The Good from the Great: IT Support Needs More than Know-How

By: Matt Angerer

When it comes to many things in life, there is good, and then there is great. What is it exactly that separates good IT support from superior satisfaction? Ultimately, it comes down to the customer’s perception. You might be surprised to find that while resolving the problem at hand is important, superior IT support is about much more than just that.

According to some indications, it could all come down to the response time and personality provided by the IT support team. The typical responsibilities of a support analyst include diagnosing and resolving problems related to operating systems or enterprise quality management software like HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). As part of that task, support personnel may configure, troubleshoot, and maintain a variety of different settings on the application itself, the database, or even the network configuration. In order to provide satisfactory support, an analyst must have the relevant knowledge, problem-solving skills, education, and mobility. While all of these are important in performing the job at its most basic level, more is required for consistently superior customer ratings.

In order to provide stellar support, an analyst must go above and beyond the specified job duties. That often boils down to response time and the personality of the analyst providing the support. One of the key ways to differentiate an analyst with superior support is by actively pursuing more knowledge and problem-solving skills. This could mean anything from improving system skillsets or being proactive in spotting potential problem areas for clients.

The Importance of Response Time and Professionalism

Along with working toward personal improvement, it is important to focus on providing the fastest and most accurate response possible. According to a KISSMetrics study, satisfied customers will tell anywhere from four to six people about their pleasant experience! Research indicates there is no single metric that has more of an impact on customer satisfaction than resolving an issue during the first call or email. The response and recommended solution are paramount in the first few hours. The professionalism of how the email is crafted and sent reflect directly on the company, making it crucial to first thank the valued support customer, recap the situation, and then provide a suggested resolution.

Providing Quality of Contact

Quality of contact may encompass a variety of elements, but ultimately comes down to how comfortable the customer feels interacting with IT support personnel.  Providing improved quality of contact could include the use of appropriate greetings, professionalism and courtesy, and providing customers with relevant and timely information.

“Even the highest degree of technical competence cannot compensate for a lack of courtesy.”

Even the highest degree of technical competence cannot compensate for a lack of courtesy. IT support teams must always strive to be pleasing and polite with customers while dispensing resolutions. Any misconduct could reflect negatively on the image of your organization. At ResultsPositive, we strive to go above and beyond for our loyal support customers. If you are an organization leveraging HP Quality Center, ALM, UFT (formerly known as Quick Test Professional), or LoadRunner/Performance Center, we staff a world-class IT support team who can help you every step of the way. For more information, feel free to email me at mangerer@resultspositive.com

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