Working in a position that demands a lot of face-to-face client engagement can be a gratifying and interesting experience, but it’s never an easy task. Working with a variety of customers who all have diverse goals might be difficult, but the personal and professional benefits are substantial, and there are always new hurdles to overcome.
Previously, we shared some stories about our Business Service Team, and today, we would share more narratives on our Client Service Team.
Service Manager – Sara Wong
The primary role of the Service Manager in Computer Guys, is to engage with the business team, understanding the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between us & the clients, overseeing the service team in order to support and maintain the operational infrastructure. He or she supervises the Service Department’s employees, measures/analyses job performances, and offers process improvements, including customer service interactions such as complaints and or requests.
When it comes to tricky situations and communications with clients, Sara, our Service Manager shared with us that, “In order to manage challenging situations, our team requires tight and clear communication, on top of that, we must have quick problem solving skills with good teamwork across departments.”
Maintaining quality business service level is quite important as it will determine the future outcomes of the operations. According to Sara, she defined great service as, “The most important thing to note is that service is done by the whole company and not just one department. Good service is when clients experience less to none issues. With that, the team will have the extra capacity to go the extra mile in building a good rapport and relationships with clients on top of their daily task. This good service experience will in turn increase referral and word of mouth by clients hence increasing business overall. This cycle would increase the internal happiness and it continues to roll, which is the most ideal situation that a company would aim for.”
To achieve good customer service is by having timeliness in all aspects, externally and internally. According to Sara, being on time when attending to any response from clients is the most important aspect for external communication. Whereas internally, responding to colleagues in a timely manner also shows good customer service attributes. Having clear and concise communication is also crucial when liaising with clients. Consistency also plays an important part in ensuring that clients are updated on the progress as well as the internal team to make sure everyone is on the same page if they are assisting the client or just for knowledge sharing. Sara also quoted that when managing expectations, “don’t ever over promise” or rather “under promise, over deliver”.
Project Manager – Andrew
The project manager is in-charge of the client’s project based on the day-to-day operations and must be capable of handling all six project aspects: scope, schedule, finances, risk, quality, and resources. Project managers work on individual projects with specific results, time constraints, and budgeting constraints.
One of the challenges working in the IT industry is that, many times, clients would not be able to comprehend the IT technical terms/jargons used. As a project manager, they will need to convey what is reported and communicate directly to the clients to ensure that they fully understand their IT infrastructure and issues.
According to Andrew: “Typically, customers engage us mainly because they lack IT expertise, so presenting the proposal and details is sometimes a challenging process when I present them. It is therefore common for me to try to translate the terms into layman’s terms so that they can better understand.”
For instance, Andrew shared with us one of the incidents whereby his client was confused why domain and hosting are needed for a simple website. He then explained it in simpler terms: “Domain is your car plate, Hosting is the car and the Website is the passenger. So without the car plate people cannot recognize you(your website) and without a car you can’t carry your passenger (website needs a place to host it).”
Andrew also added that: “The challenge of being a project manager is that we always have to be meticulous when planning for any project and be ready with different backup plans for any unforeseen circumstances.”
Helpdesk – Jiawen
The help desk duties include: responding to client’s technical requests in a timely manner and providing professional technical support ensuring smooth operation of a company. The helpdesk support team are often called ‘the frontliners’ as they are the first line of support that customers can reach out to us should they face any issues. Likewise our help desk team must always be prepared to think on their feet, so as to provide assurance to the clients and outstanding customer service.
Jiawen has been part of the help desk support for quite awhile and she mentioned that, “Often, as help desk support agents, we have to be flexible and most importantly, listen before we speak to fully understand the situation. When things don’t go as planned/work, users may come to us feeling frustrated; we need to identify the problem areas while also providing temporary solutions while we attempt to resolve the current situation.” Our goal at Computer Guys is to facilitate our support to make it easy for clients to reach us directly with a call or via email. The purpose is to maintain clear communication between clients and support personnel/team.
System Administrator – Calvin
As System Administrator, they are always working at the frontline of Computer Guys. Their main role is to ensure that the client’s IT infrastructure is working well so that users will be able to have a smooth business operation. According to Calvin, our System Administrator, he describe his typical day as: “Our typical day is to provide monthly maintenance check for all IT equipments for each and every client, monthly backup of IT equipment configuration file if any, ensure every network connection are running smooth on a daily basis, and providing recommendation for outdated or failing hardware if any.”
This role is one of the main support core functions of Computer Guys and consistency is the key. According to Calvin: “In order to maximize efficiency at clients’ businesses, it is vital to maintain good communication with clients, provide them with updates on current conditions, and make suggestions to improve workflow be it software or hardware.”
System Administrator – Jun Yan
Reactive system administrators spend most of their time responding to sudden IT incidents. They have to react to incidents almost immediately and put out the “fire”. But does this mean that they have to always be on the ball and required to have a lot of knowledge to ensure their task is performed well? According to Jun Yan, our Reactive System Administrator: “Most of the time, we only need 50% IT knowledge, the other 50% is to be resourceful to find out answers to resolve the incidents.”
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” In Computer Guys, we believe in helping each other and whenever there are problems that one is unable to resolve, we seek help instead of keeping quiet. “I would usually check with other team members before escalating to senior members if I am unable to solve the issue.”
To extend quality services to clients, both client facing teams and the business service teams require excellent communication between members of each team. A service-oriented driven business must keep in mind to always put the client’s interests first and carefully evaluate the different environments so that the right solution and implementation can be provided.
Computer Guys believe that everyone on the team contributes to keep the business moving forward, no matter how big or small their contribution is, and we thank them for going above and beyond for our organization.
“Customer service should not be a department. It should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh –