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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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When you think about it, there are really just two broad approaches to IT customer service. One involves protocols, policies, and scripts. This approach is often used by large organizations who want to ensure consistency of customer service throughout the organization. They provide extensive flow charts and scripts for every imaginable situation. They even provide scripts for being empathetic and compassionate. Customer service agents or technical support staffers are monitored to ensure they comply with all policies, follow all protocols, and read the scripts with precision.

Human Connection in IT Customer Service

The other approach recognizes the importance of human connection to business growth. In this approach, customer service agents and technical support staffers are coached and trained to become subject matter experts on the products and services they support. Additionally, they’re trained in how to deal with people showing compassion and empathy. They’re taught how to be good listeners and how to treat everyone with dignity and respect, even people for whom they might not feel respect.

IT Customer Service Requires More Than Just Efficiency and Consistency

While the first approach emphasizes efficiency and consistency, it doesn’t recognize the importance of human-to-human connection. It really makes a commodity out of customer service and human relations. It ignores the fact that the customer receiving service is first and foremost a human being with feelings and emotions. Customers feel insulted when the agent reads what is supposed to be an empathetic statement, because it doesn’t show genuine empathy. It’s just words with no meaning. There’s little likelihood of a customer developing a sense of personal loyalty to such companies.

IT Customer Service is About Building Relationships

People and companies who show kindness and compassion build relationships with their colleagues and customers which withstand temporary setbacks, they are rewarded with customers who purchase more frequently.

For those of us in technical careers, the lesson is pretty clear: It pays to be kind and compassionate, to understand the business ojectives and challenges of our colleagues at the office including the sales team, the marketing team, administration, and, frankly, everyone else. We in IT are the foundational fabric that supports communication and collaboration. In IT, our customer service approach must be based on deep technical competence combined with genuine kindness, empathy, and compassion.

What do you think?

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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