Richard Cordrey | Training & Development Leader
Nothing slows down a business more than the easily avoidable everyday annoyances that plague us all. Those tiny happenings that keep piling up over the course of what is likely a ten or twelve hour day, leaving you with a highly unproductive feeling when it is time to hang it up and go home. The bad news is that I do not have an ironclad solution for you that will cure all your ails. The good news is that I do have some great ideas about how you can minimize the impact of a few of these nagging issues, specifically when dealing with any technical support department.
Login and Password Management
No matter how long you might have previously avoided computers, and no matter how much you are currently resisting those crazy Facebook and Twitter contraptions, you have to realize that we now live in a world dominated by the Internet. Your employees not only have to keep up with the login and password information needed at your place of business, but they must also manage that same information for a number of other environments including personal email accounts, as well as accounts related to personal bills and utilities. You can see how this can become overwhelming quite quickly.
Now think about how many times you have needed to contact a service provider because a piece of this login information was unknown or forgotten. Even once a day can add up to a significant amount of lost time. Luckily, there are a few quick remedies for this problem.
First, take a complete inventory of your logins. This will include initiating a survey of which users are utilizing which logins, as well as re-evaluating your login distribution to ensure that you have the number necessary for all users to be active concurrently.
Second, if your logins are tied to individual workstations, mark each workstation with the login. Whether you use this method or if you have users who move from computer to computer, you should keep a spreadsheet of all login information, including the user and/or workstation that the login belongs to. One person should be assigned as the keeper of this information, and users should first contact them to ensure all the basic information they are using is correct.
Incorrect translation of information can also be a massive time-waster. We can all think of a time that we have asked four people for the same information and received four distinctly different answers. This situation is amplified in many cases by having multiple points of contact who may understand information differently, especially if those people are not equally versed in the subject matter. Again, there are a few ways to improve this situation, increasing knowledge and simplifying the business at the same time.
First, pick a single person as the point of contact for each major area of business. With the understanding that everyone tends to wear more than one hat, this is not to say that each contact should only deal with one area of the business. You may have an accountant that also deals with all repossession efforts, or a sales manager who also manages your credit reporting. The primary goal is not to individualize areas of expertise, but instead to have a go-to person for each area. Getting questions answered in a consistent manner becomes easier, especially if every employee knows the single person to contact when they have an issue with inventory or accounting.
Second, have that same person designated in each area as the internal point of contact act as your company’s technical support liaison as well. This enhances the consistency of the questions that are asked, and allows for verification of answers received.
Third, make sure your employees are aware of these points of contact. When everyone knows where to go, issues get resolved much more quickly.
The final tip we have for you is perhaps the easiest and quickest way to reduce time spent looking or asking for simple answers. Making sure your employees have access to all available resources can significantly improve not only productive time, but also overall employee knowledge. These resources can include internal process guides, software manuals, and online resources. For instance, having a favorite saved for the AutoStar Knowledge Base (http://www.autostarsolutions.com/support/technical-support/knowledge-base) on each user’s workstation can be a great way to allow employees the ability to find their own answers quickly and continue working. Any manuals that are available in digital format are also a great idea to have saved on individual workstations.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will improve your internal and external communications when dealing with technical support issues. The additional organization and preparation will surely translate to an increase in performance and employee efficiency.