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The 5 Principles of IT Customer Service

Principles of IT Customer Service

Successful solutions providers, help desks, and internal IT departments build a culture of service based on five principles of customer service. Everything we teach and do at Compassionate Geek is also based on those same five principles. If you run your business, your department, or your career based on these five principles, you will most likely be successful. Here are the Five Principles of IT Customer Service:

Technical Competence: IT Customer Service Principle #1

The principle of technical competence seems obvious. If you work in a technical position, such as support engineer, network administrator, or coder, you must have sufficient technical competence to meet the requirements of your job description. Similarly, if you run a technical business such as an MSP, ISP, or an internal IT department, your business or department must have sufficient technical competence to fulfill your promises to your end-users and other customers.

Compassion: IT Customer Service Principle #2

Compassion is caring and understanding. It’s noticing someone who is hurting, frustrated, or angry and wanting to help. You demonstrate compassion by trying to alleviate the suffering of an end-user struggling to work with a new system. You can show compassion by finding ways to simplify technology for a non-technical user. A compassionate person realizes that many people try to hide their pain and frustration and that no one fully knows another person’s story. Compassionate people try to give others grace and not take things personally.

Empathy: IT Customer Service Principle #3

If compassion is knowing, empathy is feeling. When you’re empathetic as an IT professional, you put yourself in the other person’s position. You try to imagine what you would want if you were them. Think about a time when you took your car to a mechanic and you were at their mercy. You didn’t understand automotive mechanics. You didn’t want a detailed explanation. You simply wanted your car to work properly so you could get on with your life. Remember that no one is an expert on everything. Your customers and coworkers count on you to be an expert on the systems you support so they don’t have to be.

Good Listening Skills: IT Customer Service Principle #4

One of the most common reasons customers give for enrolling their teams in our courses is something related to listening skills. Your listening skills can make or break your career. Good listeners use active listening techniques where they engage with the customer (or coworker) by asking relevant questions and giving cues that they’re listening, such as nodding their heads and leaning in to the conversation. Good listeners never interrupt the person who’s speaking, nor do they ever talk over the other person. Think about how annoying it is to you when someone interrupts you, talks over you, or finishes sentences for you. Good listeners make the speaker feel heard, dignified, and respected.

Respect: IT Customer Service Principle #5

There are two aspects to respect. One is how you feel about the other person. People earn your respect by their words and actions. This principle, however, is about the other aspect; your behavior toward other people. It’s about how you choose to act around others You see, you don’t need to feel respect for another person to act in a dignified and respectful manner around them. This is about holding yourself to a higher standard, not allowing yourself to get dragged down into the mud, mire, and muck of someone else’s degrading, thoughtless, or disrespectful behavior.

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