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Getting closer to users

By Derek Schauland Contributor ·
I am trying to build better relationships with the users I support but am not terribly sure where to begin.

Setting priority has helped in some cases and been a hinderance in others, I suppose that depends on the user.

Does anyone have any ideas how I might begin building better relationsips with my user community?

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Sleep with them?

by tbragsda In reply to Getting closer to users

Is that what your looking for?

Do good work, and they will love you. When I did desktop work, people gave me Starbucks coffee vouchers, lunch, whatever. I never did anything other than serve them to the best of my abilities. Im not jokeing. Anyone that does a job well will be soughtout, those that dont will not have a good relationship with those that he serves.

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For other readers

by DC_GUY In reply to Sleep with them?

Since you care enough about this to actually be working on it, you probably already have the people skills that will help. But for other readers who are not so far along in their transition to user-friendly: Learn to avoid jargon and talk plain English (or whatever language they speak), but that's not the same thing as talking down to them. Be honest, e.g. if you don't know the answer to a question, say so. Remember that there are no stupid questions but there sure are a lot of smart answers, and avoid giving one. Return calls and e-mails promptly, let them know you're there. Learn as much as you can about their business, their job, their work day, their concerns. Socialize with them? (To restate the previous suggestion. ^_^ ) Absolutely, get to know each other off duty. But if you're a good old-fashioned geeky IT weirdo, practice toning it down just a little. Nobody wants you to pretend to be something you're not and geeks get plenty of chicks/dudes/whatever, but they'd like to at least be assured that you're housebroken.

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by Derek Schauland Contributor In reply to Getting closer to users

I guess I also want to be sure that I am providing services that will allow the users to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. Or even in some cases services that will allow me to do my job of servicing the user even better.

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Ask them

by JamesRL In reply to

Take surveys - ask them how you are doing - what you do right what you do wrong. Have focus grous -select groups of users that you bounce new ideas off of. Invole them in projects - let them help you test new products and get their feedback.

Thats a good start.


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last time...

by Derek Schauland Contributor In reply to Ask them

Last time I tried to post a survey so they could provide feedback no one filled it out. I have also tried the focus groups for testing, but testing comes along rather few and far between...

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As already mentioned

by jdmercha In reply to Getting closer to users

Talk to them. When you vist their workstations ask them how they use their computer to do their jobs. When you're fixing something, explain to them what you are doing. Educate them on how to avoid problems.

Above all, remember that the person you are talking to is the most important person in the world, at that point in time.

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Getting away from users

by house In reply to Getting closer to users

Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I might get away from needy people. I've managed to shake a few on a case by case basis, but most of them, well let's just say that I'd prefer doing business with more commercial clients. :)

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Don't shower (LOL)

by dafe2 In reply to Getting away from users

Actually.........I found that drawing a line between Business Class machines & home machines works.

The old "I don't know anything about home PC's" works well for me, allong with a referal to a friend of mine who has the patience to still deal with the c.rap that goes allong with it.

Dontcha love the one where you fix their PC & all of sudden, since you did that, their car doesn't run very well and it's 'your fault'? LOL

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Be a prick

by Oz_Media In reply to Getting away from users

People love me for the way I help them out but they won't waste my time.

(Funny, I JUST got a call from a clients receptionist as I was typing that first line). Her Webshots on her home PC had gone funky, so she called and said "I know this is a really stupid question and I am probably wasting yout time but I know you can help me easily and your the pro with this stuff, my husband is a knob when it come to computers"(stroke stroke).

"So I laughed and said, hey you have a stupid problem call somebody stupid right?"

I then walked through the Webshots support site with her over the phone. She found the answer of simply changing the photo to refresh it and it was fine.

It was an easy 30 second fix and we chatted for a few minutes so it's no problem. She is now comfortable using the Webshots support forum.

There's no way she would call me without pfirst seeking online help though, I trein users how to find the CORRECT answers before calling me and it helps keep user issues to a minimum. They feel smarter and more independant, they love me fo rthe support I offer and learn at the same time.

People just don't want to look dumb when they understand how stupid some of their issues are and will try a little harder to find answers I think. The woman who just called had already been to the Webshots website etc. Knowing that I would generally walk her through finding the answer. I find helping people to find their own solutions is the easiest way to have people help themselves out of mindless issues.

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Isn't it wonderful

by house In reply to Be a prick

I just got a call from a client yesterday who had reformatted her PC. Her laptop was (obviously) missing quite a few drivers. She said, "I don't like calling Dell because I always end up on hold for a few minutes"... so I put her on hold.

She then tells me that she has the driver cd from Dell in her hand. She puts it in and a wizard pops up that searches her computer and displays a list of all the drivers - checkmarks in the boxes that are installed, and no check marks for the devices that are not installed. I asked her to read me what is written above.... she goes, "Some of the devices have not been installed on your laptop. Please check the appropriate boxes to install the missing drivers."

I slapped myself in the face and calmly told her to walk through that wizard. Goodbye. Have a nice friggin' day.

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