When crisis hits, and you’re helpless

    

Help!  I have a crisis and there is nothing I can do about it......but report it.

Have you ever been in a crisis?  Your car broke down in the middle of nowhere, or even worse an emergency situation; how about a system  outage?  Now what? You report it and wait....and wait....helpless to the reaction times, skill and resolution of someone else.  And that feeling you get when you are waiting; minutes ticking by, each slower than the last.  

For anyone who has worked with technology they know the pressure you're under when something goes wrong.  Especially something that takes a system down.  When a system goes down, a customer’s reputation could be a risk and there could be a financial impact to their organization.  Here are a few things to remember when you are helping your customer through a crisis.

  • Respond, quickly and accurately to the issue at hand.  Provide an overview of the problem to the customer.  Remember the issue is sensitive to the customer and they might be flying blind.
  • Communicate and update the customer to the steps that are being taken to resolve the issue and an ETA to resolution, even if you don't know what caused the issue.  Don't let the customer think they are in this alone.
  • Resolving the issue at hand is the most important outcome for the customer.  Remember they are going through a crisis and need to know you doing everything in your power to help them.
  • Prevention is the best thing to avoiding a crisis.  Revisit the issue to see if you can offer advice to avoid outages or crisis in the future.

The most important part - put yourself in your customer's shoes, see the crisis from their point of view.  Respond, show compassion, act quickly and professionally while letting them know you are in this together.  Don't forget to show compassion and remorse and take the time to listen to your customers.  Be proactive and by all means communicate and set expectations so everyone can work together in the event of a crisis and build a loyal, trusting business relationship that lasts.  

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