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Effective Communication: Q&A with author Chandra Bhushan Mishra

Chandra Bhushan Mishra is an engineer by profession and has worked in India and overseas. He has authored several books on telecom transmission, accounting as well as fiction, Hindi poetry, and short stories.

In our Q&A with the author, we will understand the challenges and effective solutions to be successful.

Can effective communication suggested in this book keep the clients happy?
Yes, if technicians or even engineers on shift duty follow the process, it will keep the client happy. Monitoring in MCR or operation center is round the clock. If there is a complaint about the TV channel going blank, (no audio and video), the technician in MCR immediately can say that it is working fine at their end. The client who is at a distance presumes the technician is bluffing. But, actually, the technician asks them to hold the line and bring his TV channel on the monitor, feeding the audio on the phone, thus helping the client. 

Does it help to highlight problems and regulate the action needed by the technicians?
Yes, in the process the technician must check whether the TV signal is coming from the client or not. If no TV signal from the client is found, action is initiated to the transmission team for a check as well as to the client to confirm if the signal is leaving his studio. This will help in a quick fix of the problem. Hence, outages in TV service will be minimum.

How easy or difficult was your training process for the technicians?
The training process is not very difficult. During an outage in the TV service, technicians panic, and due to that, they start wrong diagnoses. These make outages of longer duration. The client thus gets unhappy as his revenue from advertising gets lost during the outage. So he complains to the higher bosses, and in turn, technicians get fired in the worst case.

Is broadcasting a one-way service?
Yes. Broadcasting is one-way traffic. TV services keep on transiting whether you watch or not. Likewise radio services too. Hence this is confirmed by monitoring services to make sure broadcasting is working fine.

What is the high point of your book?
In my book, I have indicated different scenarios of a problem - what is to be checked and what action is to be taken by the technician to fix it and inform the client if he has to take action at his end. Audio not present in the TV service is an example. The technician may check and inform the client that there is a sampling rate mismatch causing the problem and will ask them to fix it. 

Is continuously monitoring the technicians’ services the only way to success?
Monitoring is done to avoid prolonged outages on any TV service. When a problem occurs, technicians start checking the same. The setup might take more time and hence outage duration will be more, which no client wants. It is a must in the broadcast system.

What is your experience in keeping up with client expectations and handling complaints?
I worked for twenty years in the TV broadcast system. I have come across issues where due to clients’ failure, services were affected. This is in the Play Out Services from Teleport. Client’s delivery of the material as per contract is not met or sudden changes in the playout schedule last moment. 

This may affect the transmission of this service. To avoid complaints, I instruct the technician not to entertain delivery at the last minute. I tell the clients that if all ten of them bring their material at the last moment how is it possible to accommodate it?

How do you handle an emergency or panic situation?
Clients keep calling the technicians while engineers work on restoration. The best way is to keep the phone off-hook in an emergency. Diagnosing the problem and working on it is the priority. After fixing the problem the technician talks to the client about the problem and sends them an outage report as we normally send on outages.

Replying on the phone and attending to problems will create more panic. The technician may talk to the client and disconnect quickly, which the client might consider rude. So to avoid getting calls, we hang the phone or appoint one person to inform clients that technicians are working on the issue.

It is important to talk softly on the phone and listen properly to the complaint, which can eventually solve most of the problems. If the client is arguing, then the phone can be handed over to the senior. He may better explain to the client, making the client happy…

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