What end users love about you

Recently we asked for a list of the top complaints end users have about IT departments, and reactions are still pouring in. Seems we touched a nerve.

          Recently we asked for a list of the top complaints end users have about IT departments, and reactions are still pouring in. Seems we touched a nerve.

          Among those reactions was a request for the other side of the story: "Too bad 'What end users hate about you' doesn't contain some examples of how good . . . departments do it right," says Phil Roy in a letter to Network World (US). "My company's IT group is outstanding and very responsive."

          We, too, like to think of ourselves as responsive. So we talked to end users again, this time asking them what they most love about their IT colleagues. Enjoy.

          1. An ounce of kindness

          As they say, an ounce of kindness will get you a pound of love. Dave, a corporate communications director at an IT storage company, says his employer's "crack IT staff" is incredibly responsive. "More importantly, they're even nice about the IT problems I cause," he says.

          2. Going the extra mile

          Sometimes it's the little things that count most, like taking that extra step to help a user. Amy, an editor in Needham, Massachusetts, who works from home part-time, says her IT staff helped her configure her home computer for DSL. "I saved money because I didn't have to pay for someone to come in and install it," she says.

          3. Lots of smarts

          Evan, a communications professional from New Jersey, appreciates the know-how of his company's IT team. He says skill levels are improving as the IT department becomes more familiar with internet technology. "The depth of knowledge has increased exponentially, and the response time when problems arise is much better. IT issues seem to be resolved on the first visit, or with the first phone call," he says.

          4. Grace under pressure

          Many corporate IT departments are servicing companies whose business is IT. That puts pressure on the internal IT folks to perform. Dave, director of marketing at an IT services firm, puts it this way:"When your company has hundreds of customers depending on you to deliver their IT infrastructure, your internal IT department is held up to very high standards. It's like being a doctor whose patients are other doctors. I have great respect for our IT folks, especially given what our company does."

          5. Quick on the uptake

          While some users complain about slow response time, there are many others who praise IT for their speed in resolving problems. Neal, corporate development manager at an application service provider, says his firm's IT staff takes its cue from the company's customer support center.

          "Since they receive notice of the exact issue from the . . . service centre [instead of from me directly], they are able to come right in and fix the problem, instead of the trial-and-error process usually necessary to identify the issue," he says.

          Lisa, a colleague, adds: "When problems arise with email or any application, I call the . . . service centre. They either walk me through the steps to fix it myself or someone is at my desk in minutes. . . . The whole process is quick and painless, and I get on with my day."

          6. Cutting edge

          Users give IT a nod for installing devices and network equipment that makes their work easier. One user, for example, crowed that all employees have laptops and docking stations that can be hooked up anywhere in the building.

          7. Knight in shining armor

          When a computer crashes, end users don't care what caused it. They just want their files back. That's where IT comes in to save the day.

          Laura, a communications director at an application service provider, recalls losing her entire electronic Rolodex of media contacts. "They were able to walk me through retrieving it using some cool tool called Previo. Previo automatically backs up your hard drive so there's no forgetting at the end of the week, day, etc. Very smart - and it saves the IT department and me, the end user, from hours of sorting through files and backups."

          8. Knowledge sharing

          End users praise IT for taking the time to explain how to fix a problem so that the next time it occurs the user can fix it himself. That's a plus for the end user and IT, since it saves time and trouble on both ends. As one user says, "Now that they educated me on how to restore items, I can do it myself."

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