Friday, June 7, 2013

Service Heritage

What's your "service heritage"?

A few things I've read lately made me think a little bit about my own perspective of customer service and IT service in general. Obviously, the way I approach service is flavored heavily by the experiences I've had both as a consumer but more strongly by the fact that I've been providing technical services to customers for over 16 years now. So why do I approach service in the way that I do?

All the different jobs, lessons my parents taught me, even my beliefs (religious and otherwise) all influence my approach to service. I've written about the good service template but you can follow that template to the letter and still screw up service. If you don't understand why you perform service and have a desire to  help then you're going to have a miserable time. There's certain elements of compassion, understanding, and drive that need to be present.

My Dad loved comic books and I remember him breaking out his version of the quote from Spider-Man: "With great power comes great responsibility."

When I first saw that what I could do with technology was magic to most people I understood that I was also responsible for helping those same people use the tech. Until everyone is a digital native (and probably even long after that) there are those to whom technology is otherworldly magic. We who fix or bend technology to our will are superheros. It's our responsibility to use that power for good.

I believe strongly that as we do our work we have an opportunity to make a difference in people's lives, to be a light in the darkness, as the saying goes. Good service can do that. We talk about value. We talk about metrics and business goals. That's part of working in a company and it gets really heartless if you focus on the business and money. In the end we're all human, and for those of us who are the service providers, the chance to make a difference can be really rewarding.

Think about your service heritage. Why do you work in service? Remember the why.