7 Tips for Delivering Exceptional IT Support to End Users
It’s no secret that digital transformation is shaking up the way businesses work. As organizations become more tech-driven, IT is feeling the impact by way of growing demands and higher expectations from end users.
In an increasingly network-reliant business environment, what do users need from IT? And how can IT meet growing expectations in a way that satisfies everyone and keeps the organization running smoothly?
What do users expect from IT?
Companies rely on IT to be productive. For that reason, modern users expect fast, high-quality IT support whenever technology isn’t working like it’s supposed to.
According to this whitepaper from Zendesk (emphasis added):
A new generation of tech-savvy users increasingly expects the latest and greatest…. The result is a constantly evolving portfolio of applications and technologies that IT organizations must support, while being more responsive and empathetic than ever before, all without increasing costs…. Because IT is responsible for enabling company-wide productivity, it sites squarely under the collective corporate microscope. Today’s IT organizations are being encouraged to adopt a customer service view of IT support where customer satisfaction is the new measuring stick.
Whether it’s cloud-based chat applications or faster Wi-Fi, modern tools can increase connectivity, improve communications, and enhance efficiency. Naturally, internal users want these kinds of modern technologies in their office environments. And they expect quick resolution when issues occur.
IT wants to give users great technology with hitch-free functionality. But everyone, from tier 1 network technicians to the CIO, is under increasing pressure to do more: roll out modern tools and make sure they perform seamlessly, support legacy systems, respond to help desk tickets, make field visits, and more.
7 IT Support Tips from the Pros
As businesses become more tech-driven, great IT support will be more important than ever. Whether you’re an IT newbie, a manager overseeing your team, or an administrator with years of experience, here are seven tips to help you deliver the high-quality of service users want and need.
1. Stay current with the technology that’s best for users.
This might seem obvious, but you can’t guide your organization toward the best technology if you don’t have a good sense of what’s available and what works well. Know what employees need to do and what tools you could give them to help them do their jobs better. Also, stay competitive with what other businesses are providing their users.
2. Triple-check that new tools work.
Nothing is worse for IT than rolling out a new technology, only to find out it’s not working right.
Lisa Nelson, Director of IT for the Douglass Independent School District in Texas, has learned the importance of a smooth tech rollout. She shared this in a recent webinar: “If I’ve learned anything in 12 years, if you hand [a tool] to a teacher or student and it doesn’t work the first time or consistently, they won’t use it…. I have to make sure that it does work and that it’s an easy, seamless integration.”
3. Invest in your core infrastructure.
Make sure your back-end architecture—routers, switches, firewalls, servers—is providing the bandwidth and speed you need to run all your key devices and applications. A continual investment in your core infrastructure, says Matt Federoff, CIO of Vail Unified School District, “always pays off.”
Equally important is using network monitoring tools to maintain peak performance levels for your IT infrastructure. Think Scotty from Star Trek, who maintained a constant awareness of the performance levels of his ship. “That pervasive awareness is really important to providing high service levels,” says Matt, because if your business is taking more things digital, “IT has to be ready to back that up with a high level of service.”
Network monitoring software saves IT time and resources because it eliminates the need to monitor the network manually. Using a tool that will send you real-time notifications about critical network events gives you the freedom to be mobile and go about your day, instead of being stuck to a desk.
4. See your role as service provider.
IT must remember that the end goal isn’t just managing and maintaining systems—it’s helping people. If you can “treat end users like customers and have a service orientation,” as this article from TechRepublic says, you’ll be in a much better position to provide excellent support.
As a one-woman IT department, Lisa stays focused on serving her users by identifying the most important help desk tickets—usually, which tickets “are preventing teachers from teaching curriculum that day”— as soon as she gets to work in the morning. She tackles those first, and saves backend work for evenings. “I like to keep my day here for the teachers and be their support staff.”
5. Spend time with users.
The age-old frustrations between IT and users run deep. IT complains that users exaggerate the steps they’ve already taken to resolve problems, and don’t listen to what IT tells them to do. On the flip side, users grow frustrated when IT either under- or over-estimates their technical competence.
Spending time with users helps you better understand their needs and stay patient when you work with them. By developing relationships with non-IT employees, you’ll be able to serve them with more empathy and relevance.
6. Follow up.
After you’ve introduced a new technology, follow up to make sure people have adopted it, are using it, and are benefiting from it. If usage is low or technical problems persist, find out so you can take steps to remedy the issue—whether that means giving additional training, or even reassessing that the tool you chose was the right one to achieve the business’s goals.
7. Support the business.
From the enterprise to the small business, reliable technology helps everyone work more efficiently. IT’s role managing technology and resolving user issues can have a hugely positive effect on the ability employees have to help the business achieve its goals.
IT’s work affects the bottom line. Do it exceptionally, and you’ll keep users happy, teams working efficiently, and the business as a whole operating smoothly.
Stay One Step Ahead of Performance Issues
The worst way to find out that the network’s down is from a user calling to complain. By monitoring your network 24/7, you can prevent, detect, and resolve network issues before they impact performance. Learn more about the top benefits of network monitoring, or try network monitoring with Intermapper free for 30 days.