If you have ever had the dubious pleasure of calling a mismanaged technical support line then you know that the drill goes a little bit something like this:
- You are brought to a computer system that makes you enter information with a key pad. If you mess this up you will end up with the wrong department and have to start over again.
- You will listen to a seemingly interminable line of recorded speech, usually suggesting that you try to get help online or alternatively telling you that your business is appreciated while informing you that there is a 45 minute hold time.
- A level one tech makes you turn everything on and off, unplug and replug every cord and generally tries to find ways to blame another company's product.
- After insisting several times you are upgraded to a higher level tech who may be able to solve your problem, but you will have to re-do all of the things from step 3 first.
- Eventually you get your fix but you have wasted 2 hours of your life and you need a stiff drink, because through this whole process each of the techs has treated you like a small child, carefully explaining to you how to open the web browser that you already use everyday anyway.
If you run a support line that is similar to this, in essence, anyway, then let me lay a few enduring and necessary truths on you. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt much, and in the end it will be a good thing. Provided, that is, that you heed my warnings.
Truth one: Your customers do not want to talk to a machine.
Think about it; your customer is calling you, a human being, because they are having problems with a machine. Talking to another machine is the last thing that they want to do right now.
Truth two: Even the least technology savvy customer knows when you are yanking their chain.
This means that you should stop trying to blow off issues to another company or product. Yes, in some cases it may not be your product's fault but this should be your last conclusion, not your first.
Truth three: Your customers hate pointless repetition.
Having them do the same things over and over again with every tech just gets them mad and convinces them that you have no clue what you are doing.
Truth four: No one wants to hear constant ad talk while they are on hold.
Unsatisfied customers are not going to buy from you, at least not right now, so save the rolling commercials for the 24/7 infomercial network.
Don’t worry if you have come to the sudden realization that your service line sucks. I am not going to leave you high and dry without any help for making things right. As a matter of fact that is what this series is all about. We will be going through all of the common desktop support hassles and ways to solve them, or at least mitigate them a bit.