Destroying the Infallible “IT Guy”
Sadly almost all of us have experienced the type. He knows best, he can’t be bothered with your insignificant requests. It’s not because HE didn’t fix your problem, it’s because YOU didn’t explain it correctly.
As bad as this person is, they aren’t the problem I want to address. In fact the above person shouldn’t be hired at any customer service firm, and won’t be at this one. I want to address the relationship between you and your tech guru. You know who I mean, they’re great, they fix your problems, they listen, they are always on top of any issue.
(side note: If you have no one in mind while reading this, give me a call, I’ll introduce you to them)
Alright, you have someone in mind? Right, they are fallible, they make mistakes, they are not “tech gods”, they are human. I know it’s hard to believe, you have seem them bring back that file you deleted, get rid of “the Über-virus”, and take a bundle of parts and turn it into your server room. Nevertheless, they are human, and they will make a mistake.
So, What Is the Problem?
Well, sometimes when a great service person is found, someone bright, who listens, who fixes things, we start to build them up in our heads; beyond that we start to build them up with words. Now, don’t misunderstand this to be a post warning against sharing your gratitude or encouraging this wizard of technology. Instead hear this as a warning against establishing unrealistic expectations. By all means, expect great service, expect integrity, expect honesty; do not expect perfection. You will be let down, you will be disappointed, and you will find that the relationship will eventually sour.
Why Does This Matter?
I think the best way to explain the issues is to simply address both the customer and the service staff, the issues should be apparent in the correction.
To the Service Customer
When you find yourself working with a great service technician it is always a good idea to foster an actual relationship. This allows your subconscious to understand and treat this service person like an actual person. You can encourage good behavior and celebrate success without building them into a person who never makes a mistake. If they know or think that you believe them infallible, they will be less likely to be honest about struggles, they will want to hide mistakes from you and you will find yourself in a broken relationship. I have heard stories and seen good relationships destroyed by a simple error. (In most of these instances, both sides shared in the fault, but we are talking specifically about the customer.)
Be upset when a mistake is made, be unhappy when there are issues with your technology, especially in instances where “they should have known better” applies. But do not get bent out of shape simply due to the fact that an error was actually made. Remember, you are dealing with a human, and humans make mistakes.
To the Service Provider
While you are building a relationship with your customer, resist your ego’s desire to buy fully into the idea that you can do no wrong. Keep reality in mind, you are human, and in all likelihood there will come a time when you mess up. You’ll restart the wrong device, you’ll start an upgrade without backing up that one little thing, that solution you got off of Google will break something else you weren’t expecting. When this happens, you want to be able discuss reality with your customer openly and honestly. You do not want to have to destroy your infallible portrait in front of customer; a portrait that you know was inaccurate yet you allowed to be constructed anyway.
Handling the Failure
As we are a service company most of the rest of this is directed specifically toward the service person. What I write below is still relevant for the customer, but none of this is a call to action for the customer.
It Happened, Deal with it
We all get that existing in a perfect world would allow this to never become an issue. Unfortunately we don’t live there, and it does become an issue. Mistakes happen and people screw up. However, I do not thing that it need be a completely negative experience when we go through failure.
Building A Relationship
Failure gives us an opportunity to practice what we (hopefully) preach, to put our money where our mouths are. Confronting an issue openly, honestly, and immediately will allow your customer to trust that you do not avoid tough situations, you do not white wash your conversations. Obviously in these instances, don’t rely on just simply informing on an issue, bring the solution, or at least tell your customer what your plan is to find the solution.
Well, That Blew Up in my Face
Yeah, that happens. Sometimes the issue is too large for a customer to continue in a relationship with you. That is alright. If you did something catastrophic to their business, you should expect to lose the work and possibly even the relationship. But it must never change your response to failure. There is a simple principle that I try to teach my children: “The truth is NEVER wrong”. If an issue was not catastrophic for the customers’ business and they overreacted and blew up ending the relationship with you; well, I guess they were not a good match for you anyway. It shouldn’t change the way that you respond to a mistake in the future.
So, What Does This Look Like
At Clucic we believe that honest conversation will always lead to a better relationship with our customers. From telling them hard truths about their technology risk to being upfront with mistakes made on their account. This philosophy can also be practiced in the employer/employee relationship and we do.
We work for the customer, as such anything we do is as an employee for them. There is nothing about their technology good, bad, or ugly that should be kept from them.
Start a conversation with us today to begin the relationship and learn more.