Over the past decade, few areas of a business have evolved more than the IT department. With technology seeping into all areas of a company, gone are the days of the IT team being confined to a server room. Now, IT professionals work closely with many functional areas because of their importance to operations.
Given the change in the corporate mindset towards IT and their role in a business, it's important to understand how they can work with customer service to both be more successful. Here are a few of the common ways…
Customer service and IT can collaborate easily – Thanks to internal communication channels like Slack, IT and customer service are just a quick message away from each other. If a customer service agent is dealing with a cusomer issue that is related to the technology stack they can easily ping the right IT person to get a detailed service response. Customer service software also integrates with Slack to create automated notifications of urgent tickets. This lets the IT team be in the loop of any technical issues right away.
IT is a “thought leader” when it comes to technology – These days it seems like there’s a technology solution out there for everything. With so many technology providers in the market today, customer service is working with IT more often as they brainstorm resolutions to internal issues. Customer service teams may lack technical knowledge and rely heavily on IT when selecting software for daily use. The service team needs the solution they select to be practical for day to day operations while also integrating well with other business technologies. This is where IT can shine.
Customer service can improve the interpersonal skills of IT professionals – There’s much more to a modern IT career than sitting down and configuring servers day after day. With the demand for software systems and the need to make them work together increasing, IT now collaborates with multiple departments so they can build a robust technology stack. Some IT professionals even assist clients as needed. This shift in the workplace means IT teams need soft skills – the exact skillset customer service teams have taken years to master. For an IT department that may not excel with words, working closely with the customer service team can help set the communication tone both internally and externally.
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Customer service can help IT prove the value of their technology stack – This is yet another way customer service can help an IT team. Making technology investments, especially to hardware, can be a tough sell. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of sizzle or marketing value in RAM and routers. However, customer service can help prove the value and need for these investments. If tagged correctly, it’s easy for a customer service team to pull a report citing technology-related requests (such as slowness, instability, or other concerns). With this information (and NPS scores), IT has quantifiable data from customers which they can present to leadership and make a strong case for their desired upgrades.
To summarize, customer service and IT professionals have a multi-faceted relationship that works both ways. Customer service now works with IT far more frequently than in the past and values their opinion and insight in relation to technology. IT utilizes customer service as a model for proper etiquette both internally and externally as well as a key source of metrics and feedback. Although both departments may differ in personality, each one can provide real business value to the other if they work together.