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Help Desk Software World: No Information is still Customer Service
something over the phone and they’ve told you it’ll be delivered at on
Saturday. At Saturday
it has still not arrived and your blood pressure has gone up 30 points. You’ve
wasted a day. If they’d only called...
Waiting for a
call from someone you depend on is the most frustrating and annoying activity.
It’s also the worst form of customer service.
customers and we’re all customers to dozens, if not hundreds, of others.
You’d think that providing good customer service is a basic skill. One which
would transfer easily into the world of Computers. Based upon common experiences
we all share (and contribute to!) this is wishful thinking.
We all know how
frustrating it is to wait for a call. We all know how it makes us feel towards
the person who should be making that call, and yet... when we have a similar
call to make, we tend to procrastinate. The question is ‘Why?’
Services is in the business of providing information to our clients in various
forms. If your client wants a graph, report, spreadsheet, or a complicated
statistical analysis then we have the perfect software product to provide the
answer. (and if we don’t, then we can do it with the next release...)
We are judged by
our ability to deliver answers to client’s needs in a timely, consistent and
reliable fashion. When things are working as they should, we’re pretty good at
delivery. We even like to track our availability and delivery performance using
those same graphs, spreadsheets reports and complicated statistical analysis.
When we actually
have something to report, then there is no-one who can beat the dedicated IS
professional, armed with the latest upgraded hardware and software.
Unfortunately things don’t always work the way they should. Sometimes Murphy
happens, and everything that could go wrong... does.
happens, the client wants a simple answer to the question ‘When will you
deliver?’ Quite often the only answer we have is ‘I don’t know. We’re
doing our best to solve the problem, but we’re stumped at the moment...’
the form of ‘I don’t know’ does not fit neatly onto a graph, spreadsheet,
report or complicated statistical analysis. In fact we have no software to
represent ‘We’re doing our best to solve the problem, but we’re stumped at
the moment...’ Is that why we find it so difficult to communicate bad news? We
don’t have the technology? Are we totally lost when technology fails us?
We’ve all been
in situations where this would seem to be the case. We’ve played both roles.
The one waiting for the call and the one avoiding it.
important call we can make to our client is the one telling them nothing. It’s
the call we all dread. Already late in the project, we hold off calling to let
them know we’re going to miss the deadline.We hold off calling them to tell them not only have we not fixed the
problem, but we’ve no idea when we’ll solve it. We hold off telling them
No one likes to
admit failure. This is the real reason we avoid the call. The solution is, like
all solutions, a simple one. Pick up the phone, or better yet go see, and
communicate with your client. Avoiding the issue will not make the problem go
away... although sometimes your customer will choose to go way. And not come
back... or, they’ll call someone else. In either case you lose a client.
It seems as if
computer people depend so much on technology to deliver information, that when
it fails, we lose our ability to communicate.
In spite of our
reluctance, it’s possibly the single most important call you can make to a
customer. It’s the call that allows the person waiting on Saturday morning to
take their family out to the ball game. It allows your client the opportunity to
make alternative plans. It provides your customer with information necessary for
them to make decisions.
So... pick up
the phone and make that call you’ve been avoiding.