Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Softer Side of Technical Support

Sometimes in business we lose sight of the fact that our clients have "unofficial" needs besides those we claim to address with our services. In many cases, it's the little niceties that separate us from our competition.

I was in a networking meeting a few days ago and people were talking about the "something extra" that separates their business from others. In almost every case the answer had something to do with the people side of business.

For example, Jason - the Dog Guy - trains his staff to pay attention to whether clients seem nervous or anxious when they drop off their dogs for doggy daycare. If they are, the employee makes a note to call that client later in the day and reassure them that Bowser is happy, eating well, and doing fine. This "service" is not related to taking care of the dog. Just the opposite: It's all about taking care of the human!

Similar stories were told about large purchases and waiting for deliverables. Yes, at some level, business is all about business. But decision makers are humans and they're spending their hard earned money. So you may need to help them get past "buyer's remorse."

That's not a discussion about technology. It's a "softer" discussion about making the client feel comfortable with their decision. You might have the discussion in terms of technology and business, but you're really working to calm nerves and address emotions.

You've heard it said that people buy based on emotions and justify the decision based on logic. So it makes sense that their nervousness about decisions is emotional and you can help support them with logic.

Something related to this happens when people have made a large purchase and they're waiting for delivery. Imagine spending five or ten or twenty thousand dollars and you don't have anything to hold in your hands and touch.

When we've had these orders, we always made a habit of keeping the client informed: We've ordered the equipment; the monitors are here; the server has arrived; we're waiting on hard drives; etc. Sometimes, if it's a long wait or we have to do a lot of prep work at our office, we'll send pictures to the client. "Here's your server. It's beautiful!"

Think about the human side of your business and how you can build in some of these "softer side" communications. And that's essentially what they are: communications between your business and the client's business. But these communications are more personal and less technical.

It's all about taking care of the relationship in addition to the customer.


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