How do you categorize behavioral skills to allocate tickets to qualified staff?

Amy Lifschitz
Amy Lifschitz Senior Manager, Customer Support Services Learning & DevelopmentMember

We are looking for frameworks/schema/approaches that other complex support organizations have used to categorize behavioral skills.

In our case, we’ve developed a unified technical skills matrix that organizes competencies into proficiency bands, with specific skills in each. We aggregate competency bands to form technical segments, and then allocate tickets based on support engineers’ qualifications against those bands.

We’d like to take a similar approach with behavioral skills, as well as knowledge of particular tools and SOPs. We'd love to learn from others’ experiences. What recommendations and warnings do you have?

Answers

  • David Perrault
    David Perrault VP Product Support and Customer Care Founding Analyst | Expert ✭✭✭

    @Amy Lifschitz I toyed with this a few years back but it got mostly used for personal skills development. How do you intend for that soft skills matrix to be used? Do you have examples in mind how it could be used for tickets assignment?

  • Amy Lifschitz
    Amy Lifschitz Senior Manager, Customer Support Services Learning & Development Member

    @David Perrault thanks for your response and great question. We want to make sure that our support engineers are fully trained and qualified to deliver outstanding service to our customers. So, for example, we might want to make sure that a support engineer had demonstrated an appropriate level of business acumen in a particular industry before they are allocated tickets from that industry. Or we might want to ensure they had demonstrated a certain level of verbal or written communication proficiency before allocating them tickets from one of our largest customers.

  • David Perrault
    David Perrault VP Product Support and Customer Care Founding Analyst | Expert ✭✭✭

    All valuable goals - you can add soft skills such as language, listening skills and empathy as well. However, practically, I expect most support organisations to be running a tight workload vs headcount policy; hence, in reality, tickets will continue to be assigned primarily based on technical-fit and resource availability.

    Moreover, your staff might not appreciate to have their soft skills levels "published" for all to see. These are much more personal competences.

  • Amy Lifschitz
    Amy Lifschitz Senior Manager, Customer Support Services Learning & Development Member

    Great points @David Perrault, thanks!

  • Steven Forth
    Steven Forth Managing Partner Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    Hi @Amy Lifschitz This is one of my passions. We operate a large skill and competency management platform with team building functionality. We can support many different skill categorization systems, but here is our default. We do not use a category of soft skills as it is not very meaningful or actionable. The categories we support are

    Foundational skills - the skills used to develop or apply other skills

    Business skills - the skill uses to conduct business

    Social skills - the skills used to work with other people

    Technical skills - the STEM skills used in engineering and related fields

    Design skills - the skills needed to innovate and come up with new designs and solutions

    Tools - the specific tools and versions used

    Domain - knowledge domains

    Language - human languages like English or Portuguese

    People can also tag themselves with location and industry tags.

    In the same system, we also track what roles a person has played, what projects they have worked on and who they have worked with.

    People have control over what is visible on their profile and over what skills they allow into their profile, but the underlying algorithms for search and team building look at all of the data available.

    Happy to go deeper into this as we are just scratching the surface.

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