IT just got smarter
tribu was formed to make the customer experience with IT requests amazing and pleasant for BOTH sides - end-users and technical professionals.
IT support companies haven’t really changed that much over the past 35 years. Sure, the technology and skills we’ve acquired definitely have, but not how we operate as a business or how we appear to most customers. It’s almost as if we’ve looked at the other well established professional services companies that have existed for many years and said “let’s just do the same”. Not a bad idea, after all, they’re successful right?
There’s a few key differences though for us in the IT support industry when compared to say, lawyers and accountants. We’re dealing with a fast-paced change of technology; and we haven’t had the same amount of time to establish customer interaction practices. Think of law – how often do you actually know what you’re paying for and what the total cost of anything other than conveyancing is going to be? For us though at TRIBU, we want to focus on making a difference to customers. We want to make the interaction pleasant – the same way retail had to move to survive once the internet became a grand source of knowledge.
IT professionals, for the most part, are a smart bunch. Put a technical issue in front of us, and we’ll get stuck into it with enthusiasm and pleasure – even through the random ‘turn it off and on again’ fixes. But when it comes to our own business practices and customer interaction, it’s just not a problem we want to solve. There are plenty of tools available to make our technical jobs easier. There have been great advancements in security, monitoring and remote administration. For some reason though, we still want to avoid interaction with the end-user and as a result, we’ve driven market demand towards making ‘technical’ work easier, but not the customer service. Those of us that have been at the front line often dread it. Give me a hard problem, leave me alone to solve it, let me come out victorious with a slight smugness that I’ll celebrate quietly!
So we’ve seen this, lived it and gotten jack out of it as well. Instead of turning our back on it, we’ve taken time to analyze the what and why. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the problem solver. It’s what makes us good at what we do, but that’s only half the battle. We must be good at customer service to complete this experience! So we wanted to address this in a way that our tech heads would most enjoy – a technical solution to a people problem.
How are we doing this?
We know that the big problem solving tasks don’t happen with those pesky level 1 requests. But that’s most of our workload! Let’s get rid of it. Automate it, so many tasks are fixable with simple instructions or automated scripts that just need verification with the end-user – welcome to AI and Natural Language Processing.
What about those customer updates though on longer, time-consuming issues?
How do we manage all these requests coming in, prioritizing, communicating progress and other issues on top of the business reporting we need to do – those pesky time entries! We need time to figure this out, damn it, and those end-users just keeping bugging us! Let’s make it easy – communication that an end-user needs, at the frequency they like, with meaningful progresses. It’s not always good news for them, but just knowing things are moving is often all that’s needed. Well… AI can do that! Take small snippets of technical changes, maybe a brief instruction or update from you:
You: I need 15 min to diagnose before I get a proper ETA
tribu to Customer: “Jim’s onto it now. He’ll need 15 minutes to look over the logs. He might need some more details as part of that, but then we’ll understand what’s happening. I’ll keep you up to date.”
tribu 15 minutes later to Jim: “Got that ETA?”
You: Yep. Routing issue. Need 30 minutes.
tribu to Customer: “Great news, we’ve found the issue and Jim’s already partway through the fix. ETA is about 30 minutes and then I’ll coordinate some testing with you.