Business Tech Playbook

#21 – Tech To Tech: How to Build Your Bank of Trust

3 months ago
Transcript
Robbz

You. This is the business tech playbook. Your source for it, help for your business. All right, BJ, we got to start by asking, what's up, Rob? It's the 8 February and we hear that the deluge of torrential downpour is in your area. And before we begin to our normal topic, which we have a great topic for you today, I do have to ask the question, how has the it infrastructure been for our business customers in the SoCal region since now we have more rain already by the eigth of February than you normally would get for the entire year.

BJ

I was collaborating with our team Friday before the real rain hit and I was like, is there anything we should do that we don't normally do to prepare for extra rain or like potential flooding? And it was like, no, honestly, if we miss a backup, somebody's checking it same day, oftentimes within a couple of hours. If we have good backups, then we can do good restores. We test our restores daily. We do quarterly biannual disaster recovery tests. What are we going to do differently because it's raining? We do this stuff all the time. If you have time to plan for it, what's the point, right? Yeah.

Robbz

The two major things that I see from the ticket side is just Internet outages, which that's going to happen when you have different power outages. Power gets knocked out, Internet is going to follow. And in some areas, when people work from home, if they have older Internet lines and stuff gets saturated and the old Internet lines in the ground get wet, they ground out and you're going to have bad Internet when it gets rainy. So we have a select group of customers that anytime we have heavy rain, their Internet just almost is unusable. And they have to either use like a mobile hotspot or move to an Internet cafe or go to the office temporarily while they deal with that until they get some sort of upgrade. But I think the most unique is one of the offices we heard about is someone is using some, what I thought was a very cool looking office, but apparently they didn't have a great roof and had it leaking through. But they were already set up with laptops, they're already working in the cloud. So they just picked up their units, moved to an office that wasn't leaking, and then they called maintenance.

BJ

I honestly forgot about that because everything just kept working. From our perspective, yes, there were some facility issues, but for the most part, I would say we probably had some end users working from home, like our clients that are work from home probably had more issues than our clients, if that makes sense. It's not the Internet at the client that had an issue. It's not the power that necessarily even had an issue. It's literally when you have 500 users, of which several hundred work from home. The work from home evolution was a big change for us because we went from having, if we had 30 clients, that meant we managed 30 to 50 Internet connections. Well, we have one client with 70 work from home employees. So that means we manage the Internet connection of their office and 65 or 70 like home Internet connections. I mean, we don't directly manage them, but we now have to troubleshoot substantially more things.

Robbz

I'm your host, Rob Wilson.

BJ

And I'm William Pote, owner of VTOp Technology and co founder, whatever. On this podcast with Mr.

Robbz

Rob's, well, we have a new series we're going to want to try. Generally, this podcast is written and produced for the. We always make fun of Brian, the CFO or Brian, the manager at a firm that isn't the tech savvy person. And we try to translate the tech Alphabet soup, the nomenclature and clarify so you can make clear business decisions for it in your business. Doing this podcast being the many episodes that we're in, we find that, yes, Brian, the CFO does listen to this podcast, but we also have a lot of people in our field that want to listen into seeing what we're talking about to the CFO. So we're going to do a couple different episodes here every now and again, specified for the technician. So we're going to call it tech to tech. If you're listening in, this one's for you. Brian, the CFO, listen on in if you want to get some of our insights here. We're still going to translate the Alphabet soup and nomenclatures along the way. But this particular episode we're going to talk about is how to earn and build the bank of trust as an IT technician, which I think should be part of that first lesson you should learn in college as part of your certifications on it building, which we miss. We're learning about how to run the products, but not how to run ourselves professionally.

BJ

Well, we actually did a really in our staff meeting yesterday. Brandon, our senior IT manager, covered, I think, a lot of the steps that we need to build good. To kind of fill the bank of trust, as it were. And then I'm excited to go into this. It's a pretty big topic, and it's just a good reminder that we're all human and we're all trying to do the best thing for each other and for our businesses.

