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Opinion

What makes IT support great: good tech or good people?

In this ever-evolving digitally-driven age we are surrounded by much more technology than I could ever have dreamed of in the mid-eighties when I started working in service delivery. To have effortless access to so much digital resource and information is something we now all take for granted. Pretty much any service imaginable can now be delivered digitally and almost instantaneously, the high-pitched screeches of dial-up internet a ghostly sound lost in the past. People who have grown-up spending more time swiping, clicking and tapping than talking are now in the workplace. With stories of millennials who would rather do quarterly reviews via an intranet page than face to face with their manager, I started wondering if the expectations of service delivery has similarly changed over the years.

As Head of Managed Services, I need to ensure that technology delivers value and convenience for our customers while understanding what great customer experience continues to mean. As with most other MSPs we leverage technology for efficiency and effectiveness and it certainly delivers this, but I do consider myself lucky to have worked through a time when technology wasn’t so easily harnessed. While I was still working with technology, I learned the importance of delivering service to people. People are used to the digital world providing the means to deliver what they need but despite the ubiquity of workplace technology, I believe that delivering service to people still holds true as a core principle for an MSP. More than ever our customers just need their technology to work for them and when it goes wrong it is their people who feel the impact. This is where a people-focused customer experience makes all the difference.

Peter McIver, Customer Support Manager

Creating a faceless technological entity in a service desk might be convenient and cost-effective, but it is ultimately unengaging. Dealing with IT can still be a daunting prospect for many people and there is still the fear, even with the most tech-savvy people, that they will feel stupid or inadequate. Understanding how to communicate with people is a skill that defines the best MSPs in the marketplace. IT Support for end users is less and less about operating systems, drivers and firmware and more about supporting them and their businesses with new cloud technologies. If an MSP does not take the time and effort to build support teams that deliver customer service in its truest form, they will deliver a cold experience. At Virtuoso we take the time to focus on the core skills needed to deliver true customer service.

Knowing what these skills are is no secret but being able to deliver them in a way that feels personal to a customer is something that is not so easily achieved. Alongside our systems, such as customer-specific knowledge bases and integrated team communications, we implement internal training and mentoring that sets out to deliver a truly great customer experience. Active listening is vital to allowing customers to relay their issues with confidence; good interpersonal skills and communication skills allow patience and empathy to shine through on every interaction. Truly understanding our customers and their issues allows our teams to deliver the right support first time and this starts from the very beginning, with a people-driven culture ensuring everyone who joins the Virtuoso team aligns to our primary core value, Customer First.

At Virtuoso we want our customer’s users to feel comfortable asking for help. We treat everyone with care and patience ensuring that we get to the root of their issue and resolve it in the best possible way. Knowing that you have not only fixed an issue but done so in a way that delights the user is where satisfaction and reward as an MSP lies. To some it might sound corny to talk about “delighting” customers, but it’s what I strive for within my teams and it is what sets Virtuoso apart. Our customers’ feedback continues to provide testament to the power of excellent customer experience that focuses on people first and the true vision of customer service.