Soft Skills: does your tech have them?
I recently had a run-in with another tech and it made me wonder how I am with my soft skills. I received word from the staff at one of my favorite restaurants, that they were having printer issues. TL;DR; I ended up needing to assist this other tech that usually helps them, and had a less than pleasant experience. Not only was there belittling and berating of me but it continued toward the waitstaff and their technological expertise. It finally came out, they were, “having a bad day”. I’m sorry, but having a bad day doesn’t excuse the comments made that day and any others previously. It doesn’t excuse you to go ahead and come in an hour to a week later than you originally proposed. At least not without at the very least communicating the delay to someone. I myself have not ever dealt with this experience with a tech as I usually do my own work. Shocked by their behavior, it got me thinking, what if he didn’t realize he was acting this way? What if he has been acting this way for so long that he didn’t even realize it anymore? What if I am getting to that point? I ended the evening by calling a few previous customers, asking if I had gotten to that point with them.
What are Soft Skills
Soft Skills, summarized from theBalance.com, are the personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success on the job. Soft skills characterize how a person interacts in his or her relationships with others. These are skills that any individual should already know, but techs in particular. I say this, as it’s part of any vocational facility to provide them as well as traditional degree programs. Now this list, shown above in the image, may differ depending on the source. For example, interpersonal skills might not be on the list for someone where teamwork is. The point is these are the skills needed not just to be a great IT technician but a well-rounded individual.
Heres the balance
Now though, imagine you are a tech, there is still a spot in this that you will commonly run into. How do you treat your newest customer when explaining an issue if you don’t know their comprehension level. For example, some people know what a multifunction printer(MFP) is. Some call it an all-in-one While others, only know that it prints. You may be the best tech with most soft skills but using too much jargon, it can come off as confident while leaving the customer feeling inferior. Using too little and oversimplifying, can leave the customer feeling patronized and very upset. Finding that balance isn’t easy, but listen carefully. Listen to what terms the customer uses to describe different hardware or issues. This should give you an idea on how supportive in your explaining you will need to be.
Heres the TL;DR..
- Don’t let your tech patronize you or treat you as an inferior. Remember though also, they aren’t going to know your skill level right off the bat. Patience on both sides is key.
- Just like any customer service representative, they are there to serve you. You aren’t stuck with them.
- Let us know how we are doing via our contact form or call us at (810) 545-8344
- Psalm 119:59
- Job 13:23
- 1 John 1:9