Robbz

Now, as we go through this, there's going to be a bit of hopping around. So forgive us, but I think that using a bank of trust can be used in almost every walk of life, especially in anything that you have to do to troubleshoot. So this is not necessarily the it hat, although with it specifically we're at a great disadvantage. You have to assume that the person that's going to be calling into you or asking for help is already in a bad mood. They're not going to want to call you number one, if they're contacting you, they're already in a frustrating position because they assume they should have been able to handle it themselves. So assume that you're already a point in the negative and the deficit of trust bank right there for that first introductory call. So a number one, even if you're in a bad mood, you have to answer positive. You have to put yourself in a bright attitude. I have a lower voice. I have to know recognize that I'm not going to answer the phone monotone like this, which would be very much more comfortable on my voice. But even as I'm doing a podcast, I still have to strain my voice to get this to be bright, clear and concise. The least I can do is answer the telephone saying, hi, this is Robbie calling from Etop. How can I help you? Just a bright, simple and concise, positive manner of answering the phone call sets the tone and reverses the already negative opportunity into a positive one. Step one, you know?

BJ

Absolutely. And I think as we kind of talk about this concept of it and relationships in the bank trust conversation, I think there's a couple of different ways and areas that we approach this, right? So one is tech to end user. Part of it is company to company or management to management. And so I think you can build trust in. You put into the bank of trust before you need to take out. Always, right? And so you always are putting in, putting in, putting in, putting in. Because we're all human, we all make mistakes. And so if you've put in for long enough, if there's a mistake along the way, it's a small withdrawal, and then you're back to putting in, putting in, putting in. And I think it goes both ways. Like if clients routinely call in and are always jerks, they're kind of taking out of our bank of trust, right. If people are always hard to work with, it reduces the willingness and desire to work with someone. With that being said, if you want to continue getting good recommendations from your it person. They need to be able to trust that you're not going to just yell at them.

Robbz

If you're going into an actual bank, you're bringing in money and you're going to set up an account. You're going to be doing that on every first phone call with the first person that you're going to be talking to. So when I get a new user, when I talk to a new company, we just onboarded a couple more customers. That's my favorite phone call. That's my first opportunity to put my best foot forward, to say, hey, nice to meet you. I'm so glad I heard so much about you. I'm excited to work. I'm Robbie. I'm in Minnesota. We're going to be working a lot together. I got this ticket, let's crank this one out. And if you got any questions along the way, I'm here to help put that best foot forward, put your introduction. And then there's my first deposit into our bank together because you don't want to go in with a zero balance in your account and immediately bounce that first check or expect that they're going to give you a line of credit with nothing in the bank. That's even worse in my opinion.

BJ

Well, and it goes back to everyone's human and in it we're going to make mistakes. You can't not bank mistakes in the line of work that we do, but at the end of the day, there's so many variables in what we do. The reality we don't make ten times the mistakes we do is a pretty big indicator into how much care and effort we make in thinking through our changes that we make. I had a thought and it just disappeared. But that's okay.

Robbz

While you think of that thought, I'm going to go back on the other thought. So I'm introductory on the phone call. Voice is important, demeanor is important. The words you choose, the best foot forward. I have to state this because especially in it, we get a bad rap that we're introverted, closeted, antisocial, generally neck bearded people. I'm sorry, but that's our profile, so you get that. Let's pretend a good chunk of us are those people. You know who you are. Look yourself in the mirror and accept it. I'm that person. If you saw me right now in the camera, I have a beard, I am 62, I'm over 300 pounds, I'm a big dude. I do a lot of different activities outside it. I'm normally intimidating if I didn't wear colorful clothes and I'm a goof, if I didn't say a word, you'd look at me and just see in the grocery store and might be intimidated. So my personal appearance, if I don't look professional, if I have unkempt hair, if I don't put my personality overwhelming my looks, I am already down a peg just from people being intimidated from me being a tall, big guy. Now put that for your personality and know that you need to come in looking good. You need to make sure that it's not just about being attractive in appearance, but also putting your demeanor forward when you're talking to someone, exuding confidence, putting out that handshake, to being the first one to talk, saying, how can I help you? And not just ignoring someone as you go about your day and fighting the urge to be the introvert, because you have to build that trust somehow and that's the only opportunities you're going to get to do it. One point specifically for me that I have a problem with. I have an eye condition called photophobia. This was a big problem for me for many years. I have mass light sensitivity. I look at monitors for a living. So without some sort of shade on my glasses, I get mass migraines, vomiting in 4 hours type migraines. So the doctor said, well, you're just going to have to wear shaded lenses. Well, that makes me look like I have dark shaded glasses wherever I go. So if people don't have eye contact, I'm already a tall dude. I'm already losing that line of communication. So know that if you can get away with not wearing sunglasses at work, don't do it. I found my workaround to accommodate my eye condition and my migraines was actually to try colored lenses. Yes, I have blue, green, pink, purple. I get them all from like, zenny.com.

