Things to Remember When Calling Tech Support

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Geek!This is Gord’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Have you ever worked in Tech Support? I have for the past 7 years. Now, I know that the highest suicide rate for a profession is air traffic controllers. I’m not so sure they took into account those of us who work the trenches of tech support every day. There is quite often someone on the line who makes me ask my co-worker if they managed to get a gun past security so they can shoot me. What’s so bad about working in tech support? Just a few simple things to keep in mind next time you call…

  1. Yelling gets you nowhere. We know you are frustrated, we know you are having a problem. Why else would you be calling? I can’t recall a customer ever calling in just to tell me “everything is working fine, just though I’d call and let you know.” We are there to help you. It’s much easier to help you if we can communicate in an adult manner. Oh and when you yell we just mute the microphone and mock you to our coworkers or start cussing.
  2. Read the warranty. You’re not getting a new product because you’re having your first problem ever. You’re not getting your money back when you’ve had the product for 6 months and have now decided you don’t like it. The warranties cover defects in manufacturing and workmanship. They do not cover your frustration of how much time you’ve spent on the phone with us or how many times you’ve called in for support. Stop asking for the ridiculous to happen.
  3. It’s tech support, not computers 101. We are NOT there to teach you how to use your product. Having a problem with a mail merge? Don’t know how to burn a CD? Unsure of how to add an attachment in your email? Well you know what? TOO BAD! We are there to make sure you product is in working condition. If you don’t know how to do something, check the help file, take a course, google it or ask your 12 year-old nephew.
  4. Did you write down the error message? So you’re calling for some help because you received an error message on your screen. Great that will help us find a resolution to your problem faster. When we ask what the error message says, “I don’t know” is not the correct answer. For the love of all that’s good, write down the message. Better yet call us with the message on your screen, when it happens.
  5. Be in front of your computer. Now this is the biggest one of them all. You want help. Be in front of your product or at least within a reasonable walking distance of it. No one can help you when you’re at work or on vacation and your product is at home. Tech support is a two-way street, yes we can help but we need your participation. There is no magic way for us to access your product. There is not a hidden button that we can press to fix the problem. Odds are the resolution to your problem is more than “turn it off and turn it back on.” Be in front of the computer. Is that too much to ask?

So want to make someone’s day go a little better? Next time you call in for tech support keep these things in mind. If you do, the person on the other end may sound a little less frustrated. We want to help you, that’s why we are in the business. Please help us help you.