The Customer Service Secrets of Successful IT Professionals: How to Master IT Customer Service
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Today’s IT professionals must master two skill families in order to be successful. The first is technical skills and knowledge. That’s obvious. Without a solid technical understanding, you simply can’t do the job. The second is how to improve customer service. That means developing an ability to understand, get along with, and influence people. Even though our jobs are indeed technical in nature, the human component is always present and it’s often the most challenging part of our jobs. We may have the technical knowledge to help an end-user, but if they’re angry, frustrated, or otherwise upset, it’s our people skills that allow us first to manage the situation successfully. Then we use our technical skills to solve the technical problem. This is where tech support training for customer service improvement can really make a difference.
Not only do our people skills help us in our one-on-one interactions with our end-users, they also help us deal with organizational politics: How we interact with other people, both individually and in groups. By mastering people skills, we can learn to successfully navigate the political landscape in the office to gain credibility with our co-workers, our end-users, and our bosses and, most importantly, gain their support behind our backs.
Tech training is not just about technology training anymore. Whether it’s IT customer service training for your entire IT staff or just IT help desk training, in this one-day seminar we’ll help your staff work to improve customer service skills to deliver outstanding customer service for your end-users.
Learn the art of listening well, from how to greet customers to how to satisfy customers, in this one-day IT customer service training seminar designed especially for technical staff.
“Our work, in IT, is to help our end users work more productively, creatively, and efficiently … and to be kind and respectful while we’re doing it.”
-Don Crawley, Author The Compassionate Geek
At the end of this technical support training, you’ll be able to understand:
- The benefits of delivering outstanding customer service
- The five principles of IT customer service
- How to be a better listener
- The importance of maintaining a positive, optimistic attitude when dealing with end-users and co-workers
- How to use Emotional Intelligence to provide better customer service, improve relationships, and manage your stress
- Ways to deal with angry customers (rude or abusive end-users) for positive results
- The keys to effective communication with end-users
- Know how to say “no” without alienating the end-user
- Identify keys to deal positively with the inevitable stress of working in IT
Section One: The Five Principles of Great IT Customer Service
Within most organizations, there are some people who simply “get it”. They seem like they were born to provide outstanding customer service. In this section, you’ll examine the five principles of people who deliver great IT customer service.
- Deep Tech Skills
Watch Compassionate Geek Author Don R. Crawley speak on the five principles of IT customer service.
Section Two: Practical Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence includes the ability to identify and use emotions (both yours’ and those of other people) to produce successful outcomes in your dealings with other people. In this section, you’ll learn:
- Emotional maturity
- Controlling your own emotions
- How to influence the emotions of others
- Two techniques for maintaining your calm state-of-mind
Section Three: What to Do When the User Isn’t Right
We’ve all heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” The problem is that they’re not always right and sometimes they’re just downright rude or even abusive. It’s a little known fact that 70% of customer loss is due to perceived indifference. In this session, you’ll learn five valuable techniques for disarming unreasonable or abusive end-users (angry customers).
- Dealing with anger
- What users and customers really want
- A sequence for handling user or customer calls
- How to respect your customers’ and users’ time
Section Four: The Art of Listening Well
The objective of listening is to achieve understanding. When we listen to understand land remember, we are better able to truly help our end-user. In this section, you’ll learn how to move from “pretend” listening to truly “empathic” listening—listening to understand.
- The five levels of listening
- How to achieve empathetic listening
- Ten keys to being a good listener
Section Five: Making Sure They Know You Care
The most effective way to communicate is face-to-face because then you have the words, tone-of-voice, and body language. It’s a common misconception that the help desk staffer usually has only words and tone-of-voice as communication tools. In this session, you’ll learn valuable tools for making sure that your helpful attitude comes across, even when you can’t be seen. We’ll also cover the biggest end-user turn-offs, including some innocent but emotionally loaded phrases, words, and actions. You'll gain simple tools that can make a huge difference.
- The three components of communication
- How to avoid conversation breakdown
- Keeping the call positive
- Why you must remain positive and upbeat
- Tips and tricks to convey optimism
Section Six: Communicating Through Email, Texting, and Instant Messaging
Customer and end-user support takes place in person, on the phone, through email, texting, and instant messaging. Regardless of the communications medium, the objective is always to have satisfied end-users. In this section, you’ll see practical examples of how to make non-traditional communications methods work successfully.
- Email support examples (good and bad)
- Commonly misused and abused words
- Communicating via texting
- Communicating via instant messaging
Section Seven: How to Say No Without Alienating the End-User
Sometimes, what the end-user wants simply can’t be done. When that happens, the skillful desktop support staffer delivers the news in a way that is clear, yet non-offensive. Alternatives, when available, may be offered, but the key lies in finding a way to say no without leaving the end-user feeling neglected or ignored.
- When to say “no”
- Considerations before saying “no”
- Dealing with difficult end-users or customers
- Why some situations go wrong
- What happens when we make a mistake?
Section Eight: Stress Management
Let’s face it: End-user desktop support can be one of the most stressful positions in all of IT In this session, you’ll learn practical, down-to-earth techniques for dealing positively with the inevitable stress of a desktop support position.
- The impact of stress
- The stress management equation
- What is in your control and what is not
- Personal stress activators
- You can influence the stress outcome
- The stress management tool
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the delivery options?
How long is the in-person training?
This is a one-day seminar. It usually runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break. Start times can be adjusted to match work schedules.
How long does the online training take to complete?
It varies greatly, depending on the learner. It's possible to get through the entire course in about three hours. For learners who are more curious and committed to self-improvement, it could take eight hours or more.
Who should take this training?
This training is appropriate for any individual or group of IT staff members who want or need to improve their customer service skills, including their listening skills, their ability to deal with challenging end-users, their ability to work well with co-workers, and their people skills in general.
What's the recommended and maximum class size for onsite training?
The recommended class size is 10-30 participants. There is no maximum class size for this training.
Is this appropriate for groups other than IT people?
Yes, with the understanding that unless you tell us otherwise, we use language and examples that are most relevant to IT people. If the participants are primarily from fields outside of IT, let us know so we can use appropriate language and examples. The online version of this course makes extensive use of IT-oriented examples and language.
Are there any pre-requisites?
We recommend that managers and supervisors prepare their team members for this training by explaining the importance of customer service, that even people who are excellent at customer service can improve, and that this particular training was designed and written by an IT person specifically for IT people.