We’ve been working full throttle since December, to be honest December-February are usually more steady away 3rd gear but that’s another post for another day.
Our clients have had their fair share of hardware failures and service collapses and we’ve been working around the clock to get systems and services operational again. Over the last 3 years we as a company have been proactively organising our clients systems to make sure the majority of issues are solved in 5-45 minutes. However sometimes things need to be rebuilt and sometimes that takes time.
I had a conversation this week with a good friend of mine, we worked together three years ago to get his I.T. consultancy set up. He asked me how I believe it’s best to communicate situations to customers when an issue cannot be rectified within the hour.
For instance one client of Aurora Tech Support has 20 years of management data in one database file, which currently sits at 22Gb of information. In the 3rd week of December that database crashed and refused to be reconnected to SQL server because of a discrepancy in that information. Without going into technical detail that would make Isaac Newton feel sleepy it can be like turning a ship and many many commands need to be run on the data.
Now obviously the customer feels like they are dead in the water when in fact the ship is very slowly turning (so to speak, are you still with me?) my friend asks how in situations like this when it is “all hands on deck” (staying with the Nautical theme) to what extent should he stop the concentration on the job in hand and getting the customer back up and running to update the client on the situation.
Please feel free to disagree, my findings on the best course of action are as follows, I think it depends on the client but you should have a general process in place. The client needs to know the issue is a top priority for you as it is for them, and an idea of what you’re doing to rectify the issue and a rough timescale to “all systems go”.
Now, let me be the first to tell you that the Gods of I.T. really like to move the goal posts, so while with the big issues you can be working through a process list you’ve carried out 300 times before you can find yourself stuck at an impasse and having to rethink your strategy. Those ones and zeros can be tricky customers.
I mean this hand on heart, the biggest issue in I.T. support is not the technical side of the job but the communication. And I’m pretty sure that’s true for almost every business on the planet.
In our 14 years as one of the leading I.T. support firms in Yorkshire we have had a few engineers come work with us and we’ve had some both incredibly talented engineers and great communicators. But by far the leading skill has been their communication.
Those that are incredibly technical but have poor communication skills have been a car crash. While those with limited technical skills but great communication have thrived.
One engineer that come to mind was a young 16 year old called Charlie who knew nothing about I.T. but he asked for an opportunity. We started him out with small tasks such as software updates and testing/signing off small issues. Within weeks he was replacing screen inverters and soldering DC jacks etc. He just had the communication skills to hit the ground running and picked up some more great skills as a result of his attitude. Charlie went on to install Fibre broadband lines in Australia and I’m sure now he’s killing it somewhere.
Managing communication with your clients is as important as fixing the issue, arguably more important. And that’s the ethos we built Aurora Tech Support on.
If this article has hit home in any way please get in touch we’d love to talk about how we can send your business into the stratosphere.
I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support