The Perils and Joys of IT Support

Front line support is a tough business. Most people do not particularly care to be on the receiving end of a frustrated users tirade about how many times this week they have been kicked out of whatever application they use most often! But still we endure -we get yelled at, we listen, we empathize and we fix. That’s what we do.

It’s tough to keep thick skin when it comes to this business. But still, we must. And from our calm and collected perseverance comes the joys of IT support. Oh yes, the joy of IT support and the feelings that come from solving another technical challenge that escapes most mortals. You have the ability to single-handedly, save the day; save a meeting; save a presentation; save a computer from being thrown out of a 10th story window.

So, how can you maintain your cool, collected attitude through a verbal tongue lashing so that you can take the next steps toward solving the real problem? Remember these steps when you find yourself getting a little hot under the collar:

Remember, it’s not personal. More often than not, the client is not mad at you. They are simply frustrated and just want to resume their work. So, put on your thick skin coat and relax.
Listen, listen, listen – and do not interrupt! Make sure you hear the entire complaint/issue. If it is a lot, then take notes! Remember their name and, do not forget to relax.
Tell the client you understand their frustration, remain calm and in doing so, you may just diffuse some of their frustration. They want to know that you do understand and that you empathize.
Do what you do -solve the problem! If you cannot solve it quickly, then let them know that you will research and get back with them. Tell them exactly when they can expect to hear from you and keep your word!
Bring closure to the issue. Make sure the problem is resolved and the client is happy. Follow-up with an e-mail or a phone call to make sure the issue did not reoccur. This simple step makes a huge difference with client satisfaction!

Remember, the only thing you can control is yourself. Don’t let an irritated client bring you down. Remain calm and empathize with the frustrated user and then, do what you do best…save the day!