BJ

Lovely purple. Lovely purple colors.

Robbz

Yeah, they match my business uniforms and business attire. I got button up collars, shirts, I got some suits, whatnot, and they match, and they're enough to keep the headaches at bay. But then people can still see my pupils, which for some reason, having eye contact for people is a big thing. If I wear shades all the time and I'm in person, they're going to lose that. I work at home, so I can still wear some of my shades at home, but if I'm in person, I'm going to lose those shades on purpose and I'm going to go get the colored glasses to have an interpersonal conversation because I know that I only have a few of those opportunities to start depositing my first deposits in that bank of trust.

BJ

Well, and I'm kind of an interesting it folk in the fact that I am technically introverted, but I sit really on that fine line of somewhere between introvert and extrovert. And I really like people. I really, really like people. But at the same time, sometimes I can get very in my own head, and I have to be really intentional about my phone presence and how I'm working with and interacting with people, because I can go really deep into thought and just kind of forget that I need to come out and be a human for a few minutes, because sometimes we are solving really big, complex issues, and then you have to remember to humanize it. I mean, a big part of this podcast for me has been training myself to use human language to explain technical concepts. It's not the entire point of it, but it's been a really cathartic exercise for myself to learn how to better speak to our clients and to better formulate my opinions in a relatively low risk environment.

Robbz

It's definitely the main recipe of our podcast, though, to clarify that to Brian.

BJ

The CFO, well, it's like the goal for especially being a managed it provider. We have to be way more business focused than it focused. We have to be way more customer service focused than it focused. It is what we happen to do, but we have to be a very customer oriented, client oriented kind of company because people aren't going to work. Being a vendor is a lot. It's a lot easier to fire us than firing Bob, your it guy, who's in the corner, who is a neckbeard and doesn't like people and is just kind of a jerk, but he gets things fixed, and as long as you feed him cookies every now and then, he's probably going to be okay. You wouldn't accept that from us. We have to be really intentional about it.

Robbz

Yeah, unfortunately, there's elements that, yes, it may not be your personality profile. You're still going to have to find ways to adapt your personality a bit to find ways to adapt to a bank of trust. And the intros are going to be the most rough for someone introverted, but you can still be kind, courteous, and professional, and you will be blown away with the smallest things. Doing that is just from the simple fact of introducing yourself and even the wrap ups in the phone call. I read a lot of different self motivation books. There's like, this is marketing. There's a lot of different ones, and one that I picked up. I really don't remember the book. They stated that if you state people at the end of phone calls, telling that you appreciate what they did, appreciate what happened, just saying that you appreciate them, you'll get a long way. So I did a measurement. My phone calls, hey, I appreciate you. Have a great day. It's amazing what type of feedback that gets. Just that little bit of conversation that you don't have to be a super extrovert to just go that one little mile and get that much more out of that bank of trust built.

BJ

Well, that's the thing. I think probably the biggest thing that we discussed yesterday even, is none of these things are particularly groundbreaking. It's just bringing the human element to every conversation and being intentional about saying, thank you, we appreciate you going that extra mile. It's consistently putting deposits into the bank of trust, especially as a technician, especially as somebody who's not in a management position, you don't have influence over changing things at the customer necessary or the client necessarily. And so it's like you have to use that trust that you've built to help make decisions and changes and then flow that up into your management team. So there's a lot of elements in there that you have to kind of work through to build trust.

Robbz

Next thing that I would go over to build bank of trust is people say, well, get to know them details back and forth. You don't get that opportunity. So let's be real here. If they're calling in, you get a hello, I'm robbie, I'm from Etop. How are you? Is about the extent of it. And they want their stuff taken care of. If you're doing more than that, you're going to be delaying the ticket and you're going to frustrate them even more. So stop. Hear them out. Just say, I have a ticket here. You said this. How can I help you?

