What You Can Learn From Cheers
Was Cheers the most attractive bar available? Did they have the lowest prices? Did they serve good food and have great entertainment? No, but they didn't need to. Cheers created a place of comfort, in which everyone's needs were met and everyone felt like a valued member of the group. IT effectiveness can only be achieved through care, consistency, and collaboration.
1. Create a Place Where Everyone Knows Your Name
You never want to be an absentee IT department. Technology demands a constant presence. Sam didn't disappear for long lengths of time; he was there tending bar every day and reacting to any emergencies as they came up. He didn't need to meddle or micromanage; his presence alone was enough to create a comforting, familiar atmosphere.
2. Give Them What They Ask For
How did Cheers manage to capture so many regulars without any investment in marketing? Simple: they offered what their customers wanted. Sometimes it's as simple as having the beer your friends want to drink; most people don't need something flashy to catch their attention, they just want their needs met and to feel as though they are being listened to.
3. Let Them Stay As Long As They Want
Your internal customers need to feel valued, not rushed out the door. Sometimes it really is about relationship management. The more you engage and interact with your customer, the more positively they will feel about your department as a whole. And that goes for customer service, too. If your department is willing to go the extra mile– just as Cheers was willing to stay open the extra hour– your customers will remember.
4. Be Honest and Direct With Your Customers
If there was one thing Sam always was, it was direct. The people you work with are savvy and can tell if they’re being given honest information or not. Your customers need solutions and you need to work with them to find those solutions to problems, regardless of how difficult the ask may be.
5. Always Have a Sam Malone
Cheers would have been nothing without Sam. Leadership doesn’t always come from a title. Leaders set the tone of a department; employees will take their cues from the leaders they are interacting with the most. It's your responsibility to make sure the voices your employees are hearing (and echoing) are properly representative of your company's goals and mission. A change in attitude can be just as significant as a change in policy, and far easier to manage.
If you want your IT department to be effective, you need to reach out to your internal customers as much as they reach out to you– and you need to be prepared if things go wrong. Though you may already have your incident flows established, you may not have them properly documented. Let us email email you our Incident Support Flow Chart you can use to make sure your IT department is just as effective as the "place where everybody knows your name."