Based on many true stories.
“Hey Steve, I got locked out of the time tracking system. I think my password expired. Can you reset it?” William asked.
“You need to make me a ticket first.” Steve answered. He worked in IT.
“A ticket. On the help desk website. I can’t do anything without a ticket.”
William left and found an old link to the help desk website. He tried to create a ticket. It asked him to enter his billing code, department code, date, and request.
He asked around for the codes. Everybody said they just left those blank. He made a face and did the same thing. He put in today’s date and “time tracking password reset” and clicked send. Four days later, he got a reply.
“We can’t always do these on the same day you ask. Tell me when you really need this done by so we can schedule it.”
William hadn’t even needed it that fast. He’d put in today’s date because that’s what he thought was supposed to go in the “date” field. He showed the reply to his boss, who showed it to Steve’s boss, who told Steve to get it done.
The next day, Rose couldn’t log in to the time tracking system…
There are a lot of things wrong with this, but there’s one thing that sums them up. Steve was looking for ways to say “no”. When you’re doing customer service, look for ways to say “yes”.
Steve really was required to have a ticket for everything he worked on, but he could have made one himself. “You need to make me a ticket first,” could have been, “no problem, one second while I make a ticket.”
Steve really couldn’t reset the password on the day William asked, but he could have explained why. “We can’t always do these same-day,” could have been, “I added this to the list, but the time tracking system is old and only gets updated on Wednesdays.” Even if Wednesday turned out to be longer than William wanted to wait, it’s the best Steve can do.
If you show that you tried, your William will often volunteer to find workarounds for whatever you can’t do: “Thanks dude. I’ll keep notes until then.”
Even if you can’t deliver the request, there’s usually a way to say at least a partial “yes”. Saying “yes” whenever you can makes it easier to say “no” when you have to.
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