Alright, this one goes out to my fellow I.T. People. We have all been there. The user is frustrated, their machine isn’t doing what they want, they have told their boss, who told your boss, and now the pressure is on. Oh – and the user doesn’t know the difference between the monitor and a server. You know, because the ticket title was “My server won’t turn on.”
Arriving on the scene, it takes about 6 seconds for you to realize that the power strip under the desk that had his monitor plugged in had been kicked so the switch was off. That is less time for him to tell you that it is payroll day and it is his responsibility to get it done. Now there are a couple ways we can handle this situation. Some bad examples include:
- We can belittle the user. After all, he probably kicked his own power strip under the desk. How dumb of him.
- We can brag and show how smart we are, even though we know this didn’t take a wild amount of knowledge.
- We can be sure to let the user know how busy we are and that we really did him a favor by letting him jump the line to the front of the queue.
How many I.T. people have you seen behave this way. Be honest, what about the times when you have acted this way?
Any of these responses would be just the icing on the cake for the poor user who is trying to get his job done. So, let’s ask the question what are some awesome ways to handle this situation? Instead of jumping to the obvious, let’s look at some potential opportunities that can come from this situation.
This is an opportunity to build influence and relationships.
No matter what you decide you want to do with your career, building relationships will always make the path easier to travel. This is a great opportunity to help someone in their time of need. Even if the user does not seem important, you never know who they talk to or more specifically who they will talk about you to. Are they going to sing your praises? Or are they going to say you handled it like a giant jerk sandwich covered in toadstool sauce?
This is an opportunity to offer education.
One of my favorite parts about being in I.T. is being in a position where I can watch the light bulb go off in people’s head. On top of being able to empower people to use their machines to do cool stuff, I often also help them build their own troubleshooting skills – meaning they can often begin to solve their own problems. This obviously doesn’t work with every situation and every user but when it does, it is a win-win situation.
This is an opportunity to get the satisfaction of a job well done and spread positivity in the workplace.
Alright – I get this one may be a little cheesy, but it is also true. Who wants to work in an environment where everything sucks? The fact is, because I.T. impacts a large majority (if not the entirety) of businesses, I.T. has a certain ability to impact company culture. Personally, I believe positivity and culture feed into themselves and replicate. If you can attack an issue from a positive place, even if it is bad, things come out better on the other end. People will see your good attitude and it will often improve theirs.
Bottom line, we have an opportunity to delight with every interaction. Whether it is asking a user for the 100th time if they have tried restarting their PC or helping to recover that document that they had spent hours on but forgot to save, remember that your attitude in that small time-frame can have ripple effects for you and them.
So, back to our H.R. guy trying to do payroll. The incident is easily resolved. Keeping in mind the above opportunities that just presented themselves in this moment, what is a way we can handle this? Let us know! Tell us a story about a time when you were able to connect with a user and really knock something out of the park!