Trust is the lifeline of your business irrespective of the industry you are in or the size of your business. You need to foster trust to build relationships both internally with your employees and stakeholders and externally with your investors and most importantly, with your customers. The last is particularly difficult to establish and maintain in a business environment rife with unmet promises, scams and duplicities that makes even the most trusting partners, stakeholders and customers wary and quite rightfully so. Lack of trust can be a true hindrance to fast collaboration and business outcomes, especially when it comes to as critical a function as infrastructure. The only way to engender trust in such an adverse environment is to build a track record of business and social proof and deliver promises time and again across multiple touch points and various channels. In this article we will discuss 6 Effective ways IT departments can build trust among business partners.
In the wake of the pandemic, now more than ever, businesses rely on IT departments to keep them connected and available to customers, employees, business partners and more. It’s up to the IT department to ensure proper governance of all technical assets, upgrades, maintenance, functionality and overall security of the network and all digital assets. This means having secure networking and data sharing operational protocols in place, continually monitoring computer networks for any anomalies, having emergency quarantine and business continuity procedures in place and of course, continually monitoring all hardware and software to deliver workloads at peak efficiencies.
IT departments run the gamut of single-person ‘IT guy’ teams to full-fledged multi-disciplinary teams with specialists in specific technologies and fields of operation. The workload is generally a split between regular updates and maintenance tasks (updates, patch cycles etc.), solving user queries and requests, being responsible for hardware and software performance management, troubleshooting and lifecycle management, securing the network and performing critical backup and disaster recovery functions, cloud data and applications management and more. The IT department is also responsible for budgeting and driving peak efficiencies that drive real business vale for the company. IT Support New Jersey can be a great resource to find out more about the full range of services that can be offered through IT services.
6 Effective ways IT departments can build trust among business partners
Here are 6 simple, but effective ways IT departments can build trust among their business partners:
Directly address issues
IT is always a high-pressure environment both for the department responsible for managing it as well as users who are pressed for time in processing business requirements and cannot wait on technical issues. However, how you deal with problems when they arise is how you instill trust and loyalty in business partners. The simplest way out is not to get into reactive mode and remain connected with users – especially in particularly stressful times. Trust is a continuous process that is developed from the first contact and is gradually built through your business partner’s experience of service delivery, implementation, care, and support. Through each step, you have the chance to foster and develop trust through delivering on promises and showing your partners that you actually care for their problems. This can be shown through fast response times, knowledge transfers that truly deliver value, showing your pride and passion through your work, quick conflict and issue resolutions and more. The agenda is to deliver distinguished service that makes you stand out from the crowd and makes you the default option to turn to in case of any technical issue or strategic guidance.
Quality service and an active presence
At the end of the day, trust is a factor of the quality of service you deliver and the value additions in terms of technical know how you can bring to any business. Even though it may not seem like a part of your job, making it a point to remain available and focus on knowledge sharing (without direct or immediate commercial benefits) goes a long way in fostering trust with your business partners. For repetitive process or technical guidance, you can always take the help of more interactive content formats like videos, tutorials etc. to reach out to business partners. Long form written content also helps in driving attention to value delivered by the largely ‘invisible’ IT team in successful delivery of projects or critical business missions.
Your best bet lies in honesty
Trust is built on honesty. And while many business practices advise go about telling the truth ‘strategically’, for a core function like IT – honesty is often the more useful approach. Quite apart from moral value, honest, hard facts about real-time IT processes and functions can help in taking split-second decisions and making sure operations remain running. Truth telling also means setting realistic goals and delivering on the promises you make to your partners.
Minimal technical issues
The lower the average number of technical issues your business partners have to face on a daily basis – the smoother their experience and the higher their trust in your department. Apart from being great at break/ fix mode of IT operations; it really pays dividends for IT teams to perform predictive maintenance and issue resolutions, so they can be solved without the user ever becoming aware of it. Managed IT Services New Jersey can be a great resource to get started with predictive IT maintenance.
Delight your customers by going the extra mileage
Your team is already delivering optimum IT performance, so why bother with more? Even efficiency can become boring at times and you should actively seek out ways to delight your business partners in small ways when they least expect it. It sweetens the deal for all customers and they know that they are getting more than what they asked for in terms of additional time, service, convenience, empathy etc. This is a great way to deliver long-term value and engender trust in all business partners – current and future.
Create and bank on relationships that are mutually beneficial
At the end of the day, the best relationships are the ones that prove mutually beneficial for both parties involved. All your stakeholders including customers, coworkers and employees need to believe that working with you is the best option available to them. This involves clearly articulating the value of your service to business partners and the strategic business benefits they get in implementing your counsel.
For more guidance, please reach out to IT Consulting New Jersey for strategic inputs on fostering trust in your IT.