What I.T. Support Should Be

April 12, 2015

 

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I’m working with a client and occasionally need I.T. support.

The I.T. person who supports me and the entire division is a model for who an I.T. support person should be:

  • He’s very responsive–usually within minutes
  • He responds to requests for assistance from anyone including me
  • There are no hoops to jump through to get his help
  • He gets whatever needs to be done completed quickly and professionally
  • He does everything with a smile

Duane is a standout. I look forward to working with him on any issue that might arise.

It doesn’t matter if someone is supporting internal or external customers–great customer service is something to rejoice about.

Photo Credit: CWCS Managed Hosting, Flickr

Thought for the week:

“People wish because they are afraid to take action.”  Alan Weiss, Thrive–Stop Wishing Your Life Away
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Seamlessness Accelerates Growth

September 9, 2013


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Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: seamlessness

One of the desired states I have for my clients in my “why” I’m in business is:

People, processes and systems seamlessly and tightly connect my clients and their teams to their customers and partners

Does this statement reflect the state of your business? For the vast majority of businesses, the answer is “no.”

What does “seamless” really mean? Seams are always noticeable and usually undesirable. They are supposed to close gaps and are points of coming together. Seams can often be points of friction and/or rubbing. Seams may inhibit flow. That’s why you must strive for seamlessness between people, processes and systems.

The idea of tightly connecting speaks to transparency and information availability–being system and process dependent, not people dependent, to service and accommodate the needs of those who rely on you for support.

Customer and partners operate outside the firewall of an organization. They can’t walk down the hall to quickly get answers to questions. Customer and partner success is central to your success.

You need to ask yourself “Do our people, processes and systems seamlessly and tightly connect our teams, customers and partners?” I suspect is there is room for improvement. Call me–I can help you.

Thought for the week:

Secret to productivity is not finding more time to do more stuff, but finding the strength to do less of the stuff that doesn’t need doing. – David Heinemeier Hansson

Recent Blog Posts That May Interest You:

Fast Company: What Is The Value of Happiness?

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadscanners/

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Make It Easy And Simple

August 26, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: make it easy and simple

One of the lines in my “why” I’m in business statement is:

ease and simplicity replace frustration and complexity

If something in your business is frustrating and has far more complexity than it should, the one question you have to ask yourself is when are you going to tackle that issue so you can create ease and simplicity for everyone impacted?

I helped a client with a front-end sales process for a highly-configurable product. It would take 1-3 hours on the phone to configure, price and quote a customized product. The CEO said they’d been living with this issue for 20 years. The pain wasn’t just on the customer side. It would take months to train new sales people to handle those calls.

Which areas should you consider for making it simple? Any customer facing area that has either more frustration or complexity than it should. Where are customers experiencing pain dealing with your company?

  • Getting quotations
  • Booking orders
  • Executing orders correctly and on time
  • Post-sales customer service and support
  • Ensuring that any and all customer expectations are properly set and met

If you take action to eliminate important areas of frustration and complexity with ease and simplicity, this will accelerate your company’s growth.

Thought for the week:

“The project that most scares you is the project you should do first.”  – Robin Sharma
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Great Customer Focus Accelerates Sales

August 19, 2013

bikefridaybadgeNote: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: customer focus

One of my consulting colleagues, Ed Poll, is an avid bicycle enthusiast and a serious bike rider. He’s on vacation in Oregon with his wife, dog and his renovated Airstream trailer.

I encouraged him to stop and meet Alan and Hanna Scholz at Bike Friday in Eugene, Oregon. Bike Friday is a manufacturer of custom-fitted, high-performance bicycles that also fold for travel. I wanted Ed to see first-hand how these bikes are made and learn about the thought and quality that incorporated in the designs. And, of course, I had hoped he might become interested enough to buy one or more bikes for himself.

Thanks to the time, attention and understanding Ed received, Ed told me that multiple bike sales are in the works. That’s exciting! This illustrates that when you closely align your products and services with your prospect’s needs, sales can happen with amazing speed.

So, to a great manufacturer and client in Eugene, Oregon–Bike Friday–thanks for taking care of Ed and his fellow travelers so well. I knew you would. And, that’s why your business will continue to thrive.

Thought for the week:

“Life is like riding a bicycle.To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

Recent Blog Post That May Interest You:

That Awkward Moment When You Learn…

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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How Verizon Wireless Can Improve Customer Service

October 1, 2012

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: customer service

I’ve had a terrific customer experience with everyone I have worked with at Verizon Wireless going back to 2004. The products, services and people have been great. I never cringe at the thought of interacting with this company. That’s not to say they can’t get better!

Here are my recommendations for improving the customer experience relative to a technical problem I’ve been chasing for a few weeks:

  • Never close a trouble ticket without confirming with the customer that the problem is resolved via the proposed solution. More than one ticket was closed when I still had the same problem meaning no one was working on it!
  • When you tell a customer you are going to call them back, call them back. Not hard. Yet, 3 different people promised to call me back and didn’t.
  • Never transfer a customer to one of your supplier’s technical support organizations without (a) informing the customer that that is what you are going to do, and (b) getting the customer’s permission. It’s quite a shock to suddenly find out you aren’t dealing with Verizon Wireless in the middle of a long call.
  • When departments that need to be working together to get to the bottom of an issue aren’t collaborating, escalate the issue within your organization to management and senior management to get them talking. It’s not okay for an organization to be unapproachable when it comes to dealing with a customer issue.

Do these things and I’ll be a happier customer. If you have a customer service organization, avoid the mistakes I’ve identified above and you and your customers will thrive.

Thought for the week:

“If your stakeholders are in the social space, they are talking about your brand — so either engage and be part of the conversation or be left behind.” – Karen Quintos, Dell CMO

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What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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The Future of Customer Service

July 9, 2012

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” which is offered to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: customer service

I was invited to attend a Customer Service Think Tank hosted by Dell in Austin, Texas. Customer service experts and industry thought leaders gathered to ponder the challenges, opportunities and future of customer service and support. One session looked at “the future of service:”

  • Customer service will be at the core of what successful companies do–it won’t be an afterthought.
  • There will be a lot less customer service as the most effective service is the call the customer never has to make as products get better and better.
  • There’s auto-detection of possible issues based on customer profiles and a known solution to problems. Other customers will benefit as well.
  • Smart semantics and artificial intelligence will help customer service personnel and customers converge on solutions faster and with greater ease–complexity will be less obvious to customers.
  • Companies will become more community-driven–the community will be where issues and opportunities surface.

Are these ideas on your company roadmap? If not, how do you expect to thrive?

[Note: You can learn more about the entire event here. Dell paid my travel expenses for this event.]

Thought for the week:

“The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.” – Tom Peters

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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