Think back to the last really good experience you had with a service provider. Maybe it was a phone call you made to the cable company, or just a great check-out experience at the grocery. What made that experience excellent? Odds are, it was how the service was provided, not the service itself. Most technicians can complete a job, but the techs which can complete the job and have great soft skills are the ones that clients will keep asking to come back.
One key soft skill for technicians to try and improve is their adaptability. This can be very challenging, especially with tickets pouring in and other frustrating distractions arising on site. We don’t mean you should adapt your workflow itself—that’s pretty much pre-determined. However, you are likely to have to adapt to some really varied environments. Going into an established office building to fix the router is going to be a very different experience than going into a hotel that hasn’t opened yet where everyone is rushing around to meet deadlines. Hone your instincts to know when to go with the flow and when to stand up for what you need as a professional expert.
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Another soft skill many technicians struggle with is empathy. We hear the same complaints and issues all day long, and it’s easy to come up with a canned response and blow off the end user or client’s feelings on the issue. But for them, this isn’t the tenth VoIP configuration they’ve dealt with today. They see the ticket, installation, or repair very differently than the technician does. A tech who can get into the mindset of the client, empathize with them about their frustrations, and relieve those issues is one that client will remember and want to have back in next time they need help.
The point of contact a technician encounters at a work site is very unlikely to be a tech expert. That being said, they do still want to understand what’s happening and how long it will take. A memorable technician will be the one who takes the time to explain issues to a client when they ask, or who offers regular updates on their progress if the job is a lengthy one. Your client might not be a tech expert, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to learn a little something while you’re in their office or building, even if it’s just your name and how long you’re going to be in the back room.
The thing about soft skills like these is that they won’t necessarily come naturally, especially at the end of a long and stressful work week. The technician who can stay professional, master their emotions, and treat every client with respect, courtesy, and friendliness is the one who will find the most success. At DiverseNet, we seek out those technicians to become members of our team.