This is geared toward the colocation side of the data center world.
Working in such an engineering based and high tech field it is easy to forget what really allows us to bring home the bacon, our customers. Colocation data centers would not exist without the customers to fill them up. While you may have good customers and difficult ones, we should all approach our business with them in mind. Now I am not going to get into a philosophical conversation whether “the customer is always right” or not. This is not the time or place. I will focus on small changes that will help out the customers and in turn the data center staff.
Clean and spacious staging area. While space is an important commodity within any data center, it is still important to allocate an adequate amount for customer staging. A staging area allows customers to take equipment out of boxes prior to bringing them on the raised floor. This prevents one of the most broken rules at data centers; no cardboard on the raised floor. It is also very important to remember that with all the work that takes place in this area, extra time and effort should be allotted to keep the staging area clean. Customers are not going to want to use the area if they are climbing over empty boxes.
Tools to get the job done. Having an area that has equipment that customers can use is important. My three most important are chairs, crash carts and service carts. Customers that work a long time on the raised floor will inevitably want to sit down. By having chairs available this will aid customers while they work and mitigate the need for them to bring their own chairs. Crash carts and service carts also aid in customer work. Having all these available on the raised floor in a general location will also minimize the added work to data center staff from customer requests.
Friendly Attitude. Any industry that is customer facing can tell you that no two customers are the same. In my experience I have found that most often than not, a friendly attitude will make even the most irate customer easer to deal with. Not to say that we have to listen to and do everything the customer asks for, but if there is a disagreement, stay positive and it will make working out the situation much easier.