Finding someone to provide IT support isn’t difficult. Finding someone who can communicate really effectively while also providing IT support can be very difficult. That’s why Three Cherries focus so heavily on great communication.
Remember the total shambles that was the opening of Heathrow’s terminal 5 back in 2008? As the following weeks went by plenty of customers gave their opinion of the biggest problem. Passengers confirmed that the major causes of frustration at the terminal were the complete lack of communications from BA. People didn’t know the status of their flights, their baggage, or what they were supposed to be doing.
All it would have taken to make the situation significantly better is for British Airways to send out staff to stand on top of the nearest baggage carousel and give customer updates every 15 minutes. This would have shown people they were taking things seriously and calmed the situation right down. Generic announcements over the PA won’t work in that situation. Additionally asking people to queue at understaffed service desks only to be told “We don’t know when the issues will be resolved” as they get to the front will only inflame the situation.
This same concept holds true in the event of an IT failure. No matter if the issue affects one or one hundred people there is more to focus on than just the technical elements of the problem at hand. Communicating what the issue is, what steps are required to resolve it, and what the possible timescales are is vital to keeping the issue under control.
It’s important to see communication here as an ongoing task. Updating those with an interest in the resolution of the problem on a regular basis makes all the difference. Even if that update is simply “there is no new information”, it still needs to be done. This is primarily because of a simple fact of human psychology, a lack of “knowing” leads to anxiety and negative feelings. We’ve all experienced a feeling of powerlessness when a situation is out of our control; like before visiting the dentist or waiting for some bad news.
“When people don’t have the information or knowledge they feel they need, low productivity results. The reason is pretty basic—people tend to avoid situations in which they will be seen as not knowing, not understanding or not having expertise”. – David Grossman, US leadership consultant.
Imagine if, while in the dentists waiting room, the dentist came through and said: “I’ve not seen what your problem is yet, but I’m sure we’ll be able to fix it quickly and painlessly”. You’d feel less nervous about the whole process.
Likewise, when our technicians are solving an issue, we provide steady and useful information back to those affected. First, we check with the site contact who we should update, then we make sure those people are kept up-to-date. It’s not rocket science, but you’d be amazed how often companies fail to take these simple steps.
We also see communication as critical to day-to-day, non-downtime, issues. Every call that is logged with us is reviewed several times a day to ensure it’s moving forward correctly. When a technician closes a call, the user is always asked to confirm that the issue was resolved to their satisfaction.
It’s these small, but oh-so-important, communication steps that keep our customers as relaxed as possible. IT failures occur, that’s a fact of business life, but we work hard to keep these as stress-free as possible. If you like being kept out of the dark, maybe get in touch for a chat.