Training your IT team

Ever receive complaints from your customers about your IT support? Or are you looking for a way to improve your IT team even further?  Training your IT support on how to handle themselves when a customer presents them with a crisis or disaster could be the answer you are looking for.

We met up with Steven Rodin, CEO of Storagepipe Solutions to talk about what he expects from his IT team and how they have in turn contributed to Storagepipe’s success. Storagepipe provides world-class corporate data protection solutions, which makes their IT team a vital part of the company.

Since Storagepipe is in the business of dealing with clients’ disasters, every day their IT team faces crisis after crisis.  This normalizes what a crisis is for them despite the fact that this may be a rare occurrence for their client.  As a result, they have to treat every case with a high level of priority and have to excel at this in order to be successful.  Well, how can this help you?  Having your IT team treat every client with this level of care and diligence will improve the customer service level that your IT team is able to deliver.

So we asked Steven to provide us with some insight into his IT team.  “One of the most important aspects for our team is that our clients have a very high level of trust with them, that they have a very high level of diligence when they are dealing with our customer base and that they can handle themselves in a crisis”.  Since most technology companies are not in the business of handling disasters on a regular basis, on the occasion that a crisis does occur, either internally or externally, having IT staff who cannot handle themselves in a crisis will either cause internal damage, or damage to a relationship with one of your customers.

Speaking of diligence, Steven outlined for us two key characteristics that he has found to be vital in his IT team:

  • Problem Solving Skills & Diligence:
    Often situations arise where IT staff cannot provide a solution right away. Not only is it important to have your IT team be problem solvers, but it is also vital for them to be diligent in cases they have never seen before.  Your staff should be doing their research, consulting others and determining the root cause when finding a solution.
  • Communication Skills:
    If you have staff who are excellent problem solvers, but cannot communicate the solution properly with your clients, your customer service is going to go downhill and quickly. Not only should your IT staff be able to communicate the reason for the problem and the solution effectively, they should also be communicating the specifics of the plan to put into action and ensuring the client is on board with every step in order to provide superior customer service.

We asked Steven what a common mistake is that companies make when building their IT team and how to avoid that pitfall. Steven outlines the importance of being clear and specific about what you are looking for when building your team and what gaps in the organization are you trying to fill.  “If you are not clear about what you are looking for and have not thought that through”, says Steven, “you are bound to make a mistake in bringing on the wrong person into the wrong role”.  Once you have this established, the next step is investing in your team: “people underestimate the amount of time it can take someone to get up to speed on an initiative” explains Steven, “people need time to be trained and they need time to learn new technology and they need time to go and do their due diligence”.  He continues to explain that there is a lot of technology that already exists, and in order to have a superior IT team, you need to invest in the learning of your staff.  Often Steven finds that instead of doing this, companies will throw bodies at the problem hoping that more people on the team will equal better service.

“You don’t always need the largest team, but rather the best team”.

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