BJ

So much of taking care of problems from a technical perspective is really just being incredibly sensitive to understanding what they're actually trying to say and fix. Right. Because most of the time, people don't know what to do. If they knew what to do, they'd fix the problem themselves. Right. So like you said, they're already frustrated. They have to call in or they're already trying to figure out what needs to be done. And then it's our job to intuit, not the company, but think through. It's our job to intuit what the actual problem is. How do you hear through what they're actually saying? We've intentionally been moving away from kind of like the technical methodology or conversation that users lie. And unless somebody's actively lying to me and intentionally lying to me, I'm always going to default to. They just don't understand how to ask the questions they need to ask. And so it's like our job is always to train ourselves, our technicians, our team, how to hear through what the actual problem is and then actively reflect back to them what we hear the problem being. And oftentimes it allows them to clarify what the problem is, and sometimes that fixes the problem, and then sometimes it allows them to be. Got it. Okay, I know that. Yes, that is the problem. Let's go fix it.

Robbz

Now. Being on the phone, I find this particular step to be much more advantageous. But you can see rookie versus seasoned technicians have a difference of calling. So if you pick up the phone and say, hello, let's say, Karen, I see that you called in about this issue. Is it possible I can connect to your computer and you start that as the question? They'll go and help with your issue. They'll say, yes, you can connect to my computer and then immediately say, so, can you tell me more about the issue? Because no matter what the issue is, even if you've read it, you know exactly what the problem is. You already have a resolution and you're just working on it. They need to express themselves. That's what they're doing. They have frustration. You're going to be on the phone anyway. It's going to take you, let's say, six minutes to take care of that problem. You're working on that. You're going to have it done in six minutes. Let them talk and vent that out for six minutes. It's not going to hurt. That is the difference between a seasoned technician and a novice technician. Novice technicians don't want to hear it. They're just to take care of your issue. They're like, let me just fix this. And they haven't really addressed anything else, and you won't believe what other issues they'll bring up that you can fix along the way or just build the bank of trust from letting themselves express themselves on their problem.

BJ

One of my favorite ways to start a call is like, hey, I hear you're having a problem. I'm here to help you show me what's going on. And then while I'm finding their machine, while I'm going through it, it allows them to start pull up what's going on. And half the time the problem is resolved itself because they were impatient or we ran an update or insert 50 reasons here, they actually restarted their machine, right? And now the problem is gone. But starting with, hey, I really love show me what's going on. And it can be kind of a calming thing. They get to start doing something while I'm connected to their machine and I don't know, it seems to cause a fair amount of trust.

Robbz

And the show me what's going on inherently, without you saying a word, teaches them that you love being showed what's going on. And without ever asking them their go to is that, oh, man, it really likes being shown. I'm going to get them screenshots. I can't tell you the most computer literate people that I've said and started phone calls. Hey, can you show me what's going on? They'll start the ticket by attaching screenshots or a video just showing me ahead of time without ever being questioned. So there's no wrong way of showing what's going on, even if you know the issue. So just build that up.

BJ

When we start working with a client, one of the frame things we do is we do a coffee and donuts meeting. So most of the time we found that people don't actually prefer donuts. We show up with bagels, right? So we'll show up with a traveler or two of coffee and then like two or three dozen bagels with cream cheese and stuff. And then we'll do like a 30 minutes training about who we are, how to work with us. I show them how to take screenshots. I show them how to use our basic tools. I connect them to our university. I just spend 30, 40 minutes just talking and asking questions. And it's like, people really love it because it's just, we get a chance to be friendly. They realize there's humans behind all of this. Actually, I should put pictures of our team in my coffee and donut slide deck. Totally do that now. Because again, it's so technical. We are remote to our clients so much that sometimes they forget that we're humans too. And it's like just continually encouraging that humanization of the relationship. Our users aren't just users, they are humans and they need help. And that's what we get paid to do is provide that help.

