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a blog by Don R. Crawley

Keynote Speaker on
IT Customer Service and Compassion

Bringing humanity into the world of technology

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Successfully serving a customer involves more than simply solving their problem. You want them to walk away from the experience with their issue resolved and feeling satisfied, grateful, and relieved. Creating this type of experience can be especially difficult in IT customer service, where customers feel particularly vulnerable because of their lack of technological expertise. Here are five common mistakes to avoid.

IT Customer Service Mistakes

Sharing too much information. The intricacies of technology are overwhelming to those who don’t work in the field. Avoid sharing too much technological detail with your customer about the issue or the solution, as it can leave the customer feeling confused or inadequate at the conclusion of your interaction. This violates one aspect of the conversation maxim of quantity.

Sharing too little information. On the other hand, sharing too little information can backfire, too. Empower your customers by explaining the problem and solution in terms they can understand. This makes technology feel less mysterious and gives them the tools to solve future problems on their own. This, in fact, violates the other aspect of the conversation maxim of quantity.

Assigning blame. Technology issues make people feel powerless, and reaching out to IT customer service can feel humbling. Customers are often embarrassed, frustrated, or feel incompetent when asking for help and are often hypersensitive to the slightest criticism – whether real or perceived.  Be mindful of the language you use to avoid inadvertently assigning blame when your customer is already emotionally charged. Instead of saying, “You did _____ which caused _____.”  Instead say, “When _______ happens try _______. Here, let me show you.”

Using vague or speculative language. Customers are expecting you to solve their problem. Using vague or speculative language causes them to lose confidence in your ability to help and contributes to their frustration. There will undoubtedly be times when you encounter a situation you can’t solve immediately. Choose words that assure your customer you have the resources to effectively take care of their issue. It’s best to not say, “I think ________” or “I’m not sure about ___________.” Instead say, “I will check on that for you and get you an answer by __________.” Always give the customer a firm timeline of when you will get back to them so they’re not left wondering whether their case has been forgotten – and then keep your word and circle back within the promised timeframe. You never want a customer to call because they didn’t hear from you by the promised time!

Appearing like you don’t care. Even if you effectively solve a client’s problem, if they feel unimportant during the interaction they will remember it as a negative experience. Part of good IT customer service is sending an overt outward message to your customer that you genuinely care about their issue. Implement simple techniques like smiling, active listening, and empathy to assure the customer they are important. This shows them you are committed to helping them solve their IT problems.

IT Customer Service Training

Stop making mistakes that strain the relationships between you and your customers, coworkers, and superiors. Compassionate Geek’s training programs are designed by IT professionals for IT professionals and are available both in-person or online. Take your IT customer service to the next level with Compassionate Geek. Learn more about available training options

IT Customer Service Training


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