By John:

What is the first thing that you think about when you imagine a company’s IT department?

When you need assistance from your IT department, do you think of that as a positive or negative experience?

Depending on your past experiences, and even for how long you’ve had to deal with IT departments in general, responses will vary greatly. Before I worked in IT myself, I had been at other places where I was the one who had to ask for IT help. I can tell about pleasant experiences, on one hand, with the friendly IT employee that came and quickly fixed my issue and explained to me what I had done to cause it and how I could prevent it in the future. On the other hand, I can also tell you about the really intense IT guy (let’s call him IT Alan) that swiftly berated me in front of my peers and told me to reboot before purposely knocking some things off my desk and walking away. Not cool, IT Alan. Consequently, when I became interested in pursuing a career in this field, in the interest of being the best I could be, I vowed that I’d never be like IT Alan.

In many ways this is the reason that some of us may have a negative connotation with asking IT for help. I imagine many of you have met someone like IT Alan. Historically, the squad of eccentric computer geeks that a company has assembled in the basement has not been the most socially adept. These are not typically the guys you would pop in to the office to chat about the football game with, and that’s if you even could pop in, because these guys usually like to keep the door locked and the shades drawn. God help you if you needed to bring one of them out of the office, because they hated having to move around, and you could very well be in for a very condescending experience. “How could you possibly not already know that your right monitor isn’t working because updates were pushed out this last weekend and the drivers for your USB VGA adapter have become corrupted and have to be removed and re-added to your registry!?”

It’s different here at American Profit Recovery. Recently, while with the APR IT team on a trip to the CRMUG Summit in Tampa, I realized that we have a pretty good thing in this company. As a team, we learned about all sorts of great CRM technologies that we can utilize to improve our interactions with our customers and consumers. We greatly furthered our skills, but there was something else interesting I noticed. While at some of the networking events, watching my colleagues interact with NON-IT orientated people, I noticed that at APR has an IT team that you can talk to…

There is a great benefit to having an IT department that you’re not afraid to interact with, and that is something I am proud to say we have here. One of the defining characteristics of American Profit Recovery is how we treat consumers diplomatically and with respect. Using this approach yields better results. The same goes internally when interacting interdepartmentally. Sometimes an incredible Customer Service Rep may not be particularly skilled at GoToMeeting and sometimes a very effective Sales rep is not very good with Excel. By understanding that we specialize in different areas, and treating each other cordially, we are much better able to bring everyone up to speed and make us the well-oiled machine that we are! In my past I always learned better from the friendly IT guy than I did when IT Alan came through and gave me a scolding so vicious that people asked me if I was okay afterwards. That is why it’s so important that here, in a company that emphasizes treating people, both external and internal, with esteem, we proudly try to be the most communicative IT team that we can be!

… I did say try though. You may still want to exercise caution when tapping us on the shoulder to fix a printer. Especially if it’s early.