As a busy IT Director involved in just about anything with a computer chip in it, sometimes delivering good internal user customer service becomes difficult. One of Solution Builders’ core values is customer service above all. We believe that good customer service is essential for healthy, long lasting customer relationships. As an IT director, we know it’s easy to get caught up in the technical side of things rather than the personal side. It’s easier to just come in, get the problem solved, and then leave until the next problem arises. But to build that customer relationship and good rapport, customer service needs to be top of mind. Addressing customer service issues is a key part of your duties as an IT leader, and we have some suggestions on how you can do that.
First things first, find out how to find the customer service issues that your internal users (your customers) are having. There can be many places to look. In service tickets, customer satisfaction ratings (if you collect that data from your users), passive aggressive behavior, and of course, direct negative feedback. The key is to always be listening to your customers and provide plenty of opportunity for feedback, both good and bad. By asking for that feedback periodically, you’re not only on the lookout for possible unresolved issues, but you’re also showing your customers that you care about their input which adds to their foundation of trust in you.
Once you find out that there’s a customer service issue, address the issue immediately. Not later, not tomorrow, right now. Quickly addressing customer service issues is important for many reasons, but there are two main ones we want to talk about. First and foremost, the issue gets solved. Obviously, this is the most important goal in addressing any problem. Letting it drag on causes things to fester and get out of control, possibly leading to an even bigger issue. Second, you can build up a basis of trust between you and your customer, letting them know that when they voice their concern, you are listening and committed to fixing it.
Remember that customer criticism isn’t always a bad thing. It may sting at first but customer feedback is the key to maturing your IT staff and getting even better at what they do. Absorb that criticism, write it down, and take time to think about it and how to address it with your staff. If a customer gives you a list of issues, divide and conquer – split the list into specific issues you can resolve – one at a time. Document and then discuss the lessons you and your team learned from it – you will become even better at customer service in the future.
If one of your staff members caused the issue, you need to address it with them as quickly as possible. We recommend discussing the issue with your staff member in private, giving them time to process what happened and ask their own questions and process the feedback in their own way.
If your customer wants to follow up on the issue after it’s solved, provide them with a debrief. Give your customer a detailed description about what happened and be truthful about exactly what went wrong – whether it was technology or people. Furthermore, provide details on what you are doing currently to prevent the issue from happening again in the future.
Saying you put customer service above all and actually putting customer service above all are two different things. But with these steps, you can maintain a great relationship with your internal user customers which will help your rapport with them and turn into long lasting professional relationships and build your reputation with them into the future.
As always, Solution Builders is here to help you, the busy IT Director, with internal project labor, expertise, or a place to bounce ideas off of. Drop us a line and let us know how we can help.