How to Deal with Managers who Expect Immediate Response

So, you’re an IT support specialist and you’re close to the end of your rope when it comes to managers expecting their problems to be solved on the spot. You can sympathize with them, you understand their frustration, and you realize that solving tech problems is your job.

But you’re a tech specialist, not a magician. So, what’s your best next step?

Be honest.

If you don’t have an instantaneous fix, tell the manager that. Make it clear that you’ll find out ASAP how to solve their problem. Then, stay in regular touch with them as you do just that.

  • Explain your triage and troubleshooting plan. You may want to use an analogy that describes things in layman’s terms. For instance, compare the situation to a doctor trying to accurately diagnose and treat a patient’s symptoms or a car mechanic looking into a funny sound under the hood.

Document everything you do.

Even if it seems like documentation would only take more time – which it will – record your steps and progress electronically, physically and mentally. This way, you can justify it as needed. And, you can refer back to it if the issue crops up again in the future. You won’t regret it.

  • An added benefit to documentation: When someone frantically insists that “I need this fixed today!” you can respond with, “I understand. I’ll look into it right away, but as I haven’t reviewed the logs on this problem yet, I don’t want to make a promise I can’t keep.”
  • Tell them you’ll email or call back with a time frame. This way, you’ve satisfied them and shown that you’re taking the matter seriously. You’ve also indicated that resolution may take longer than they’d like, so they won’t be unpleasantly surprised if this in, in fact, the case.

Customer service is the bottom line when you’re an IT specialist. If you need additional guidance and resources to help you continue to improve – or, if you’re seeking a new opportunity to better advance your career – contact TRC Professional Solutions today. We have more than 35 years of industry experience and can guarantee you the individualized time and attention you need.