A Day in the Life of….

Lorraine Mason, Service Desk Manager at eir Business Solutions NI tells NI Business Now what her day looks like from sunrise to sunset.


Before I am out of bed, I usually check my email for updates from on-call engineers during the night. I go for a power walk before leaving the house at 7:20am – I have an English springer spaniel that needs plenty of exercise!


Our Service Desk staff are a single point of contact managing incidents, service requests and change requests. When shifts begin, I update agents on outstanding issues and allocate duties within the Service Desk mail box. We think a service team should be proactive more than reactive and we pride ourselves in the fact that 80% of our calls are outbound. Not your typical service desk!


Service Desk agents then check the eir monitoring tools to review availability and performance of our customers’ networks. They raise new & update open incidents. If there are any major incidents where a client’s connectivity is affected, priority is placed on communications with clients, eir key stakeholders, and often third parties. As of late with frequent bad weather conditions, this involves contact with NIE to know if there are power outages. We continue to monitor such cases throughout the morning and ensure customers are kept updated with Expected Time of Repair.


After briefing the final Service Desk shift, I meet with Service Managers. We review clients’ business-as-usual queries, ongoing projects and areas of concern. In turn I update the Service Desk team as I firmly believe knowledge is power within my team and this ensures that the client gets the best in customer service. There is no time wasted being passed around from agent to agent. All our Service Desk agents, and our NOC engineers, are ITIL v3 qualified so they have the knowledge and skill needed to deal with customer requirements – first time every time.


The best part of working in the city centre is close proximity to everything. On Fridays I like nothing better that a wonder around St George’s Market, local stalls and grab a crepe on the way back to the office.


As incidents are resolved, we run checks, accessing the client’s router and ensuring all services are running as expected before contacting the customer and closing the item. It’s not unusual for a telco to experience faults – when we do, we take the opportunity to give the best in customer service. Most of the time, we have incidents resolved before customers have even noticed! We work to defined metrics and it’s our job to meet those. Most of our customers have detailed SLAs in place and we credit customers proactively if we fail to meet those.

Throughout a typical day, I liaise with all members of the service management chain. Whatever needs to be done to ensure smooth running of our customers’ business. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) and Service Desk are both located in our premises in Belfast’s Forsyth House, as are our Service Managers. There is huge benefit to having us in the same building and located where customers can come and meet the full team. That’s one of the big advantages of being based locally!


The afternoons are when I take time to coach staff, particularly where they have upcoming exams. We have a huge homegrown approach to skills development and currently have two apprentices employed. One of our team, James Kirkpatrick, recently passed ICT apprenticeship and was nominated for Apprentice of the Year from his lecturers and manager.

I am also part of the CSR team and we meet weekly. We discuss Health & Well Being, upcoming staff talks ‘Meet the Expert’ and Charity contributions. I have recently been nominated to meet with the Special Olympics team to discuss what we can do as a company to support the charity. Last year, we raised over £12k for Friends of the Cancer Centre!


As the first Service Desk shift draw to a close, I begin updates with the team members. I generally leave the office at 6pm. Given the nature of my job and the fact that we have on-call engineers working through the night, I check emails again between 9pm and 10pm before I go to bed to ensure everything is acted on.


This interview was published in NI Business Now http://www.nibusinessnow.co.uk/life-at-eir-business-solutions/