Robbz

Now when you're going through it, they're going to express details along the way of, hey, this happened. Don't just sit there and just take it in. Make sure that you're doing follow ups and like, yeah, agree with them. Not necessarily just flat agree, but when you have moments to add points like, hey, I've had this issue. This is happening last week, and they give you a moment express. Yeah, we did have an outage. Tell them information. Don't hide information. There was a small outage we had with that tool last week. We got it resolved. Did you see any issues after that? Give feedback. Don't just keep dead air. Now, in my prior experience working for Internet service provider, there was a conversation, I think they did with Disney. Disney's a big proponent of Disney. They're a big proponent of business customer service. I didn't know this years ago, but apparently you can pay Disney all kinds of money and they'll send a team out. They'll build company culture, they'll do all kinds of craziness. And a big thing that they said was take your technical staff and move them over to customer service and make them go through all of your customer service training for your customer service desk and teach them the customer service motives that you're using so that they can go through. And the biggest thing I got put through customer service training, the biggest thing I learned was dead air. Most of the technicians, again, they're not sociable people. Dead air is. I don't know. I don't think it's a negative bank of trust, but I always feel like it could be if you're just sitting there working on their issue. The person technically can't leave because you either need passwords or you need them to watch the error because they're still showing you details and you're just sitting there for 1015 minutes of just nothing and you're just doing mindless work. That's an opportunity that you could ask them other details about something. Or worst case scenario, go to the go to. Don't ask them about the weather. But what I like to do is people. They're humans, just like we're humans. Everybody else has passions outside of work. Ask them, hey, have you done anything for fun lately? That's a go to. I don't know a lot of people that just flat out say, no, I don't do anything for fun. They'll tell you about weird, random passions. I got a customer, he'll tell me about that. He has airplanes and he goes out every weekend. Another guy is huge into pottery sculptures. You'll get the craziest conversations.

BJ

Tell me about the pottery guy later.

Robbz

Oh, man. One of them, one of our managers. I won't give out names because I don't have his permission, but big into the electronic dance music scene. Apparently he's pretty big on Spotify and all kinds of goodies and you just don't know what's out know.

BJ

That's right. You mentioned that I have to go find. Yeah, listen to his cool stuff.

Robbz

Sometimes.

BJ

I love EDM.

Robbz

Yeah, sometimes you'll find something that you both relate in and all those little things, they'll remember that you were the IT guy that at least made their painful call more enjoyable while they had to suffer. Anyway, it didn't change the fact you're still going to be fixing their issue. It's still going to be the same result at the end of the day. But darn, they sure felt better during that rough time than they did before. And that was just from me doing training at customer service and not the IT tech role. I learned that from people taking payments.

BJ

One of our friends, we jokingly call it the gen questions. So it's the questions that cause you to think, because they're not, how are you doing? How's the weather? How's work? It's similar to what you're talking about. What do you do outside of work for fun? What type of vacations do you like going on? And it just allows people to start asking. I'll have to actually go get some of those questions and put them out there. But gen questions are the best because it's very interesting. And then, especially if you listen and then are able to reflect that back. That's really cool.

Robbz

Yeah. I mean, the day to day customers that you know, you get to know them, especially in an MSP, you're going to be working with some of the same customers all the time. You build a relationship with you, you'll answer the phone with some silly nicknames, but you still keep it professional. You get to know some people and you ask, like, oh, how's the kids? Simple things. But there are still people that you are new. There's new hires every day, people coming in and out. And I have a Monday through Friday rule. Monday, Tuesday. Hey, what'd you do last weekend? Wednesday. Do anything for fun lately? Thursday, Friday? What do you got planned for this next weekend?

BJ

Right?

Robbz

It's so easy and I can't tell you the amount of, since I probably worked for Etop, I probably had like three people say nothing, and they were just in a bad mood. Like, they probably just got yelled at by a client. They didn't want to talk to me at all, and that was just fine. That means they have chosen to have that quiet conversation. I'm like, oh, okay, sorry to hear that. And I just keep moving on. That's fine. They chose that. I gave them the opportunity. I'm that uber driver. That'd be like, so what are you guys doing this weekend for fun? And he's like, can I just have a quiet ride? You sure can. Let me turn up the radio.

BJ

Anything you'd like to listen to other than me?

Robbz

Yeah, absolutely. Let me click buttons and leave you alone.

