Don't SHOUT, I Know What You're Saying...

I think we’ve all had moments like this.

As a career nerd, I seem to have the unique luxury of avoiding the customer service desk. Which, with the few dealings I’ve had with said desk, I consider a Martha Stewart “Good Thing(tm).”

The good news is, it turns out if you don’t mind being a bit of a hardass, you can (always?) get what you want. Although, I’ve yet to try it, others have had great success with the outlined methods.

Or so I read.

So, I told you that story to tell you this one: A long time ago, in cities not so far away, I’ve, most unfortunately, been on the business end of a technical support call.

Or, as I personally like to call it, the ass end of an ass kicking.

Needless to say, it wasn’t my favorite thing to do. Though, it does teach you a hell of a lot about how to deal with irate people. For, it would seem, when something breaks, many lose the ability to think rationally. Myself included (I lost a set of headphones that way).

Thus, I agree with the tips in the article.

The level one support you’ll receive on first call is precisely that: they’re in place to make sure you’ve plugged things in, and tried the easy techniques to fix the problem. You’d be surprised, though, how many times this actually works.

So do be sure you have a problem before escalating it, lest you get put on “the list.”

Yes, “the list” exists.

Maybe only in minds (though, it’s often shared with other support employees after hours over drinks…so all know you), but it exists.

That being said, there’s one key to remember: level one has no power to do anything.

At all.

Yelling at them doesn’t help but get you on “the list.” And when you’re on the list, most are much less inclined to deliver exemplary support.

Calmly asking for a supervisor, however, takes one more call off of the already backed up queues. Win-win, no?

I do, of course, encourage you to use level one support if you’re dead in the water, and don’t necessarily have a cause of your own. I’m surprised how many times the easy fixes solve problems. And that goes for me as well. Even with a technical background, I often overlook an easy, simple fix, such as turning something off and back on. Or checking that I did securely attach a cable (cables can look securely plugged in when they’re not, y’know…)

Technical support has no desire to screw you over at all. Quite the opposite. It’s not like they’re paid by how many RMA returns they deny. But just like you can’t install Bejeweled on your computer at work, level one agents are about as powerful: they can walk you through the basics (which do solve a lot of problems), but can’t do much else.

But, if you care to to be irate, I may be able to interest you in a shield…