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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, CompTIA ChannelCon is one of my favorite channel events of the year. This year in particular was extra special because of the beautiful venue right on Hollywood Beach (and yes, I did sunrise beach yoga), but that’s not why it’s my favorite. Peyton Manning was the keynote speaker and I thought he did a nice job tying both his personal and professional experiences into the tech industry (and yes, I got to meet him), but that’s not why ChannelCon is my favorite.
There was a surplus of content this year delivered by all of the CompTIA communities, within the Channel Track and Track4Techs, not to mention main stage sessions, but even this is not why ChannelCon is my favorite. The best part of the event for me was seeing all of the people come from across the globe; to be a part of it. It’s one of the only events in the channel where vendors, solution providers, consultants, associations and industry experts get together with one common goal – to learn from each other. ChannelCon is different because everyone checks their personal agendas and sales pitches at the door and represents themselves as a member of the tech community, rather than the company they work for.
There was one session within the Managed Services Community meeting that I got a lot out of and would recommend to anyone in the tech industry. Don Crawely, the author of The Compassionate Geek, presented the five fundamental qualities of great customer service and communication. He focused on the personality traits of highly technical/less social individuals and highly social/less technical individuals and how both relate to servicing our customers.
For the purpose of my blog, I’m renaming it The Compassionate Person, because in my opinion these best practices don’t just apply to geeks. I don’t think anyone would consider me a geek (probably because I still use MapQuest; don’t judge me), but I still learned a lot from this session, and I’d like to share.
Heroes vs. Villains
Crawley started the session by having everyone in the audience write down customer support experiences they’ve had and why they were good or bad. We split these examples into two groups, heroes and villains. On my heroes list, I wrote, “Timely response, apologetic, and understanding.” On my villains list, I wrote, “Scripted response, not listening, not sorry, ‘It’s policy’.”
After we wrapped up the exercise, Crawley had us look through our lists and check off which examples were technical- or compassionate-focused. Every single one of my examples, good or bad, was because of how the person I was dealing with made me feel. Not because of the technical problem I was having.
The Competency-Charisma Continuum
The next step in the activity was to identify ourselves on our competency-charisma continuum chart, which had four quadrants.
No matter where your personality equates on the scale, he discussed how these five qualities of great customer service could help you be successful in the IT service space.
Five Qualities of Great Customer Service
Communication has become a rapid-fire exchange in our society, which can be exhausting, even if it’s over the phone. The media, iPhones, social media, all of our apps and a thousand other things contribute to our fast paced, rushed conversations. When we’re providing service and support to our customers, slowing down can make our customers feel valued and heard, which is a huge part of the experience.
Thank you CompTIA for another great event and to the Managed Services Community for hosting this great session!
Samantha Ciaccia is channel engagement manager at Datto and vice chair of the CompTIA Cloud Community.