Posted by: Tavis Patterson on April 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm
I love Masters Week. It’s probably my favorite week of the year for a sporting event. Everything about it reminds me of the love I have for golf and the great game that it is. Augusta National Golf Club is probably up there as the #1 or #2 golf course that most people would love to play and will never have the chance to. So I got to thinking about all the cool things that we love about Masters Week (“a tradition unlike any other”) and how we can liken many of the things to having great IT support for businesses. Now don’t get me wrong IT Support and Golf are definitely two distinct things, but there is a striking similarity between some core things we love about the Masters and Augusta National and IT and great IT Support.
Let’s take a look at 5 things we can keep in mind:
1. Par 3 Contest – Family and Fun
The Wednesday before the Masters is a great tradition on Augusta National’s Par 3 course: the Par 3 Contest. This year a record number of holes in one were recorded. A friend of mine was able to go and just simply stated “Unreal!!!!!” But the cool thing is that the Masters embraces fun and family on this Wednesday. Little kids, grandmothers, dads and moms all wear the traditional Masters caddie jumpsuit and carry the bag for players. It makes for a great photo opportunity.
A great IT Support company should always feel like you’re dealing with family. They should be trusted as your business partner. And IT shouldn’t be frustrating. We want to be the home of “Frustration Free IT.” Everything about that means that you’ve got to laugh and have some fun from time to time. If everything is frustrating with technology and IT why would anyone do any work? Live a little!
2. Ceremonial Tee Shots – Experienced IT Pros
One of the cool things the Masters does is have Gary, Jack and Arnie start the tournament on Thursday morning with a traditional tee shot that officially starts the tournament. Now we always hate to see our childhood icons grow old (because we’re growing old ourselves) but it’s the storytelling and hearing how things used to be that intrigues us about the traditional tee shot. Oh, and probably the fact that these guys can still hit a golf ball better than most of us.
In IT you want to have experienced professionals who really tell you how it’s done. Professional IT with experienced engineers is a great sign of awesome IT support and IT service. Whether its a new IT project or a cloud migration, having IT personnel that you know have done it before can be a real business saver. We want to hear about stories from these guys and not be part of it ourselves.
3. Cheap Food – Geeks love food
OK you got me here. The Masters is known for it’s pimento cheese sandwiches for a buck or so. And a beer for still only $3. Everything is green and lovely and served in wrappers and cups that are green.
A great IT support person loves food. We all do. And cheap food. And beer. Did I mention the cheap beer?
4. Patrons – Not just a Customer
At the Masters everyone who steps on the grounds and is not participating or a member is a “Patron.” That just sounds cool, right? You are a valued guest on the grounds of the Masters. You almost become someone else than just another person. You’re a Patron for a day. Now a Patron really means you’re a customer of the Masters but it elevates you to a new status. It’s all in line with the theme of hosting the best tournament in golf with the best fans… err, sorry I mean Patrons.
IT Support should elevate you to a “Patron” level. When you call the service desk you feel like someone on the other end cares for you? Are they really working hard to satisfy your needs? I’m sure that not everything goes exactly right at Augusta, but when Patrons are involved the members will work hard to make sure things are corrected. IT support and IT service people should do the same. They will make mistakes, but it is how you care for the clients that makes a difference. And for a great IT service firm or IT consulting firm they should indeed treat everyone as “clients” and not customers. A customer buys one thing from a store and moves on. A client is one who keeps coming back for help and assistance.
5. Unmistakable Beauty – IT just works!
The Augusta National golf course is consistently rated in the top 5 in the world for its beauty. Everything that the Augusta National members do they do with the beauty of the course in mind. There is no better picture in the spring than when you see the azalea bushes flowering in Augusta (and we’re shivering here in Michigan) knowing that golf season is on the way. The pictures of the pristine fairways and the Masters logo made of flowers at the entrance all greatly contribute to the beauty.
IT can be beautiful too. Don’t get me wrong, some people don’t like it at all. But they should respect it. Great IT support and a technology infrastructure that just works should be beautiful to your business. Why? Because it’s making you money. It’s running smoothly. Your employees are happy. Your well-oiled machine looks beautiful to people on the outside… yes, your Patrons!
If your technology seems like it’s more fit for the clown nose mini golf course (think Happy Gilmore) and not Augusta National, then it’s time to change your technology or your technology provider. Great IT support should mimic how the Masters is run.
Excuse me… I’ve got a back 9 to watch.