I’ve written about communication a few times; it’s an important part of my job, I enjoy it, and I’m always learning about it. Recently I’ve been involved in a project which included a requirements gathering phase, consulting hundreds of users across two Schools of the University, and what I learned there forced me to completely re-think my approach to this process, and to communication with users in general.
It’s everywhere. You can’t get away from it. It never stops. It can contain the most trivial of information, or the most important thing you’ll read that week. A recent study concluded we spend 28% of our time reading and answering email. I receive about 185 emails a day on average, on a bad day over 300, but my inbox is nearly empty and I know where everything is and what I have to do. How do I do it?
I’ve blogged in the past about communication (importance of first contact, and how communication should help you deal with service outages) and during my first year a year at the Clinical School Computing Service (CSCS) I’ve developed a plan for communication, and started making contact.
This might sound trivial, but with over 2,500 customers spread across 5 sites, and consisting of University Academic, Research and Administrative staff, making contact isn’t as simple as it seems.
The fiasco of the last few hours is a very good example of how poor communication strategy can alienate customers and lose you money.
I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet recently, the direct result of working harder than I can ever remember. This unusual state of affairs was caused by my new role as Support Team Manager in the Clinical School Computing Service (CSCS) at the University of Cambridge. For the last five weeks I’ve been working in the Helpdesk answering the phones, preparing quotes, processing orders, remotely diagnosing and fixing problems, going out to site delivering repaired PC’s and generally getting to know the customers, systems and processes at the School of Clinical Medicine.