How to Provide Excellent Customer Service as an IT Technician
- IT Technician
- November 18, 2023
- 96 views
- 7 min read
How many of you have ever received great customer service from a company? How many of you have ever received terrible customer service from a company? Every day, some businesses worldwide do a fantastic job at delivering excellent customer service… while others leave something (or much) to be desired.
What is the difference between these two experiences? It is important for companies to emphasize great customer service if they hope to deliver it to their customers. Still, fundamentally, service comes down to the people delivering it, not the company itself. Therefore, it is entirely within your power to deliver either excellent or disappointing customer service while serving in your role as an IT technician.
This article will go over a few of the most essential tips for how always to deliver great customer service and, ultimately, excel at your job.
Tip #1 – Communicate Early and Often
I don’t know about you, but there is nothing I find more frustrating than needing assistance, reporting my issue to the appropriate party, and then not receiving an acknowledgment or update for an extended period of time about what is being done to resolve the issue. A few minutes is fine (of course!)…even a few hours (unless it’s a critical emergency)…but sometimes people don’t respond for days! Or ever!
I sit there, unsure whether or not someone is actually doing anything to fix my issue. The minutes stretch into what feels like hours, and hours stretch into what feels like days. When I hear back, sometimes it feels like an eternity has passed since reporting my issue.
It’s not like I always need or expect to have immediate assistance (true critical emergencies are few and far between). Still, it’s nice to know that somebody has reviewed my ticket and has a plan…even if that plan is that they need to collect more information from me or wait a few days to work through tickets before mine.
As an IT technician, one of the best things you can do is to acknowledge receipt of tickets as quickly as possible, let people know that you have reviewed the ticket and give them preliminary impressions regarding their submission, estimate the amount of time it will take to either resolve the issue or provide the next update regarding the issue, and then follow through by actually updating them when you say you will. Even if your update is brief and lacks a clear resolution, simply letting that person know what you have looked at and what is pending will often put them at ease.
Tip #2 – If you need more details to troubleshoot, ask sooner rather than later
When doing your preliminary review of a ticket, you must promptly determine whether you are likely to need more information or not. If you think you do, it is better to ask as soon as possible so that the person who submitted the ticket has enough time to collect that additional information for you and send it back. It is very disheartening when you submit a ticket, wait for hours or days to receive a reply, and then are asked for more details that you could have collected while waiting. This is a simple but effective way to improve customer satisfaction with your troubleshooting skills.
Tip #3 – Prioritize based on Urgency, then Speed.
You should always prioritize high-urgency items where the individual or team submitting a ticket is significantly impacted by the issue. If multiple team members cannot do a specific function using their hardware or software, or if one individual cannot do a significant portion of their assigned responsibilities, these represent critical issues that need to be addressed with urgency.
Once the urgent tickets have been dealt with, it is often a good idea to deal with tickets that can be handled quickly to keep your queue short. This opens the mental computing capacity to focus on the more difficult tickets that require additional effort and care.
Certain companies may require that you operate on a first-come, first-served basis with tickets. Such a system is totally acceptable. That said, the premise remains true that focusing on clearing out the highest volume of tickets maximizes the high-quality service experience you are providing to the greatest number of people and improves the likelihood that you will be able to focus and work effectively on the more difficult cases assigned to you.
Tip #4 – Communicate Frequently throughout the Resolution Process
Not only must you communicate quickly overall (so that individuals know you have reviewed their ticket) and regarding additional details that you need (so that individuals can keep the process moving while you are working on other tickets), but you must also communicate frequently throughout the troubleshooting process.
With challenging tickets, IT technicians frequently provide initial communications but no follow-up communication to the submitter as they work with their internal team and senior managers to resolve the issue. While you hope that everyone assumes you are working hard to address their issues, it can be difficult for the submitter not to wonder if their ticket has simply been forgotten when they do not receive updates regularly.
Therefore, to deliver an excellent customer service experience as an IT technician, aim to provide updates daily or every other day. Even if the updates are short, they provide confidence that effort is being invested and that the submitter’s concerns have been heard.
Tip #5 – Demonstrate Compassion
Just as the IT troubleshooting process can be frustrating for the people who have submitted a ticket, the troubleshooting process can also be frustrating for the IT technicians. Often, people who submit tickets do so with insufficient detail or clarity. Sadly, they also often forget to demonstrate gratitude towards the technicians helping resolve their issues.
That said, the best way to ensure you are shown compassion is to show compassion to others. Therefore, when you work with individuals who lack the technical knowledge to submit a ticket effectively, remember how frustrating it sometimes was when you had computer issues before you trained as an IT technician and try to connect with them rather than view the interaction adversarially.
Also, try to remember that even though an individual’s ticket is likely one of many issues that you are working to resolve and often not your most important task (since you can only have one MIT at a time), it is very significant in their world. If you can keep that perspective, your compassion for their challenges will be evident. That may not help you resolve their ticket faster, but it will help you deliver a better customer experience to those who depend on you.
Ultimately, these tips reflect good customer service practices, regardless of what industry you work in. However, as technology becomes increasingly important in our personal lives and the workplace, good customer service from IT professionals is increasingly essential. When technology does not work, it significantly impacts people’s ability to be productive and participate in their workplace or society, so your support and service play a big role in their quality of life. Take that responsibility seriously, and you will be well on your way to becoming a great IT technician through and through.