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Showing posts from April, 2017

Learning to Adapt

Perhaps the most often overlooked requirement of IT support is the ability to adapt. On some level, adaptation is required for any kind of IT support and environment with a diverse group of users who bring eclectic backgrounds and preferences. Everyone who was done IT support for while, particularly in an environment where the general public can seek support, has seen that situation where we're asked to support devices we have never seen before. The effective way to respond in most environments is not to adhere to some arbitrary sense of scope support and decline supporting the device, but instead to look it up if needed and attempt troubleshooting the best we can through trial and error. That level of adaptation is required in any kind of IT support, but most environments also depend on IT support professionals to adapt in more ways and it is through our ability to adapt to new situations, practices, and procedures that we grow as an organization and become more effective at the …

Remembering "the Human Element"

When providing training for IT support positions, so many specific technical tasks, procedures, and concepts are required that often the most important aspect of what we do gets overlooked: supporting the users. While resolving issues in a timely manner is important, what would be most important in most situations would be the intangible skills of evoking empathy, providing emotional support, and active listening. These types of skills are often described as "customer service," but I believe it goes beyond the mantra of keeping the customer happy. When the supported user is experiencing emotional distress because of a technical issue, we must respond effectively to not only resolve the issue, but support the user.  What we are talking about, when done effectively, really requires going beyond our roles as they are often presented as impersonal troubleshooters focused precisely on resolving particular issues in a narrow point of support. What we must to do is dig deep to supp…