The Best Communication Models for IT Customer Service

manager with laptop discussing project with team; communication models

As a CIO, IT manager, or MSP/TSP owner, you understand the importance of clear communication with your customers and end-users. Any information gaps can lead to frustration and conflict. To bridge these disconnects, let’s explore the power of communication models. By understanding different models and how they influence information flow, you can identify potential weaknesses and develop more effective communication strategies. Let’s delve deeper into how these models can help you address information disconnect and foster smoother interactions.

The Three Communication Models

There are three types of communication models– the linear model, the interactive model, and the transactional model. All three models have value. When choosing between them, you’ll need to consider the best approach for the situation and use the correct model.

Linear Model: The linear communication model is one-way communication. An example of this is when you, the IT Manager, send out a message and don’t expect a response or feedback. Linear communication is most appropriate when sharing policies or announcements, giving a large presentation, or speaking to an audience who doesn’t have the means to respond – like on a television or radio broadcast. Linear communication should be clear and direct, with little room for confusion or misinterpretation. 

Transactional Model: The hallmark of the transactional model is rapid, two-way communication. Feedback is immediate and reciprocal. Both parties listen, provide feedback, and respond appropriately and effectively to one another. Most of us naturally use this communication process when interacting with an employee or other communication partner. The transactional communication model is essential for anyone in IT customer service.

Interactive Model: Interactive communication is a variation on the transactional model. It is a process of communication that expects feedback, but it’s not immediate. It’s also optional. The team you manage may choose to respond, but you may or may not hear from them. The interactive model is primarily seen in electronic communication – like social media, email, and interactive marketing efforts based on the interactive communication model. 

Each of these basic communication models has key elements that will improve customer communication. As you explore how communication functions, you will discover specific circumstances where you can apply each model. 

How Communication Models Improve Customer Relations

Builds Strong Customer Relationships

Communication models are powerful tools for building trust with your IT customers. As you aim to improve your CSAT Score, it is important to carefully consider your channels for communication and the best strategies for engaging with your customers.

Helps Establish Your Brand Identity

Communication models play a crucial role in helping your IT pros establish the company’s brand identity. By selecting the right communication model, you can effectively convey your IT services’ values, mission, and unique offerings to your customers.

Strengthens Your Communication Channels

Your communication process is critical because it will dictate how you prioritize your resources. There are lots of different communication channels available, and you need to think about which one is right for your company.

For example, do you need to move more resources into a linear communication model? Or, do you need to use a transactional model because you need to get more feedback from your customers?

To take full advantage of all of these complex models of communication, you need to find a way to connect with your customers. That means you need to use the necessary tools to help you. That way, you can figure out what is working, what is not, and how you can improve your advertising strategies in the future.

IT and the Transactional Communication Model

Remember that IT must be customer-based. But even though you primarily look for technical knowledge in job interviews, keep in mind that every tech project has a human customer at its core, whether an employee is fulfilling a request to reset their email password or a project manager is implementing a major systems upgrade. If it doesn’t solve a human problem, then what’s the point?

No matter how big or small the task, your IT team must have solid interpersonal communication skills. They must be committed to a continuous exchange of information between themselves and their customer or coworkers and not expect a one-way process in which the “expert” disseminates knowledge to the “layperson.” It’s also important for those in IT customer service to recognize that the feedback loop includes both verbal and nonverbal communication, like body language, posturing, and facial expressions. 

Effective communication is only possible if IT pros adopt an attitude of service and a model of communication that facilitates it. Mastering the transactional communication model is an ongoing process.

Customer Service Training for IT Professionals

Human communication is complex. It involves synchronous communication influenced by social context, relational context, and other complicated factors. IT pros must understand the importance of meaningful, reciprocal communication in their day-to-day work. They must learn the practical skills and communication concepts necessary to do their jobs more effectively and meet the needs of their “customers” – whether entry-level individuals or large-scale corporations.

Losing customers due to poor customer service is expensive. Losing key employees due to negative experiences is also expensive. The best teams focus on providing excellent service to customers and caring for each other. Compassionate Geek’s Online Customer Service Training for IT Professionals is here to help you develop the communication skills necessary to take your team to the next level.

Next Level IT Customer Service Training

Enroll your team now in Compassionate Geek IT online customer service training so they can work together, get things done, and take care of customers.

FAQs

What is a communication model?

Models of communication provide various ways to engage with your IT customers and co-workers. Environmental factors contribute to how we hear various communications. Additionally, psychological influences, including mental and emotional factors, often shape interactions with employees, business partners, customers, and potential clients. 

Communication models serve as valuable tools for comprehending the potential obstacles to effective communication. By taking contextual influences and psychological context into account, you will choose the best communication style.

Why are communication models important?

Models of communication simplify the process by providing a visual representation of the various aspects of a communication encounter. Some models explain communication in more detail than others, but even the most complex model still doesn’t recreate what we experience in a communication encounter.

Why is it important to choose the right communication model to fit the situation?

Effective communication is a complex process. Selecting the appropriate communication strategy allows us to circumvent clashes and misinterpretations. By effectively conveying our message from the outset, we eliminate the necessity of going back or commencing anew, thereby conserving valuable time in the future.

Next Level IT Customer Service Training

Enroll your team now in Compassionate Geek IT online customer service training so they can work together, get things done, and take care of customers.

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