Have you ever had a computer problem that affected you personally?
Maybe your program froze up or you lost power before your work was saved…
Or struggling to learn new or updated applications that force you to abandon old habits?
It became even more apparent to me after hiring Maricris, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s in Counseling, that people, need to be the center of our focus.
“Care for the person first, then service the computer”
Computer Service is all about helping a person who has been slowed down or stopped from getting things done. Over the years I have said, “computer service was 80% knowing how to care for people and 20% tech”. But it was not until more recently that I saw that someone with a focus on the people can quickly become more effective at solving technical problems, but tech’s who ignore people consistently fail.
Obviously, you still need training in computer services but when you are choosing the best people for this space the list of priorities is almost the opposite of what I would have originally thought. First, written and verbal communication must be good enough to interact with people, but more importantly the ability to define and overcome problems with a desire to learn from the solution. With those tools and genuine care for people, you can train amazing team members.
It is not impossible to take a person who is a natural problem solver with good communication and train them to provide excellent computer services. But it is quite difficult to train a highly-skilled computer tech without interpersonal skills to be effective in the day-to-day interactions with people.
After hiring some people who had great resumes but were totally incapable of delivering effective service, I have adjusted and found great success in the new focus.
It is about using computers to connect people to each other
At its core, IT (Information Technology) is about using computers to connect people to each other… Computer Support is the part of IT that reaches into the day-to-day tasks of a person and helps them to be more effective in how they can communicate. It makes sense that we can never be effective in serving people with computer solutions if we are not experts ourselves in communication. Once we have some mastery in communication and genuine care for the people we are serving we can offer far superior solutions that mindlessly make computers work without ever considering the underlying tasks and how to best serve them.
Something as simple as helping to create an email signature, and talking through the way the person wants to be contacted along with visual layout, might make all the difference in improving communication.
Finding ways to improve your day
Everyone has experience with calling support and having little to no real care given to them. It is a rare and delightful experience when you call for computer service and the support person genuinely cares about you, quickly finds the root of your problem, solves it, and then proceeds to help you with anything and everything (even outside the scope of computer support). Then when you call again they are even more excited to talk to you and see how you are doing during the computer service process.
Often when someone calls support they are already frustrated or angry so understanding how to address the frustrations and even take responsibility for unresolved problems can quickly turn something frustrating into a relaxed conversation and a quick resolution. But even when I am just ok… hearing the smile in a person’s tone while feeling cared for can make all the difference in my day.