A word of warning on this one. If you can’t take a joke and laugh at yourself, don’t even bother reading this.
Tech support… everyone needs it every now and then.
You know how it goes. You get some program / gadget and the damn thing just won’t work right. No matter what you do, you continue to have trouble. Believe me, I know how you feel.
You see… I know your pain because I am tech support. When it comes to support, I have done it all. Before working for WorldStart, I had several years of telephone tech support under my belt. Within these years, I have heard every last tale.
Today, since I know it all, I am going to share with you the top tech support “no-nos”. Just to reiterate my message above, this will probably offend each and every one of you.
1. You are not a comedian.
A very important thing to remember when calling tech support is that they have heard it all. Starting the conversation with a little joke like “I’m a computer idiot, LOL” or, “I hope you’re ready for a DOOSEY, LOL” to set the mood is not a good idea. Tech support is not there to be amused by you. Tech support is there to fix your problem and move onto the next person.
2. We don’t care how good you are with computers.
If I had a dime for every time some called me and started by telling me how good (or bad) they are with computers I would be a millionaire. Again, tech support does not care about your skill level. Everyone is treated the same and there is a reason for this. You see, computer “skills” are a relative term. You may be the pro in your house, until I step into the room. I may be the best computer tech at WorldStart, until they hire someone better.
The bottom line is that YOU are calling THEM for HELP. If you are calling them, all you need to do is follow their directions. Your computer skills don’t matter at that point.
3. Errors might not mean anything to you, but they do to tech support.
OK, this might be the single most annoying thing ever for a Tech support rep. I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve had that go something like this:
“I keep getting this error and it says something about the thing not working.”
WOW. That was so informative. I definitely know exactly how to fix your issue (that was sarcasm).
When you get an error, TELL US WHAT IT SAYS. Every last little detail. Errors weren’t put on your computer just to bug you. They actually tell you what is wrong.
3.5 The Path actually means something to tech support.
This is closely related to #3. When you get an error, usually it gives a path to the bad file. It goes something like this: C:\program files\…
When people call tech support they like to skip this as if it doesn’t matter. I honestly don’t know why. It would be like me calling you and saying “hey come over to my house. My address is 123 blah blah blah numbers numbers numbers.”
Not very helpful is it?
Again, errors are important. Every last word.
4. Details, Details, Details…. Details.
Let me say it again, Details.
Have you ever contacted tech support and said “this thing doesn’t work”? If you have, this one is for you.
I look forward to the day that tech support can read minds and see through the phone, but until that day comes, we’re just going to have to rely on the customer explaining the problem.
I don’t know how else to explain this. WE CANNOT SEE YOUR SCREEN. In order to help properly, you need to tell tech support exactly what is happening. Where did you start, where are you now, what happened when you clicked that button, at what point did you run into a problem and what was the problem?
5. Don’t click unless you are told to.
This kinda goes with number 2.
Calling tech support can lead you into some uncharted computer territory. You might see things on your computer that you have never seen before. You might be asked to click thing that you have never done before. This is why you should never click ANYTHING unless you are asked to.
This happens to me all the time: ME: “Right click on My Computer”. CUSTOMER: “OK, I’m in the device manager. That’s where you wanted me… right?”
UGH. So, it becomes pretty obvious. I can’t read your mind, you cant read mine.
6. Your computer does not actually have a mind of it’s own.
Now this is just hilarious to any tech support rep out there. At least once a day, someone will say to me “my computer doesn’t like me today”, or “My computer doesn’t want to do that”.
Believe it or not, computers don’t have feelings. They are machines. They simply do as instructed by a set of programming parameters.
Tech support will always see it this way. When computers “misbehave” they simply have a conflict with the instructions that they are given. Tech support is there to find the conflict and resolve it. We are not computer counselors, we are computer repair specialists.
OK, that’s all i have for now, but I’m sure there’s more that I’m not thinking of currently.
I know that some of these will come across like me telling you that tech support doesn’t like you. I assure you that this is not the case. Most tech support people, me included, actually enjoy fixing computer issues for people. I can’t speak for everyone, but I truly enjoy being able to resolve a problem for a customer. It is very satisfying to know that I was able to make someone’s day a little better.
The entire point of this post is simply to point out that there are productive tech support calls and there are wasteful, time consuming tech support calls. If you can avoid the 6 and a half “no-nos” above, your problem will be resolved faster. This saves more time for tech support to get to the next person that needs help.
If everyone follows these rules, everyone will get help faster and not wait on hold as long.
One last word (or paragraph) of wisdom about tech support that most people don’t think about. When you are on hold for tech support, the support rep is suffering right along with you. You see, when you are waiting on hold, this means that every tech support rep is currently helping someone else. It also means that as soon as the support rep gets off their current call, another one comes to them immediately after. This is the most terrible thing that anyone can experience. Imagine call after call with no break in between. This gets even worse when every call starts with a complaint about the hold time.
Just think about this the next time you call for help.