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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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In working with end users, customers, and technical support staff, the most common phrases I hear relate to how much a support person cares or doesn’t care. The simple act of caring about your fellow human being is the starting point for providing great customer service. If you truly care about your fellow humans, the rest of the customer service skills just fall in place naturally.

Perhaps you’ve heard of a study that 68% of customers are lost due to perceived indifference. In a busy IT department, we sometimes forget that providing excellent service involves more than just fixing the problem. Outstanding service includes making end users and customers feel good about their interaction with us by quickly creating a human bond.

So, here are eight ways to show you care:

  1. Be on time and be respectful of the end user’s time by getting right to work on their issue.
  2. Be polite. Remember the manners your parents taught you when you were little. Say please and thank you, say you’re sorry when you make a mistake (oh, and make it real, not just a half-hearted “sorry ’bout that”). Similarly, the correct response when someone thanks you, is “you’re welcome” or “my pleasure”. Do NOT say “no problem”.
  3. Dress professionally. Of course, different styles are appropriate for different environments. What is appropriate in a conservative law office would be inappropriate in a startup firm developing games. Still, if you want people to respect you, dress like you deserve their respect and realize that’s a way of showing your respect for others.
  4. Carry yourself with confidence. Even if you don’t feel confident, act confident. Look people in the eye and smile.
  5. Be a good listener. Remember, being a good listener means you listen more than you talk and when you do talk, ask questions.
  6. Follow through. If you say you’re going to do something, do it.
  7. Clean up after yourself. If your work involves visiting customer’s or end user’s offices or personal spaces, be sure to clean up after yourself.
  8. Do good. Get involved in your community. Help other people. The act of helping others becomes a way of life and it shows up in all of our interactions, whether at work or elsewhere. Plus, it gives you something to talk about!

Please understand, when I suggest we create a human bond with our customers or end users, I’m not suggesting that we should attempt to create a deep and personal friendship. What I’m suggesting is something more along the lines of what happens when one person performs a simple act of kindness for another. Most of the time, such an act does not lead to a lasting friendship, but it does create a good feeling between the two people. Additionally, it can have a ripple effect as both people share their good feeling with others. It’s crazy to think about, but your simple act of caring today could change the world tomorrow.

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

Bring my IT customer service training seminar onsite to your location for your group, small or large. Click here for the course description and outline.

Customer service book for IT staffPick up a copy of my IT customer service book The Compassionate Geek: How Engineers, IT Pros, and Other Tech Specialists Can Master Human Relations Skills to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service, available through Amazon and other resellers.

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