No one likes to be ignored. We’ve all felt that surging irritation when the waiter or sales assistant just refuses to catch our eye!
When I ask our clients about what’s important to them and what great customer service looks like for them, they always tell me how important speed of response is – and, sadly, how often they are let down by organisations whose responses are slow, inadequate and sometimes non-existent.
There are many reasons why slow response times become the norm in some service businesses. It may be that help desks are under-resourced, that systems are inadequate or that they’re hiding behind impressive-sounding SLAs that actually give them permission to respond slowly!
These excuses mask the real problem – and that’s to do with leadership. By leadership, I mean a total and unwavering commitment, from the top to great customer service – and then making good on this commitment by putting in place the people, skills and systems that ensure that the old “committed to customer service” chestnut is a reality.
In the IT support and service sector, responding quickly to a client that needs assistance is absolutely vital of course. Loss of data, systems and security measures, even for a very short period of time, can be very damaging and expensive – and in extreme cases – fatal. So, here are some golden rules that we at The PC Support Group keep at the heart of our own customer service ethos:
- Make it as easy as possible for clients to speak to people who can really help – most clients calling us speak directly, on the first call, to an engineer with the skills to take immediate action
- Train engineers to ask intelligent questions and listen – understanding the underlying issue and identifying the urgency of the fix is a real skill – the smallest piece of information about a problem can be significant and enable a fast solution
- Respond quickly to requests – acknowledging their call straight away and confirming in writing that their query is being dealt with
- Wherever possible act immediately – or for more complex cases, set accurate expectations about resolution. Be realistic, most of us can make alternative, short term arrangements once we have a timetable to workaround
- Stay in touch – it is not enough to just fix things in the background. It’s important to keep clients informed on progress so that they are reassured and so we can work together to ensure the right solution is put in place in the right timescale
- Maintain continuity – whoever responds first should own the issue and its resolution, no-one wants to be passed around from one person to another. If there is a need to escalate internally, it’s explained and agreed with the client
- Lead from the front – all our clients have the names and numbers of senior management and can escalate to me if needed
- Always check that the customer is happy with the solution and the outcome – and allow them to decide when the problem has been resolved to their satisfaction.
If you’re not happy with the response times from your current IT support company, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call our team on 03300 886116 for an informal and confidential chat to see how we can help boost your productivity and keep your business safe.
Managing Director, The PC Support Group