Monday, February 23, 2004

Behind the scenes in tech support

This article in Salon was passed along to me by a friend: "We don't support that". The subtitle is, "We're not here to help fix your computer. We just want to get you off the phone. A tech-support slave tells his hellish tale." If you don't subscribe to Salon, you can painlessly (two clicks and no data to enter) get a "day pass" to read the article.

The author says that he is, "part of the technical-support staff for one of the world's top three computer manufacturers," and in four pages he describes what his life is like. He describes different techniques that tech support staff use to cut calls short: punting, giving and formatting. He talks about hiring and promotion strategies. Etc.

If this is true, Lord help us....

As I read it, I had one question: Would it not be easier and less expensive -- not to mention much better for the reputation of the company and customer goodwill toward it -- for the company to actually train the tech support staff and give them tools so they can do a good job? It sounds like doing a bad job is costing the company a fortune.

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