Isn’t it odd how ones perception of a job can change?
I mean, you rarely know how tough a job is until you have tried
it for a period. Now, I am gonna talk about Customer Support since
thats the area I know most about to be honest, and truth to be told
its an area that I have found most useful outside my workplace
aswell, when tackling ignorant neighbours who needed an explanation
why it isn’t a good thing to pour mocca latte down into your laptop
because it looked thirsty.
A few years back, if I called customer support at all, I would think that
they where snooty brats that didnt know diddly squat about what I
need, and they would connect me to this and that department only
to end with me hanging up with a frustrating sigh.
You recognize that? I am pretty sure that you do. How can I be so sure?
Ive been there, and I have also been the snooty brat on the other side
of the wire, albeit that I tried to treat all customers with respect until
they shown that they didnt think I was worth any.
When I started the CSR position a few years back, I hated phones
and to be honest, I still do. When I am at home, I try to touch the
phone as little as possible, unless its my little HTC of course, since
I use that for other things then calling. (More on that later)
I learned how to talk o customers, although I actually had another system
worked out in my head, that I combined with what I was taught.
I was taught the product pretty thourough and I felt I was prepared
when I came out on the floor. I loved the job, really I did. And I found it
a personal defeat when I couldnt find the “correct cause” for the error
myself. I also admitted to the callers that “I simply didnt know, I would have
to ask someone because this is a little way over my head”
Generally, when you put it that way, customers understand, because if you
ADMIT that there is something there that isnt right, they can wait on hold
for quite a while, just make sure that you project that feeling of confidence
even though you have no idea whats wrong.
(I am getting sidetracked here, gimme a minute)
Back to perceptions.
Nowadays when I call customer service for this or that reason, and yes
just because I work with one product and support for it, doesnt mean
that i know EVERY product by heart, I open the conversation with a hearty
Hello there, my name is …. and I have a little problem that I hope that we can
I give the support person a happy encounter at first, and that WILL have a
huge impact on the call as a whole. The CSR usually asks about the problem
at this point, and since I know that the CSR mostly has a timelimit on the call
I try not to dwell on what has happened far back. I simply concentrate on
the most immediate symptoms. A good example was a call to an ISP. Ill give you
a rough writeout.
The CSR welcomes me to the support, takes my name and customer ID.
I start to state my problem. None of my computers are recieving an IP adress.
I have tried with the switch, without it. No difference. I also had a friend
try to ping the gateway and the DHCP server that is usually shown in IPCONFIG
and he cant find those either. Any clue as to what is wrong.
Ok. Here is where the CSR gets in a pickle. He can either tell me that they
might be having a problem, he has to look it up, or, he can try to see if
there might be a local problem at my end. So, he asks me, have I tried
a different ethernet cable to the switch. Good suggestions, since if that
is broken, I cant get an IP. Alas, that cable was fresh out of the box yesterday
and its the same thing with the new one. Ok, so that might not be the problem.
Here’s the killer. Since the gateway cant be pinged from the outside, and
neither could the DHCP, my guess was that something was wrong on their
end. Not a bad guess if I may say so myself. So I tell the CSR “Hey, I know
you are probably not allowed to say something about it, but is there
some malfunctions on your end?” And I can hear how this CSR sighs
and almost pounds his head on the desk and states that yes, there is.
Their DHCP has been sunk, all tables have been lost, and it will be
fully functional within the next five days. Why, thank you, thats all I wanted
to hear. I tell the CSR to take a short break while I am on the phone
and then I ask him to have a good day. No hassle. Why? Well, because
I got a straight answer, and he really did try his best not belittleing me.
I think that chap needs a raise.
I think ive confused you enough for a while. Write you later.