We’ve all experienced, to one degree or another, the feeling of despair that can set in when something breaks and there’s seemingly no way to fix it. For business owners or managers, a network failure or firewall breach can trigger a sinking feeling of “uh-oh, now what do we do?!?” But, fortunately for most companies – at least the ones who have a managed service provider – all they really need to do is make a phone call. And help is on the way.
That’s when we service technicians grab our toolkits, fill up our travel mugs (as noted in a previous blog, coffee does wonders for alertness, attention and memory), pack our trusty laptop, and head off to save the day. But this got me wondering, do customers really know what’s going through a technician’s mind when we’re on the way to an emergency call? We’re walking into a situation where, at the moment, all we know is that things aren’t working. There’s likely to be a building full of people with frayed nerves awaiting us; the pressure may be especially intense if the network problem has caused work to grind to a stop.
That’s why, along with our troubleshooting protocol, we must also carry another skill, too – the ability to stay cool under pressure. What separates a decent IT company from a great IT company is how its technicians respond in a crisis. In those moments, what matters most is that – in addition to fixing what’s gone wrong – we have the ability to instill a sense of calm and control back into the situation.
Generally speaking, when we first arrive on scene, a customer needs us to resolve the problem as quickly as possible – which sometimes makes the core troubleshooting steps of “gathering information, diagnosing, remediating and testing” somewhat difficult. The deep sense of urgency can cause a tech to rush through to “remediation” too quickly, and that can often make matters much, much worse. It is therefore important that we remain calm and focused, despite the urgency of any situation.
Techs should always recognize that we are influencing every client with whom we interact. If we allow ourselves to become flustered, the customer will become more flustered. If we panic, their panic level rises. By remaining calm, we can often help the client regain calm. This helps them work through the issue with us, and often helps to identify workarounds and ways to get the business running again.
Another tool in our arsenal is the fact that we’re not alone out there! At The Network Support Company, every tech in the field has a team behind him, ready, willing and able to weigh in on a challenge if needed. And, because we always take the time to meticulously document every call we go on, there’s a virtual library of information at our disposal.
Techs are always most effective when calm, even when the situation is dire. A calm mind will process information quickly, identify possible diagnoses faster, and ensure that critical details are not missed.
A day in the life of a technician often involves stress. That stress is usually shared by the person on the other end of the phone, but part of our commitment to our clients is ensuring that the stress does not define the experience. Returning the business owner/management to feeling calm, in control, and optimistic is every bit as important to us as returning the business itself to operation.