Friday, February 25, 2005

This Is Technical Support, Please Call Back When It Is More Convenient

As I have mentioned before, I wind up getting caught up helping people with their computer problems. One of my biggest pet peeves (and I'm pretty sure everyone elses) is calling technical support. If they only had a number you can press earlier to tell the service what your level of computer experience is before you interact with the support representative, it would be so much easier. Standard questions from them when you call start with: "Is your computer turned on?", "Are all the wires plugged into the back of the machine and in the right areas?", "Have you tried unplugging your machine for 5 minutes, plugging it back in and trying to start it?", "Are you using software that we didn't provide you? (if not, you need to call someone else buddy)", "Do you know what a command prompt is?," "Can you find your C drive?", "Is there someone in the house that doesn't speak English that we can talk to?"... etc. My poor neighbor has had Sears come out several times to fix his computer hardware and left him to re-install Windows ME (yes, folks... someone recommended he put ME back onto his computer.) After spending lots of time and money on tied up phone circuits and housecalls, they are asking him to send his computer to them. I can usually yell at a bad technical support person if it's my computer but of course doing it for someone else can easily get him less support in the future. The best technical support that I've ever gotten was oddly enough through eMachines (yes, for someone else's machine) in which we talked through a chat window. It does curtail violent outbursts and name-calling... unless you tend to go off on the !'s. I actually was getting voicemail when I called AirLink about a wireless USB set-up. Rule #1 of tech-support... "What kind of router are you using? Ahhh, Microsoft. I think you should call them." What? Anything to get you off the phone in record time.

4 comments:

Lily said...

I agree having prompts for your technical computer experience is very good idea, especially for those of you who probably have more tech exp. than the help desk folks.

Those types of silly "is your computer on?" queries are not limited to computer tech support. I've had similar stupid questions asked by the phone company such as "are you calling from that phone now?" when I've just told them that my phone line was dead.

Davydgrey said...

Hey lets not bash the technical support people too much Mart, some of us do that for a living. Seriously, help desk people get so used to dealing with the inexperienced computer users that we sometimes forget that there are technical literate people out there, but even technically literate people can sometimes overlook a simple problem.

An80sNut said...

Not exactly bashing the tech support in general but there are definitely some ways to better service the customer. I also think that there is a chance that some people doing the support aren't really in the "customer service" mindset and have trouble dealing with a barrage of irritable people. I am shocked that some of the people that I work with haven't been fired yet because they can't let a negative comment roll off their backs. You just can't replace a people person sometimes.

Davydgrey said...

Actually funny that you say that 'cause thats the big time dilema for tech support, you can find people with customer service backgrounds (and try to teach them tech)or you can find people with technical backgrounds (and try to teach them customer service), but it is difficult to find someone with both.