We had the chance to speak to presenter Eddie Vidal at the HDI 2016 Conference and Expo. Follow him on Twitter at @eddievidal.
The importance of forming a connection with customers is critical to IT services, especially from a customer support role.
“Regardless of the organizational size that you work for, at the end of the day, you are providing a service to a customer,” said Eddie Vidal.
Therefore, it’s important to separate the weight of a service from the size of the company. No matter how large an organization may grow, the weight of that single service delivery remains equally important. Quality cannot be lost with growth. To inspire this attitude within IT service managers, Vidal recommends asking yourself, “how would I (manage this team) if it was my own company?”
By asking yourself such a question, you’re more likely to strive for that “grassroots level” connection with the customer. Vidal likes to call this mentality an “entrepreneur-type focus,” saying “it’s the best way to deliver service, regardless of whether it’s IT or any business.”
Aligning What You Do with Your Customer
Whether it’s your values, your day-to-day operations, or even your tone of voice while serving a customer, it’s important that you align across the board with your customer to provide the most value possible. Vidal suggests adopting a mentality of “it’s all about them.” He goes on to explain the importance of asking yourself and determining what their needs are and what their pain points are. By having a clear answer to questions such as these, your organization can better align itself to deliver greater service. Vidal also stresses the opportunity to use technology to fill your customer’s gaps and needs.
“I think technology is an enabler to help any organization progress,” said Vidal.
The Middle-Man: A Successful Career in IT
A career in IT can mean many things. There’s software developers, network engineers, data analysts, tech support, and about ten variations of each of those positions. While Vidal doesn’t point to a specific job title, he does look to a particular attitude that can lead one to be successful.
“The ones that are going to be the most successful are the ones that can be in the middle, talking to the customer, and understanding what they need. Then communicating that back to IT and ensuring IT understands,” said Vidal. “So that person right in the middle, I think, is going to go far in this career.”
A key takeaway here is the importance of knowing who you’re talking to and adapting your style accordingly. When facing a customer, asking questions and truly understanding their primary needs is of paramount importance. However, when bringing this information back to IT, the middle man must utilize IT language and terminology in a simple yet comprehensive manner, answering questions to provide clarity.
These two opportunities are very different. Master both, and according to Vidal, you’re on a good path.