Your IT Company’s Staff Personalities

How is the personality of your IT company shaped? As a service provider, at the heart of your company are its people. Management/ administration, technical teams and sales are the groups or individuals that have direct and frequent contacts with your clients. The sum of these personalities and their cross-relationships make up the personality of your organization. These individuals are the ones who can show the warmth and competence of your company with every interaction they have with your clients.

In reality, your clients are the employers of you, your staff and your company. They are the ones who pay for you and your staff’s salaries and keep your operation running. Therefore, everyone in your company should always see your clients as their boss, have their best interest in mind and demonstrate their intentions with clear words and actions.

If you are the owner or an executive of the IT company, your clients need to know you, see you and talk to you in person. You need to let them know that your entire team is geared up to provide the best possible service at the most optimal cost for their organization. Your clients should know that you treat their business the same as your own business. You are conscious and sensitive to their IT expenses and always will try to avoid unnecessary costs. This shows your company’s warmth that can be felt by your clients.

In my interactions with our IT clients, I always tell them that a new project or service can be approached  at three different levels: a bare minimum solution, an optimal solution and an overkill solution. However, as their IT expert and business advisor, we always choose and recommend our optimal solution for their business.

I remember discussing these three solution levels with one of our clients while we were planning to replace their aged server, and the client asked, “how do we know that the server you are suggesting is the optimal solution server and not an overkill?” I replied, “it is our standard practice to always design and configure an optimal solution for our clients and our determination is based on our understanding of your business needs, the latest and most relevant technologies available and the most cost effective solutions.”

I did not need to go through the details of the CPU specs, amount of RAM, or size of the hard drive with her. With the trust and competence that we built over time, she accepted my response and we moved forward with the project.

Now, let me share a few example of various IT staff personalities that I have dealt with in the past two decades. In these examples, you may find similar personalities currently working in your organization.

Engineer 1:

  • He is an engineer whose warmth and friendliness is an example of building a strong personal relationship with our clients. Although admitted that he was not the strongest technical person, he was a problem solver. His clients knew that if he did not know how to fix a problem or approach a technical challenge, he would not cover it up. Instead, he went the extra mile to find the right solution and eventually provided them with the most efficient and practical resolution. He would tell us that sometimes his clients felt uncomfortable with his extra efforts in solving their problems and for that, would apologize to him.

This engineer, in addition to creating a warm relationship with his clients, did so with a level of strength and competence.  He was one of the most respected and desired personalities of our technical team.

Engineer 2:

  • This engineer was a smart individual and had a lot of confidence in his work and abilities. He was a fast learner and was always trying to bring new ideas and service offerings to the company. His role in the company and his responsibilities steadily increased and he became one of the key players in the company.

However, he was not able to build a strong and warm relationship with our clients. He was very opinionated and if anyone challenged his ideas with an alternative solution, he could not easily consider alternative solutions. His lack of flexibility was felt internally, and was also felt by our clients.

His competence level was also average as our clients could see some of the technical mistakes he made, but rather than admitting to his mistakes and apologizing for them, he would try to justify his mistakes and push the blame elsewhere. Obviously this approach did not build a high competence level for him in the eyes of his clients.

I believe he could have been a superstar, if he had been more flexible, a better listener and taken responsibility for his mistakes.

How about you? Do you have examples of your staff, either from the past or present that have had significant affects in your company’s warmth and competence, either positively or negatively? Can you share these examples with us?

In my next blog, I will share a few more examples of personalities that I have experienced and conclude with ways to factor in these personality variations in your hiring process. Stay tuned.