Business and IT training courses from QA

News Corp

Whilst News Corp's service desk provided great levels of technical support, it wanted this to be matched with great levels of customer service. To achieve this, News Corp turned to QA for a customer service course tailored to the challenges of the service desk environment.

The Challenge

As the publisher behind three of the UK's most popular papers (The Sun,The Times, The Sunday Times), it is important that News Corps's business runs smoothly. As the main point of communication between the business and its IT infrastructure, News Corp's service desk plays a crucial role. With over 5,000 employees relying on its support, News Corp wanted to ensure the service desk's technical expertise was complemented by the soft skills necessary to deliver high levels of service.

To this end, News Corp turned to QA for a customer service course to improve the service desk's interaction with its internal customers. As the team operates 24/7, disruption had to be kept to a minimum.

Whilst you need a good level of technical skills within a service desk, softer skills are just as important.

Paul O’Connell

Service Operations Manager | News Corp

The Solution

News Corp's QA Account Manager worked with key stakeholders to scope its exact requirements. Once defined, the Account Manager identified a course outline for a two day customer service course previously delivered against a similar requirement. Whilst it was agreed that the majority of the content matched News Corp's requirements, the need to minimise disruption called for a reduced course duration. As such, our Learning Consultants worked with News International to tailor the content down to a single day specifically relevant to its business.

To tailor the content as closely as possible to the service desk environment, QA liaised with the service desk managers to introduce specific language and examples into the course, including the service desk's greeting, wrap-up routine, and customer-service charter.

The course was geared towards telephone and email communication. As well as giving attendees guidance on how to handle difficult situations, it also focused on questioning and listening skills that would help the service desk to capture information in a constructive and sympathetic manner. The course incorporated opportunities for attendees to share any issues they had faced in their roles and discuss how these could be handled differently.

Once the content had been finalised, to further minimise disruption the one day outline was broken into two half-day sessions, delivered two weeks apart. This had a number of benefits:

  • Individuals were only away from their roles for half a day at a time
  • Attendees could try techniques between sessions and give feedback in the second session
  • As attendees returned to their desks after each session, the learning was carried directly into the workplace

The course was delivered to 20 attendees comprising the key contact points between the business and its IT: the service desk, its team leaders and managers, and a number of other functions surrounding the service desk.

News Corp

News Corp publishes The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times.

In terms of growth, share, circulation and reader engagement, the Company’s titles are among the world’s most successful.

The Outcome

The reaction to the training has been extremely positive and News Corp has observed both short-term and long-term benefits of the course:

  • Short-term: News Corp has reported that service desk staff returned to their desks and immediately began implementing what they had learned, particularly around listening/questioning techniques and greetings
  • Long-term: the service desk has already begun re-structuring some elements of its service in response to the training, which will be implemented going forward

News Corp has commented that the service desk now provides a more customer-focused experience, rather than a process-led operation.

It wasn't a run of the mill course. It was very much about the theoretical levels of customer service and delving a bit deeper. Everyone felt that it was of value and that they could take elements of it and apply it to their day job immediately, as well as giving them things to take away and think about harder.

Paul O’Connell

Service Operations Manager | News Corp

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