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Information Technology Personnel
Technology support is the backbone of a company
“A solid team of technology support individuals is important to a company’s success and reputation for several reasons; the technology support staff is often the consumers first and last impression of a company which is a huge responsibility to the technology support team members” (Kearns, 2009, p.1). Technology propelled the global market. Through technology partnerships in business around the world were created and maintained. The Internet and various communication methods made international business possible. Advancements in e-mail, instant messaging, and video conference software applications like Skype have forever changed the face of business. Technology support is the backbone of any company or agency, there are steps and strategies that can assist in building an effective technology support team.
IT Integrated Model
Creating a successful work environment that will foster relationships between technical and non-technical employees should be the first step. Operational floor plan’s vary and are dependent upon the kind of business. The manager should influence where employees are located throughout the building. Outdated models segregate the technical staff. A benefit of housing all technical staff together is shared knowledge between the IT unit. A drawback is the lack of comradely that creates division and weakness a business’s cohesive structure. Integrating technical and non-technical staff will look differently for each company. IT staff may be spread throughout a business, a paired team in each department or on each floor, or it may be only one technical team player per work unit. The employee placement strategy should be individualized based on the companies needs.
- BUILDING A TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT TEAM
In this article I will discuss how to effectively build an effevtive technology support team. I will also discuss how personalities within the team can affect relationships among coworkers, other technology staff members and beyond.
Hiring the Right Candidate
Recruiting the right talent is as important as designing the right work space for staff. Research shows that individuals who excel in Information Technology possess specific skills as well as the ability to work alongside non-technical staff. The IT candidate needs to have superior communication abilities. Communication is essential and includes the capability to listen effectively and to speak clear and concisely. Depending on the role of the business, a technology support member may be the first and only point of contact and is a crucial reflection of one’s company. It is also imperative that IT members be able to solve problems, illustrate conflict resolution skills, demonstrate patience, be able to adapt, has a curious nature, uses logic, and is flexible. Any customer service representative must always maintain a polite manner of speech, and show customers respect at all times. “The logic behind customer retention is simple - it costs far less money to keep current customers happy than to spend much more money to recruit new customers; loyal customers tell their friends about your business and will spend more money than new customers” (Smith, 2012, p. 1).
IT Tracking System
A documentation system effectively used can prevent duplication of work, establish training trends, and serve as a resource guide to commonly encountered problems. The most preferred method is an electronic ticket system that provides a ticket number to the problem and coincides with the resolution. If a customer retains the ticket number it can also enable a return call to be more time effective. “The absence of some form of computerized technology support system creates a scenario where technology support team members could potentially wind up solving the same or similar consumer complaints over and over again; this is not conducive to any company regardless of its size because any duplication of effort costs money” (Brenchley, 2009, p. 1). Performance reviews and incentives for achieving and maintaining over-all excellence should be a regular practice, and should be provided at time of hire and completed timely based on company policy. An Employee who knows what an employer expects will do a better job of meeting or exceeding an employer’s expectations. “If you want to keep your people long-term, you will need to have a job growth plan in place as well, affording them opportunities to move up in the company” (miller, 2010, p. 1).
During the application and Interview stage of the recruitment process, a good manager should be thinking about the existing team members personalities and what affect the new member will have on the team. “Another element in building an effective technology support team is the consideration of the individual personalities of the team members; a team leader or management putting the team together needs to able to read people and decide what impact those team members may have on a team” (Brenchley, 2009, p. 1). A hiring mistake could cost not only revenue, customer loyalty, and employee retention. The wrong fit can create havoc in any harmonious work atmosphere. The wrong decision for new hire can cost a company a substantial amount of money that includes time and resources. Many companies have invested in and outsource personality tests in hopes of assistance in determining what kind of candidate may be applying for the job. “Smart organizations are using The Rainmaker Group's pre employment personality profiles to ensure they are hiring the best candidate possible during the employee selection and hiring process” (Rain Maker Group, 2012, p. 1).
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What the the typical customer requires
The typical consumer requires problems to be solved efficiently, and professionally. Frustration can arise from a customer when the needs of the customer have not been met by ineffective listening skills. One solution that fits all situations approach is not an effective tool during the problem solving/conflict resolution stage. Rushing through the call may be a symptom of a bigger time management stressor that has been inflicted on the IT member. A balance needs to be sought between not wasting valuable time, and maintaining the ability of completing take care of the needs of each customer. If an IT tech hears a management message that favors quantity over quality, the company will not be known for quality customer care.
Performance incentives should be developed around performance standards derived from company policy. The creation of an optimal technology support team begins with the ability to construct a work environment that situates staff for goal alignment of production excellence, integration of technical and non-technical staff to create a unified employee climate, develop, and utilization of a documentation/tracking system, and the foresight and instincts to hire the most appropriate staff. Provide incentives for demonstrating customer satisfaction excellence that reach internal and external employee motivation needs. The manager is responsible for developing ways to measure success or failure. If something does not work fix it, change it, or alter it.
- Front-line Employees Are Key to Success Customer Service Success
Most businesses spend more time and energy trying to find new customers than they spend retaining the customers they have. The logic behind customer retention is simple - it costs far less money to keep current customers happy than to spend much more
Brenchley, D. (2009). Building a Technology Support Team. Retrieved April 28, 2012