IT people and customer service

Customer service basics: It’s common in a group of IT folks to tell stories about some of the crazy things our end users do. I’ve certainly told my share of such stories, but I think we often forget that no one is an expert on everything. When our end users sometimes ask questions that seem stupid, I think about how my accountant, David Hawthorne, handles my questions about bookkeeping, accounting, and income taxes.

You see, I’m very comfortable managing a network, configuring a router, and setting up VPN encryption, but I’m a nearly clueless when it comes to bookkeeping, accounting, and taxes. Every quarter, I ask the same dumb questions about taxes and Quickbooks, but Dave and his associates never roll their eyes, they never sigh, and they never make me feel stupid. Their customer service is amazing. If they think I’m clueless, they never let me know it. In fact, they always answer my questions cheerfully and professionally. They’re quick to return phone calls and everyone on his staff is very easy to work with. They’re all compassionate, empathetic, excellent listeners, infinitely patient, and they always treat me with utmost respect, even when I may not deserve it.

Here’s my point: Our jobs, as IT professionals, are to find ways, through technology, to help our end users work more productively, creatively, and efficiently. I’ve seen end users with multiple PhDs, some of the most brilliant minds in the world, who simply don’t understand computers. They’re certainly not morons and they most certainly are deserving of our kind and generous support. Sometimes, it will take four, five, or even more attempts to help an end user before he or she gets it, but our job is to be friendly professionals with infinite patience. Is that asking a lot? Yup, it sure is and it’s also the difference between someone who’s great at his or her job and someone’s just average.

Wouldn’t we hope for the same kind of respectful and patient customer service from our accountant, auto mechanic, doctor, or anyone else who is helping us succeed in life’s journey?

For More Ideas on How to Improve Communication and Customer Service Skills

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