BJ

That's funny. It's funny. Brandon and I were going to a conference in Texas and our Uber driver's like, what you doing here? And they're like, it's a bunch of it people getting together and talking about security. And she's like, oh, that sounds fun. I'm like, honestly, we're like a bunch of old ladies in a knitting circle. And I thought she was going to drive off the road because we get around, we all gossip and talk about all that. That's terrible. We don't knit. But you get a bunch of us in a room and we can be pretty funny.

Robbz

Okay, that's funny, right? If you've ever seen four technicians sit down and cut a bunch of patch panels for an it closet, that's exactly what a bunch of it people doing. They're sitting there knitting some cat six cables you'll have to look into.

BJ

Take a picture next time you're ever doing itknittinggroups.com.

Robbz

Yeah, just it. Knitting groups are just sitting there putting the eight wires together.

BJ

568 B. Orange, white, orange, green, white, blue, blue, white, green, brown, white, brown.

Robbz

You see it in your sleep after you do it.

BJ

Dude, I haven't punched down a cable in probably five years and I have to say it to myself every time I do it. But, man, orange, white, orange, green, white, blue. Yeah.

Robbz

Before working for Etop, I think the last day of the last five place, I worked 12 hours punching those cables. It was a lot, man. So I was doing it. Knitting. There you go. I'm not going to forget that one, but okay. Besides just being aware of being professional, being aware of the customer, trying to do your best to be pleasant and earning that bank and not leaving dead space, focus on the issue. When customers have a question, don't be generic, don't be hiding of the information. They have a real question, give them a real answer. And sometimes that saying I don't know is just fine. Seasoned technicians really are confidence in I don't know is a good thing. If they're hearing that you're confident in saying I don't know right now, but answering it, I will find out for you gives them so much more confidence and then saying, I will find out for you and I will call you back. By tomorrow you will have a phone call, you will have an email, we will have this connected, don't you worry. Having backing to it some sort of measurable deliverable if you don't know.

BJ

As an owner of an IT company, there's nothing that makes me more comfortable than somebody saying I don't know. Let me find out simply because I know it means somebody's probably not going to make a bad judgment. You know what I mean?

Robbz

Yeah.

BJ

It's like what we do so frequently has a very high business impact. Like we install a program wrong, we don't have something set up quite right. It causes a lot of potential business impact. And so I'd way rather somebody go, you know what, I don't know. Let me escalate that or let me bring in one of my senior people to help understand what's going on. The amount of comfort I get is so much higher than just yolo.

Robbz

Don't give them an answer. Being just like make something up. That's purely unacceptable. There is no scenario where making something up works at all out in your favor, ever. You give them point blank answers, I will find out. I don't know. Or I believe right now this is what it's leading me to. Are all fine answers. That's the weakest answer in my opinion. Say, give me time. I'm still finding out is a great one. I still need time. Is an acceptable answer. I'll call you back. Because keeping people on the phone, also because we talked about dead air, only keep people on the phone when they have to. If you have any person, even if they're working home and their job is exclusively on the computer, letting them go and making phone calls back to people, or even just going to get a cup of coffee while you deal with the issue is a better answer than keeping people on the phone if you can help it.

BJ

And then it's also just showing situational awareness. For example, this was a couple of years ago. One of our team was working on a problem and kept somebody past closing time by like 20 minutes. And then the owner got back to me and I was like, hey, next time don't do that. Because I had to pay PTO or I had to pay ot to my person and we were just like, oh shoot, sorry. We just didn't even think about it. But it's like we ended up costing that person an extra $30 or whatever because somebody stayed 20 minutes, 30 minutes late. Right. And it's caused us to be really focused in on like, hey, it's 05:00 do you need to go? Are you on like, we're trying to be way more thoughtful and forward thinking about, what's this impact on the client? Like, if it's an attorney that bills out at $400 an hour, if we eat up an hour of their time, can we switch them to another laptop? Is there something that we can do that keeps them billing and making the company money?

