IT consultants often serve as first responders to stressful technological crises. When multiple simultaneous crises arise -- which might occur following severe weather, natural disasters, a widespread telecommunications episode, or a widespread zero-day malware attack -- having a triage chart handy helps ensure clients receive help in a logical and efficient manner.
Download TechRepublic's IT Consultant Client Triage Decision Tree and refer to it especially when call volumes and tempers reach unhealthy levels. By assigning simple weights to client needs before service storms arise, consultants can simplify priority determination and remove emotion from what needs to be a balanced approach to triaging client emergencies.
Assigning 10 as the highest priority and 1 as the lowest, the triage flowchart can be customized as offices require. If your consultancy decides certain client needs deserve higher priority, you can adjust the relevant ratings correspondingly. The values in the master Visio file have been preset, however, to favor clients on service plans guaranteed high priority service.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.