When you take a user support call, there’s a specific order for how things should happen. In this post, I’ll explain each of the six steps, in order. I’ve also created this video to help you understand the steps. It includes a demonstration of a support call.
When our work involves serving others, it’s important for us to be good listeners. Being a good listener can be difficult at times. I’ve created a video to accompany this blog post with the ten tips to help us all become better listeners, whether at work with our customers, end-users, and colleagues or at home with our spouse, children, and friends.
We listen at five different and distinct levels. How you listen to your end-users and customers will have a significant impact on your success, and that of the overall I.T. support team or, for that matter, your entire organization. As important as how you actually listen is how you are perceived to listen.
When you think of grace, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s the fluid movements of a beautiful ballet. Maybe you think of the words of appreciation expressed before a meal. Another form of grace is unmerited divine assistance given to us. Whether you believe in religious teachings or not, I’m convinced that graces exists and I’m really glad of that! Hear me out.
When we’re talking with an end-user or a customer, we want to ensure our conversations are effective, that they make good use of our time and that of our customer or end-user. One way to ensure that conversations are effective is to ensure they are cooperative, a process of give-and-take. Paul Grice was a professor at the University of California at Berkeley and a philosopher of language who identified four maxims of conversation that describe the elements of successful conversation.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that living a life filled with positive emotions can have a positive physiological effect on our bodies. Like most people, I enjoy hearing stories that reinforce my pre-conceived notions about how the world is. I also recognize that anecdotes are great stories, but they’re lousy science and can often lead to poor decision-making.
Today’s IT professional must master two skill families in order to be successful. The first is technical skills and knowledge. That part of IT education is obvious. Without a solid technical understanding, you simply can’t do the job. The second is gaining skills for customer service in IT: An ability to understand, get along with, and influence people. Even though our jobs are indeed technical in nature, the human component is always present and it’s often the most challenging part of our jobs. We may have the technical knowledge to help an end-user, but if they’re angry, frustrated, or otherwise upset, it’s our people skills that allow us first to manage the situation successfully. Then we use our technical skills to solve the technical problem.