I"ve been told I should never tell a user that, because it displays a negative attitude. It"s not "can do".

You are watching: I ll see what i can do

I don"t believe that. I think it"s honest to say things like that. If someone asks you for something and you don"t know the answer, it"s what you should say. It"s realistic.

To me, it"s better to under-promise and over-deliver than vice versa.

Talk amongst yourselves...


Which of the following retains the information it's storing when the system power is turned off?
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I think it is all in the attitude when you present it. You can pretty enthusiastically say "I"ll see what I can do!"


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Scott Alan Miller wrote:

I think it is all in the attitude when you present it. You can pretty enthusiastically say "I"ll see what I can do!"

Exactly! Service with a smile. Better than over-optimism with a scowl, wouldn"t you say?
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I think it all depends on your honesty. Do you actually intend to do the best you can?

For me it"s about setting expectation. Don"t tell someone you can fix it if you"re not actually sure you can. Do your best is a viable option, IMHO. 


I see no issue with that at all! I agree that it is all in how you say it though. Also, I have a 99% satisfaction rating with 350+ users & only two IT guys - I feel that we have gotten that because I have a policy to under-promise & over-deliver rather than over-promise & fail or under-deliver.

Honesty is the best policy!


Yeah. I"m running into an issue where I"m not over-promising. Someone else is. And they"re causing me to have to deliver for them. It"s a frustrating position to be in. But I just take it one day at a time.


But you can still present realistic expectations - trust me, you will be shocked how surprised someone is when you say "honestly, I am not sure that is something that we can handle at this time. It is probably a limit etc", then a day later, when you give them the results they were asking for, they absolutely love you! It isn"t dishonest, you are simply telling them not to give their hopes up. On the other hand, if you say "Sure, it"s a cinch", then have to come tomorrow & say that you were wrong, that sucks!


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Serrano
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Walter782 Sep 29, 2009 at 16:49 UTC

I never promise anything I am not 100% sure I can deliver. If I have to research first I say that I have to look into that before I can give you an answer. After that, no matter the answer good or bad, I deliver the answer. Then the decisions are made.

 

My bosses know I can"t know everything and they understand that.


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Serrano
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Steve1269 Sep 29, 2009 at 16:59 UTC

Walter782 wrote:

I never promise anything I am not 100% sure I can deliver. If I have to research first I say that I have to look into that before I can give you an answer. After that, no matter the answer good or bad, I deliver the answer. Then the decisions are made.

 

My bosses know I can"t know everything and they understand that.

I agree with this. A good honest answer is always better than a "maybe" If you can you can, if not say so.
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Habanero
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Thereal_Joe Sep 29, 2009 at 18:18 UTC

I think anyone that has time to be offended by getting an answer like this, just doesn"t have enough to do.

 

Seriously, I don"t see a problem with it, and I dare a user to come complain to me that one of my guys told them "I"ll see what I can do".

 

Now if it"s the President of the company on the other hand, well just safer to tell them "will do", and have to tell them later why not.


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Pure Capsaicin
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akp982 Sep 30, 2009 at 02:11 UTC

akp982 is an IT service provider.


Its all good yesterday i wore a t-shirt saying no i will not fix your pc


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Jalapeno
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Martijn705 Sep 30, 2009 at 02:48 UTC

i normaly use the words "i am going to do my best" it"s not like we are Gods and we can repair everything that is broken or burned out or solve every problem in one minute.


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Jalapeno
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Bungalore Sep 30, 2009 at 03:10 UTC

I think "I"ll see what I can do" is a perfectly reasonable response. Especially if it"s a user request which is no critical. And "I"ll do the best I can" is also good. When a user comes in with a laptop riddled with viruses due to misuse and urgently needs resumed use of his system "I"ll do the best I can" is pretty much all you can say!


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Cayenne
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ImbaAdmin Sep 30, 2009 at 03:14 UTC

This is exactly what I tell my users. "I´ll do my best" or "I´ll see what I can do, but don´t know how long it will take."

