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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  "help desk"

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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customer empathy

How to Deliver Great Customer Service: What’s Your Customer Empathy Quotient?

By  |  September 5, 2012 10:39 am

How’s your empathy quotient? Your ability to empathize may be your most important ability as a member of the I.T. support staff. Empathy means providing caring and personal service. Dictionary.com defines empathy as “the intellectual identification with … the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another.” Empathy is your ability to truly put yourself in your user’s position so you can understand his/her frustration. Once we truly understand our user’s frustration, fears, and aggravations, we can start the process of delivering a meaningful solution for them. Sometimes it only takes a moment to really understand where our user is coming from. Sometimes it takes several minutes of listening combined with empathetic statements such as “I understand why you feel that way.” or “I’d feel that way, too, if I were in your situation.” Regardless, until you can empathize with your user, you’re not ready to start the technical aspects of the support session. Remember, it may be your technical expertise that solves the problem, but it’s your skill in dealing with people that produces satisfied end-users.

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Three Examples of Great Customer Service

By  |  September 6, 2012 9:32 pm

I recently flew from Houston to Seattle on Alaska Airlines. I experienced three examples of good customer service from, gasp, an airline. Yes, I know it may seem hard to believe. There are lessons here for those of us who support end-users. Two examples were with Alaska Airlines and one was with Delta. Here they are.

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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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