By Chad Knaus – System Engineer

Listen up and you are sure to hear new technology buzzwords going around – the Cloud, AI, cybersecurity, the Internet of things (IoT), just to name a few. Sometimes I think those of us responsible for supporting technology get caught up in the hype and lose sight of the core reason our jobs exist. Technology’s main purpose is to make our lives easier (even though sometimes it feels like it does just the opposite). If technology is meant to make things easier or faster, those supporting technology are there to make sure that happens. If you think about our responsibilities, we are here to cultivate a positive experience for our end-users with the technology they interact with. This is true if you are pulling cables in a datacenter or engaging with data analytics to improve business performance.

I am a huge advocate of focusing on customer experience in everything I do. Some of my time is spent analyzing reports and monitoring for threats to make sure our customers have secure environments. But if I focus only on the security software, chances are I might leave my customers less than happy. Here is a list I have compiled of things to consider if you are an IT pro who wants to deliver an exceptional experience for your customer (i.e., the user of the technology you support). If you focus on the experience with technology, you will be considered a rock star – and somebody everyone wants to work with!

  • Put Yourself in Their Shoes – When you are assigned a ticket for an end-user problem, chances are the person on the other end is frustrated. Regardless if it is a simple issue, a user-created issue, or something complex that will require engaging vendor support, it is impacting someone’s ability to do their job. We have all been in this position at some point and the experience is better if we engage with a sympathetic support person - one who seems to truly care about the undesirable situation we are in. Before you respond, put yourself in their shoes to get an idea of what they might be going through and make sure they know you care when you respond.

 

  • Communication Skills Are a Must – Your ability to properly communicate with those you interact with is critical. As IT pros, we engage with everything imaginable – from overseas support that presents language barriers to irate executives who wonder why it takes so long to complete projects. In these situations, it is important to communicate instead of react. Patience is a virtue – and it will be tested, but sharp communication skills (verbal and written) will help you through the rough times.

 

  • Set (and Deliver on) Expectations – We often find ourselves in a jam because we have not set proper expectations. From my experience, most of my customers are okay with waiting if they know I am on it and when they can expect to hear back from me. Once you have set expectations, it is your responsibility to meet them. If you are going to be delayed, refer to point #2. – communicate.

 

  • RESPECT – Respect is the end goal. We want to be respected throughout our organizations for the knowledge and expertise we bring to the table. Our end-users are looking for the same from us. They want to be respected and feel that their jobs are important. When there is mutual respect among colleagues, it usually translates into relationships where people care about each other’s success. This leads to a productive atmosphere that is not only good for our organizations but turns a job into a career.

You can never go wrong with a focus on customer service. I commit to all my customers that they can expect this when working with me. I challenge you to do the same.