Turning off email & self-service adoption
  • Focus on the user – keep them involved throughout. Think about the user experience
  • Ask for and use feedback at ALL stages
  • Make self-service the most attractive option! Make sure it works
  • Turning off email – ‘just do it!’ (can work for some)
  • Needs to be one message from the top – consistent
  • Promote and communicate the what, why, when, and the benefits
  • React and adapt
  • Commit (prepare thoroughly then go for it)
2. Senior Management buy-in
  • Get to know your senior manager – their priorities, motivations and style. Understand how they think
  • Use accurate data to back up your proposal / request and present it in a clear, usable and engaging way
  • Tailor your message to your audience
  • Use a steering group to drive further interaction and business involvement
  • Have compromise options / negotiating ideas ready – have a plan B
  • Demonstrate the value – consider running an event
  • Explain your reasons and be open about what you’re trying to achieve and why
  • Tie your plans in with the wider vision and mission of the department or business

3. Measuring customer satisfaction and perception

  • Consider how to get a balanced view from different groups but also macro v micro – annual survey, events based, plus individual accounts
  • Do some face to face feedback sessions to get human view
  • Don’t underestimate the value of negative feedback – ensure it’s not repressed or ignored, acknowledge and use it to drive improvements
  • Make sure you follow up on feedback and be transparent with customers / stakeholders

4. Future technologies

  • Live chat / chat bots – can increase efficiencies by running 3 or 4 conversations at a time, but be careful of quality
  • Have to prepare really well before launching in to – a good knowledge base is critical
  • Think about integration possibilities – look at developments in the consumer support world and think about how you could start to emulate / get inspiration for thinking differently about service delivery

5. Shifting left

  • Buy-in at all levels is critical
  • Explain the benefits to each group and allay their particular fears
  • Be wary of over-eager people too as this can mean they have different motivations
  • Get everybody on board first as far as possible but also ensure you have data from the start so that when you begin you can quickly start to show the proof of concept


Discover how SDI can help you move forward by taking a look at our Service Improvement Plans.




Thanks to our event sponsors:


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