Customer Service

We often hear about customer service in restaurants and retail. As an IT professional we deal with “customer service” with technical support personnel. Does the person on the other end of that support call “listen” to what you are saying? Do they listen to your questions? Can you understand them. Do they clarify what they will be doing when trying to fix your issue?

Now look in the mirror. How is your customer service? Do you listen to what your customers are saying? In IT we may hear the same issue many times and know the answer. However, the customer may not understand the issue, they certainly don’t know why an issue may be happening to them otherwise they wouldn’t be calling you. As IT professional we do need to have some patience. I know I often hear the same issue or very similar issues that users may have using applications I support. The end user doesn’t like dealing with problems nor do they understand why something may be happening. So I remind myself I have to be patient.

Another key to good customer service is to ask clarifying questions. Ask the important questions to the customer. How are you connecting? Please take me through exactly what you are doing. This type of questioning may involve a remote connection session because pictures are worth 1000 words.  Usually once we see what the user is doing the resolution for the issue comes much quicker. These are things the Help desk or Service desk can get clarified before sending tickets to second or third level support.

Another thing to do no matter what industry you are in for great customer service is SMILE. Even if you are on the phone. Try it. The person on the other side of the phone will feel your smile from your tone. Also stand up sometimes. It gives you more energy. I am often pacing/walking when I am on the phone because ideas flow better when I do that. That is why they make cordless headsets.

If you like receiving good customer service at a restaurant or other business, why not implement some of the techniques you see in IT?  We can adapt and overcome as IT professionals, that is what we do. We can implement great customer service strategies that make you and the IT department stand out. Give that little extra effort when your on the phone. Smile, be happy and realize the value of a positive attitude and your knowledge are helping others. Be patient so we can listen to what the customers say and “hear” what there needs really are. I know this can be hard because we are so used to “drinking from the fire hose” and running at full steam all the time. If we slow down for a few minutes our customer service can improve without a lot of effort.

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