 

And sometimes I handle it like Scotty from Star Trek:

"Captain, the engines failed."

"OK, Scotty, how long it will take to repair them?"

"5 Hours"

"You have 4. The klingons are on our trail."

"OK, I´ll do it in 3."


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Cayenne
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Richard Hipkin Sep 30, 2009 at 03:32 UTC

If I cannot immediately help someone I will let them know that I require time to sufficiently research the issue and that I will come back to them with a solution, if they ask if I can solve their problem I will answer them with "I will certainly see what I can do." I see nothing wrong with this statement as I am being perfectly honest. I think if you promise them anything else and you cannot fix their problem you"ll look worse for it.


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Ghost Chili
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Kenny8416
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Sep 30, 2009 at 03:54 UTC

Honesty is always the best policy - making promises you can"t keep is just creating double the pain further down the line. Sooner or later you"re going to have to tell the user it can"t be done, or it"s not a priority just now, etc etc.

If someone is asking for the impossible I just tell them it"s not possible, if it"s possible but really expensive I tell them that too. For the grey area"s then again I stick with honesty - usually "i"m not sure about that I"ll have to look in to it and get back to you" the big thing here is to make sure you DO get back to them. People accept most things quite happily as long as you are genuine and keep your promises. That goes for the CEO too, he"s the last person I"d want try lying to.


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Mace
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Limey Sep 30, 2009 at 07:20 UTC

I agree with Kenny ^

I do prefer to say "Let me look into that and I will get back to you" rather than either of the phrases in the title, though. Had to do it with the CEO yesterday, have the deliverable ready to go this morning. She"d better be happy!

If I find something is not possible I usually try and explain why I think that is the case, the 50,000ft overview, business terms, etc. Definitely avoid geekspeek.

Sometimes it is possible but I don"t have the time to make it happen, if the business needs it sooner then it"s up to the department head to work it out with me and the CEO as to what else gets pushed back.

Setting a timeframe expectation up front usually works for me. If I can"t "look into it" until next week I tell them that, if that"s a problem then we discuss.


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Chipotle
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Mike at SCA Sep 30, 2009 at 07:45 UTC

How about "let"s see what WE can do?" Make it a shared expereince.

We in IT are the experts, but be clear that being the expert doesn"t mean you know all there is to know.

I use analogies a lot. Your doctor in an expert, but he/she does not always get it right the first time because the human body is a complicated system, much like a computer or network. Same picture can be painted using the auto mechanic and the complexity of modern day cars.

"I don"t know" is an acceptable phrase when followed by "but I will find out."


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Ghost Chili
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David9459 Sep 30, 2009 at 08:04 UTC

I know this is a legitimate question. I also decided years ago ( before allisonbrookephotography.com - but I would have jumped on allisonbrookephotography.com if it had been available) to only respond to requests for technical help that had a work order in place. (Obvious exceptions - boss, payroll, etc.).

I"ve also tried to educate people (mostly classroom teachers) that the same thing applies to tech support as it does to their students; raise your hand, wait your turn, be polite, etc.

If the person has a work order in place and wants to know when I can close it then I answer directly if I can ("tomorrow" if I know I can do "tomorrow") or if I don"t know when I tell them that "I don"t know" but it will be as soon as I can get it done - and that"s true.

If they don"t have a work order in place (and they all know they should) then I tell them the truth - I have no wa yof knowing until they put in a work order. Since the normal priorities are (first in - first out) then this in effect lets them determine their place in line. IF they wait a week to submit a work order then they are a week farther away than they were when they made the verbal inquiry.

For the people that use the process work orders can take from a couple of minutes to complete (simple AD password problems for students) to much longer (building a new math lab, etc.) but they are all aware that I look at every single open work order every single day because it is my goal to successfully close all of them.

See more: This Book Is Not Good For You By Pseudonymous Bosch, This Book Is Not Good For You

So, I think many of us agree that "I"ll see what I can do" is a legitimate response, but it needs to be reinforced with a documentable way of assuring that what we "can do" is best for the organizations we support.