IT Governance

10 Tips to Improve Business Relationships from a Support Perspective

Ryan Ogilvie got stuck on hold on a support call for so long that it gave him time to think about how dark and hideous a monster support can be when poorly implemented. In a post at his blog, Ogilvie presents 10 tips to scrub the soul of support clean:

  1. Listen more, speak less.
  2. Try something new.
  3. Focus on people.
  4. Knowledge is power.
  5. Measure what you do.
  6. Provide consistent performance.
  7. Aim for continuous improvement.
  8. Understand your business.
  9. Know the verbiage.
  10. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

Supporting Support

Before anything else, listen to the business and understand what it is they need done. If the business needs to repeat itself, everyone’s time has been wasted. Take a step further and attribute needs and attitudes to individual people. Once you know the score, find the best ways to convey that score to all other pertinent staff, so that everyone can reap the benefits of your knowledge. As an IT worker in the thick of things, you may think you are already regularly handling change and support, but in reality, most of what you do probably falls within a few standardized processes. Think about how you might be able to approach the things you do from a new perspective.

Whatever you ultimately do, you want to track its results via metrics that matter to the business. High performance at a repeatable rate is the goal, and achieving this usually consists of knowing not to bite off more than you can chew. You do not want anyone to plateau in their service though, which is why Ogilvie encourages service teams to invest in further training and trade various best practices with each other. And about verbiage, he says:

It’s not only what you say that counts, but in many cases it’s how you say it that makes the difference. We are all in environments which are governed by a policy of some sort. The policy should not be the limiting factor in addressing customer concerns. If a suitable workaround is not possible then we may need to either escalate or see what is possible. A flat “no” is not the answer. If the customer perceives that you are trying to help, they’ll be less disappointed even if they don’t get exactly what they want.

Lastly, first impressions have a lifetime that extends well beyond that initial moment, so do everything in your power to make that first impression a good one. For further tips, you can view the original post:

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