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When employee experiencing a problem with his/her computer at the office, they will call the IT guy. When the IT guy arrives, the user says a short sentence: “My Computer is broken”. Then IT guy will check the Computer, find out what happened, then solve the problem. And everything is back to work. After an exchange of “Thanks” and “You’re welcome”, IT guy will back to his station and The Employee can continue his/her work.
End of story.
From years of experience handling IT technical support, I have a thought that, at some point, IT Technical Support (IT Guy) is like a Doctor, for both the computer and more importantly, for the user of the computer (The Employee).
Ok, from now on, if I say “we”, it’s mean the IT Guy, and if I say “user”, it’s mean the Employee. In this article, I’m imagining doing conversation with my fellow IT Guys, with the user as a spectator. Well, imagination is good for our brain, isn’t it?
When we get a request to fix a problem, either by Phone, Text Message, Email or even a yell, so often the user does it under pressure. He/She has a tight deadline must send an email immediately, but suddenly the email freeze, computer not responding, they got panic. Obviously, they need help. In this condition, the IT Guy must handle such situation just like a doctor treating a patient.
All we have to do first is to listen to whatever the user tell about their problem, let them share their frustration, listen to them with empathy. Even though the problem is just a tiny glitch for us, but for them, it could be the trigger to World War III. So we have to listen and make them calm.
After that, what is our response? We have to treat the problem seriously, as important as it is to them. — “C’mon it’s just a glitch, we can fix it with a snap of the fingers”- you said.
No, we do it with warmth, not as plain as a robot. Show them that: “I understand your worries, let’s fix this.”
As an IT guy, we will deal with almost every line of our organization, from the Receptionist to Division Heads even the Director. Because of that, we have to have a good behavior. And with the spirit of Doctor treating a patient, we take care of their problem with warmth, whoever they are. Be it Ms. Receptionist or Mr. CEO. But nevertheless, we have to have such priority filter. When two requests come, we have to really understand, which request is more important.
For a large organization, they have branches and site offices. And often these branches and site offices have no IT Guy. When the user at branch office experiencing a problem, they will call headquarters, looking for IT Guy, ask for help.
There are numerous technical ways we can help those who are across the continent. But first of all is how do we handling communication with them.
The user may call using a phone, or email, or instant messaging application (WA, Line, Fb messenger, yahoo messenger, etc). For all of that type of communication, the rule is the same. Show empathy treats them warmly.
For the telephone call, we can show empathy by friendly tone, warm voice, and a bit joke if necessary. How about messaging app? We can use friendly written sentences and proper emoticons. And one more thing, make a response as fast as possible, don’t let them wait. If we are in the middle of something, tell them your situation then say that you will be back to him/her as soon as possible.
And one important thing when doing communication with the user is, use “English” not Martian language. Avoid the usage of technical terms, use daily life’s words. Even if we can’t avoid to use it, those Martian Technical Terms, use it in a wisely manner, don’t get cocky.
Nowadays, everything in our life is somehow and someway, utilize IT. But not everyone is a tech savvy. Many of them don’t even understand how to change their wallpaper. Upon problem, they really need IT Guy. This can make us — the mighty techy IT Guy- get cocky. Remember what master Yoda said, cocky people make other feel uncomfortable. It’s not good for you when people feel uncomfortable with you. Cocky you must not.
Emmm…Is this article too long?
I still have 2 more things to say. Is it ok?
As a team player, we often finding our self, handling our partner’s job. When such thing happens, to the user, don’t say: “It’s not my job, you have to call my partner”. Remember, the user comes to IT dept. seeking for help, they don’t care who will handle it, they just want their problem solved.
So, we as IT div united, have to deliver the solution. Even if we don’t know how to solve it, because we don’t have the specialty on it, don’t let user going back home empty handed. Give them hope. You can try to look for their problem, try to understand what’s going on, and based on that you tell the user what is happening. And since you can’t solve it, tell them that you will be back with a solution. Then you call your partner who is an expert on it, asking him for the solution.
Ok, here is the last.
Most of IT Guys is not Einstein, it’s common that we got a problem that beyond our skill to fix it. If we got such situation, we hit a dead end, avoid saying: “I can’t do it, I’m sorry”.
User calls IT guy to fix their problem, they want a solution, not: “I’m sorry”. So we have to come with the solution. Upon a dead end, we have to calm them down and say: “ok, I need more time to fix this.”
Then offer them a temporary solution such as using another computer, or working another task while you struggling to find the right solution for the problem.
After that, try to contact your partner or your superior, or even friends and communities. Tell them your problem, ask for help.
Well, let say you’re out of ammo, you already call everyone, friends, supervisor, the gurus, even the CIA, FBI, and NSA, and you still can’t solve the problem, make a sincere confession to the user that the problem is beyond your capability to fix it, and then — this is the most important- give the user alternate solutions. The goal is, the user can back to work, meet their deadline. Bring them back their happy work life.
Alright, that’s just my two cents.
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