May 24, 2018
When I presented keynote addresses at two recent events, I was approached by men and women who introduced themselves as “I’m just the IT guy” or “I’m just the audiovisual person” Just?? Without these individuals, my programs might have crashed and burned due to technology issues.
They are in high demand with their internal customers and they also have a high impact on the external customers. Yet, in many organizations, the IT professionals are not required to participate in customer service or communication skills training. I was chatting with an IT pro the other day and he said, “I’ve never received any customer service or communication skills training. All the training I received was in dimly lit rooms staring at computer screens. I get so nervous when I need to meet with employees because I’m not sure how to handle their frustrations or explain things to them.”
Technology skills alone are not enough to equip IT pros to succeed in their jobs. These individuals handle high-stress and high-impact situations many times each day. They need to be equipped with skills to diffuse anger, communicate change, explain procedures and build solid relationships with co-workers and external customers.
5 Ways IT Professionals Can Deliver Cutting-Edge Service:
Recognize that employees and co-workers are your primary customers.
The way you interact with each employee profoundly affects the way they are able to do their jobs. This impacts the company’s image and relationships with external customers.
Eliminate the jargon.
Speak in a language that your customers understand. Throwing around technical terms and computer jargon will create barriers between you and your customers. You could be perceived as condescending and cold. Never assume that your customer knows (or wants to know) what you know about your job.
Don’t jump to conclusions about your customers’ needs until you’ve completely heard them out. Computer problems cause stress and fear in people who do not have technology training. Sometimes your customer just needs an opportunity to vent his or her frustrations and fears.
Most of your customers will need to ask you very basic questions in order to understand how to resolve a computer problem. Take time to explain, and then re-explain until you’re confident that your customer fully understands what he or she needs to do.
If your customer has had a serious technology problem or is implementing new software, a follow-up phone call or visit will show that person that you genuinely care about the importance of their work. IT professionals are now the front-line customer service reps for many organizations.