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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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Articles tagged  "customer support"

The Four Traits of the Customer Service Masters (Video)

By  |  December 7, 2011 7:49 pm

Just posted a new video on the four traits of the customer service masters. Hope you like it!

It’s based on my book The Compassionate Geek: Mastering Customer Service for IT Professionals.

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Customer Service: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

By  |  February 23, 2012 10:28 am

My wife and I recently had a glass of wine with a woman who is a sys admin for a small company here in Seattle. I asked her what systems she supported and her reply was refreshing. She said, “Whatever my users need to do their jobs. For some, it’s a Mac, for others it’s Windows.” Contrast that with my friend Jim who told me last night how his company’s IT department dictates what tools will be used without understanding the business needs of the individual worker. I realize, of course, that in the enterprise, it can be difficult to support multiple platforms and practical considerations sometimes dictate a single platform for all (or most) users. After all, that’s why both Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines standardize on the Boeing 737. Makes it easier to train cockpit crew and mechanics and you only need to stock parts for a single platform. Still, if our jobs in IT are about helping our users work more creatively, productively, and efficiently, doesn’t it make sense to choose the right tool for the job instead of applying a universal solution to everyone?

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Always be Authentic

By  |  March 26, 2012 8:22 am

In my customer service workshops and speeches, I often talk about the importance of being authentic, of being real. Here’s a real-life story about Nick Sarillo, a Chicago-area pizza restauranteur who saved his business with a very humble and equally authentic email to his customers. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120315/BLOGS06/120319853/suburban-chicago-restaurateurs-unusual-plea-to-customers-pays-dividends Even if you’re not particularly interested in business, it’s a short read with a simple message about being authentic in our dealings with our fellow humans. It’s refreshing, especially considering that his bank and his PR team discouraged him from doing what, in his gut, he knew was the right thing to do.

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Are Your Conversations Cooperative? Follow These Four Maxims

By  |  February 28, 2013 4:58 pm

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.

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Grace: A Balance for Being Human

By  |  March 15, 2013 1:23 pm

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.

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The Five Levels of Listening

The Five Levels of Listening (How to Be a Better Listener)

By  |  March 20, 2013 7:09 pm

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.

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Communication Skills for the Helpdesk

How to Talk to a CEO; Communication Skills for the Helpdesk

By  |  August 7, 2013 4:09 pm

I recently spoke with a client who is concerned about how some of his staff members speak to CEOs. He owns an IT consulting firm with a variety of clients and is worried about his consultants’ communication skills. His consultants are required to interact with various individuals both on the phone and at client locations. He is concerned that some of the consultants’ language choices are inappropriate for dealing with clients, especially when the client in question is a C-level executive.

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