Robbz

And that's a fantastic segue of time management. You want to earn someone's respect, especially someone that's busy, respect their time when they put in a ticket. Most managed service places have some sort of what they call service level agreements, the SLA. There's some acronyms for you. These slas are what they agree and measure their response times on. Mostly it's a couple of minutes to find a ticket and make sure it gets assigned to a technician. If they're not busy, the technicians can jump on them right away. But if it's super busy, if LA is melting down and there's floods everywhere and everybody's calling at once, we can make an arrangement that we're going to try to call them within 4 hours if stuff's melting down, or 8 hours, whatever the agreement is, the SLA is. And when you call that person back, the first thing is, hey, I know that this is going to take me 30 minutes. I know this is probably going to take me an hour. Is this a good time to do this, or do you want me to schedule this for a better time? And when you have a person that has deadlines, especially lawyers, are big on this. Lawyers have court dates, they have hard deadlines, hard meetings. They are very, very good at telling you their priority. And if you give them an opportunity saying, no, Friday at 01:00 that's your window. Not only do I love that because I get to book that out and I can go work on someone else's issue right now, but they love that because you're being respectful of their time and you've earned more of that trust bank.

BJ

Well, it goes back to. It's that way for lawyers, it goes that way for cpas or accounting folks, especially during tax season. Out of tax season, it's a lot less of an issue. I find engineers tend to be very heavily this way and or typically like executive staff at larger companies. It's being hypersensitive to, do you need this right now is not getting this fixed right. This second, going to cause you to miss a deadline and or like you said, hey, 01:00 on Friday is a way better time. I can limp along until then?

Robbz

Yes, for sure.

BJ

And your clients, like the management of your clients, are going to love you for thinking of that. Because at the end of the day, that human that they're employing that's billing out four or $500 an hour is an expensive resource. And so if you can avoid eating into an hour of their time and losing, I look at two different costs. There's the hard costs of employing that person and there's the opportunity loss of that person not billing.

Robbz

Now, we talked a lot and I think the whole first half of this or whole chunk that we've done so far has been triage on a technician and building that trust bank from the beginning. Now, what we haven't done is how to build that trust bank with different management or department leads. If you're a new IT technician, or if you've assumed a different role, or you haven't talked with a different department and you've been there for years, I'd like you to change possibly what you're doing now. If everything is reactive or reactionary, you need to be proactive with these people. Instead, I want you to change the game with these people. So instead of them coming to you saying I need this react, instead I want you to go to them and say, hey, what are you planning for this next quarter? How many people are you going to have? What are you going to have for software? How can I suit your needs for this next coming x? How can I better assist your team? How can I do things differently? And they're right there. I don't care who you are. If they've even built a negative debt of equity and bounce checks in your bank of trust, they're going to maybe delete that prior account and start afresh with you.

BJ

Honestly, most of our clients, we have a two to kind of like ten year lifespan with. We have very long life client retention simply because we work very hard to put into that bank of trust and it's helping them plan out the year. What's your budget supposed to be look like? When should you be replacing things? And typically we're making suggestions at least six months to a year in advance. That way we're not coming up last minute. Hey, two months before end of life on that server, you better time to write me a $10,000 check that you didn't plan on for the last year. I do not hide from hard questions. Most of the time. If a client's having a hard time and they need something, that's where we're there to solve the problem for them. And have we gone through some rough patches with customers? 100%. But then you come out the other side, you solve the problem, and then you continue to perform, you build some really strong relationships.

Robbz

Another thing to do is an internal IT guy. Managed service providers have an edge forward. We have policies in place that we have to have every user on board authorized, and I'm going to cheat. I may have never talked to this person ever before, but I have this cool system where if they call me, I'm pulling up their name, first name, last name, email address, ticket history. I can see responses back, I can see their position, their position history, who they're underneath, who they're in charge of. I can pull up all kinds of different information so I know who that is going forward. When you're internal and ahr is not keeping you in the loop, you're being reactionary. You don't get that foot forward. You don't even get to know who this person is, and you got to have that awkward conversation of, who are you? I'm sorry, I'm the IT guy. I really like to introduce myself instead. Go to HR. Don't be afraid, saying, hey, if you got to make up something, hey, there's a security audit. I need to know who users are. That's a real thing, by the way, get a list of people and don't be afraid to introduce yourself to everyone that should be going forward. And it's not just a company email saying, hey, there's a new it guy. Here's a generic number to call. This is Brian. And it. You need to be the guy to build that as well.

