my boss has our entire department signed up for a course in ‘how to interact with difficult clients’.

not meaning to brag, but it’s rare in my tier-2 position I deal with our ‘clients’ directly and thus, the chance to have poor client interactions are rare.

the flipside of that, is that in my position the items I work on tend to be higher responsibility and priority, and therefore issues that crop up during my work tend to affect many more people at a time, and much more acutely.

it’s my experience people tend to appreciate honesty, taking ownership of the blame, plus a willingness to correct the problem ASAP and communicate what your planned steps and timeline are to resolve their issues.  Some can look past the odd mistake. If you are able to provide notice in advance of what may be happening and clear communication throughout an issue cycle, that can help position you better to have smoother interactions between yourself and client.

on the other hand I know clients are less able to stomach finger pointing and repeated issues of the same kind causing interruptions to services they use.

Negative perceptions are often brought to the table:

  • A difference in view between the The IT dept on the severity and important of the interaction/issue as less severe
  • and for example: “These computer people always do this to ME”

Lastly, outside influences may also negatively or positively affect any interaction. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally a bad day for one individual can make it a bad day for everyone in their path.

In any case, I have been in helpdesk shoes before, so it will be interesting to see what tools and advice I can take away from the presentation, maybe even to lessen the impact on other staff normally and when issues from my end arise.