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Two coins to Tech Support

“Slashdot” has some coverage on two sides of Tech Support. One of them sounds very business-y and about the general dynamics of the whole tech support industry. You can find that here. There is also a rebuttal from a former tech support person here..
Both articles make for an interesting contrast with one another. However, I think that they both fall on the radical side of the viewpoints on tech support (barring the upper management of the company providing tech support’s position).
I can empathize with the rebuttal from the former tech support position as I have been there. Working in tech support can be mentally stressing. As the other author said, you can get bitten from the customers calling in who can get very nasty when their problems aren’t being helped. And they can also be bitten by management for not following the correct procedures. However, I’ve also been on the customer end and really frustrated when I call in with a genuine problem with some service and I can’t find anyone to help me. I try utmost best to be polite but frankly if I have a problem that only they can fix and they are not helping me their tech support model is broken. Or if I continuously need to raise the issue past the phone rep to a manager this is really stupid.
In my opinion this points to a broken system where the procedures matter more than trying to give good customer service to people calling in. People calling in obviously need help trying to get their computer or software working otherwise why bother calling. Trying to offer some cookie cutter service that ‘hopefully’ reaches out to many users without considering the consequences is in my opinion a horrible growth strategy. This can explain the 3rd party technical support industry that exists because the source companies just cannot handle the possible load they’ve gotten themselves into. One thing that building these great systems to handle ‘call load’ is that it loses the human element of interaction which is another reason the 3rd party technical support exists but in many ways it cannot grow too large since it must keep the human element involved.

Anyone need a freelance tech support guy? I do housecalls 🙂

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