BJ

At 100, it's doing what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it consistently, day in and day out, and then having a good attitude about it. None of what we're talking about is particularly hard, but it's doing what you say when you say consistently over and over and over again, and then people are going to love you for it. And then every now and then you get to fight back and go, we've never done that before. You know what I'm talking about. Well, you used to never charge for this. No, we've always charged for it. This hasn't changed. Yeah. It's amazing how much you can build trust just by showing up again and again and again.

Robbz

Now we wouldn't be able to finish this without talking about what I consider the most important and yet most forgotten thing that I think all technicians don't do perfectly and we all can improve on, is closing the loop. Without closing the loop. I don't care how good of a foot forward, what kind of a cool guy they think you are, how knowledgeable they thought you were in the call, how you fixed their problem. If you don't close the loop entirely with either the team that was involved, the vendor you were working with, or just the person you finished with, a professional closed loop, it's all for none, especially when you're not recording it. So when I'm doing an issue, however minute or large, I'm going to be not only calling them saying, hey, your issue is resolved. I've tested it. You sent me a screenshot of it. Tested. Is there anything else that's a thing that technicians like to like? I don't want to ask. I'm going to open up a can of worms. I've literally had a CEO laugh in my face because I said, anything else I can possibly help you with today? And he just leans back in his chair, barrel laughs and like, boy, you don't got the time. I'm like, try me. If I got to make extra tickets, we got to schedule something out. That's what I'm here for. So close the loop, ask if there's anything else you're not expected to do at that moment. Capture those for another time, because there's the biggest bank of trust. And then summarize it with an email. Today we installed quickbooks. Today we fixed your onedrive. Today we upgraded to windows eleven and summarized exactly what you did. Because they may not know what you did, or even if you explained it to them, they may not remember or completely understood it. Put a link in there showing them what you did, explain it a little bit better, and even if they don't understand it clearly, they still have a record and have the confidence in your expertise that you were able to publish it. Close that loop, finish it, and you will have a bigger bank of trust than anyone else.

BJ

Yep. Every single day, show up and do what you say.

Robbz

Well, that's what I call bombshell. That's what I call home on. Hey, BJ, have you done anything for fun lately?

BJ

I run an it business and have a farm. I don't have fun.

Robbz

Well, I'm going to be watching a Super bowl this weekend. Go, 49 ers.

BJ

Sweet. You like the 49 ers?

Robbz

No, but I like them more than the Chiefs right now, so there we go.

BJ

That works for me. That works for me. 49 ers are kind of like my localish team.

Robbz

It's like politics. You vote for the one you hate less. You know what I'm saying?

BJ

Being in California, it's very much about voting who you hate less.

Robbz

There you go. So if you got questions for the podcast, you can email us. [email protected] you can go to our website, businesstechplaybook.com. Bj. You can find him on LinkedIn. Send him help. H-A-L-P.

BJ

Please don't send me help.

Robbz

Help. I need help. I need somebody help. I have enabled notifications on LinkedIn, so I think people can message me as well. I'll try.

BJ

It's the real Rob Zolson.

Robbz

Just type in Rob Zolson, Robbzolson, and you'll find a dude with colored glasses. Guarantee I'm the only dude on there.

BJ

If it's not purple glasses, it's not Rob.

Robbz

Pink and green is what I'm thinking on there with an orange shirt.

BJ

He's labeled as a fish expert in a place called near Fargo Morehead. I don't know, wherever that is. Something woodchippers than the majority of Canadians. So we'll just leave it at that.

Robbz

Yes, I am. And it's 45 degrees in February.

BJ

It's 38 here this morning.

Robbz

I'm warmer than California.

BJ

Yeah, this is a really weird world that we live in, that California is freezing our proverbial backsides off. And Rob's is like, it's warm.

Robbz

It's warm.

BJ

It's warm. All right, well, on that note, earn.

Robbz

That bank of trust, people. Let us know.

Episode Notes

For more episodes got to http://businesstechplaybook.com

Find more on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-pote-75a87233

This podcast is provided by the team at Etop Technology: https://etoptechnology.com/

Special thanks to Giga for the intro/outro sounds: https://soundcloud.com/gigamusicofficial