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How IT Downtime Affects Customer Service


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When people receive poor customer service, they may choose to no longer do business with that company. In fact, research indicates that more than 67 percent of people switch to another business as a result of poor customer service. Indeed, the pressure is on these departments to get things right. 

However, people who work in information technology departments do not have the same concerns; if your co-workers are displeased with the results, they can’t simply switch. However, just because IT is the sole source of technology support in a company doesn’t mean it can’t stand to learn a thing or two from other folks whose job it is to solve problems and keep people happy. In fact, taking the following lessons from customer service could help ensure the success of future initiatives.

Downtime for Your Business Impacts Your Relationship with Customers

When a customer is unable to use a product or service, he or she may become irate. Moreover, in the event things don’t work as promised, customer service is tasked with finding a quick solution so that the business doesn’t have to offer a refund or completely lose the customer. In the IT world, “customers” may stop using the technology that doesn’t work for them, which could greatly reduce the chances of a project succeeding. Worse still, some users may create shadow IT projects to circumvent technologies that don’t work as advertised, and this opens the door to huge security risks.

By taking a cue from customer service, IT professionals should learn to address problems and IT downtime quickly. Not only that, but they need to listen to the problems their end users (customers) are having and take the necessary steps to address these concerns and keep them happy.

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Data Breaches Can Cause Irreparable Harm to Your Reputation

When a breach occurs, the customer service department is usually on the front lines. These agents are expected to deal with angry, scared, and concerned customers who may have lost so much trust in the company that they never come back. However, good customer service departments know how to handle data breaches in a way that sets people at ease because they have a plan in place to respond the right way.

The same should be said for your IT department. Dealing with data breaches is all about planning. If a solid is in place, you can minimize the damage and expedite the cleanup. Putting the right detection systems in place may even allow you to disrupt the kill chain before the attackers are able to exfiltrate any confidential or protected data. Otherwise, not having a business continuity/disaster recovery strategy in place may put you in a position wherein your business cannot recover.

Put the Right People in Place

If you have ever had to call into a customer service line, you can tell the good ones from the bad ones right away. Bad customer service reads from a script and can’t help you with anything that goes beyond the most basic of questions. Good customer service empathizes with you and looks for a solution, even if that means putting you in touch with someone who has more knowledge and experience.

The same can be said about a good IT department. When problems arise, good IT staff are able to go beyond the manual to look for a real solution. Doing so may require them to reach out and ask for help, but if it means solving a problem, there is nothing wrong with that.

In both IT and customer service, you need patient professionals on your team who can listen to the concerns of their users/customers and readily solve those problems. Choosing knowledgeable experts with experience can mean all the difference.

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