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Tech-support rant (from the supporter's perspective).
#26

Tech-support rant (from the supporter's perspective).
I will never do open tech support again, I don't care if that leaves me homeless.  I'll happily do in-house phone support -- those are co-workers and they're not allowed to talk to me the way Joe Enduser does at three in the morning when he's roaring drunk and can't remember the URL of his favorite porn site.  I worked three years doing phone support for Cox Internet.  Never.  Again.  I have had calls demanding that I:
  • Remove an entire website one guy found offensive (which site, needless to say, we had nothing to do with and no authority over) because his kids might see it (I did not ask how he knew about it...).  I pointed out that we offer parental controls.  "Oh, I don't have time to bother learning that!"
  • Fix their TV service.  Explained that this is the internet support line.  "I can't wait on hold for the TV help line!"
  • Reset their Windows password.  When I explained that we can only support their internet connection and don't have any ability to reset their Windows password... "Well, if I can't log into Windows, I can't get on the internet!"
  • Get a Cox fire truck out to their place because the post in their front yard (where the cable goes underground) is smoking.  Advised that if there's a fire, she needs to call the fire department, and we don't have fire trucks anyway.  "It's your post!"
If you ever want a crash course in how to become a rampaging misanthrope, do tech support for an ISP for a while.
"Aliens?  Us?  Is this one of your Earth jokes?"  -- Kro-Bar, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
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#27

Tech-support rant (from the supporter's perspective).
(09-12-2020, 07:48 PM)trdsf Wrote: I will never do open tech support again, I don't care if that leaves me homeless.  I'll happily do in-house phone support -- those are co-workers and they're not allowed to talk to me the way Joe Enduser does at three in the morning when he's roaring drunk and can't remember the URL of his favorite porn site.  I worked three years doing phone support for Cox Internet.  Never.  Again.  I have had calls demanding that I:
  • Remove an entire website one guy found offensive (which site, needless to say, we had nothing to do with and no authority over) because his kids might see it (I did not ask how he knew about it...).  I pointed out that we offer parental controls.  "Oh, I don't have time to bother learning that!"
  • Fix their TV service.  Explained that this is the internet support line.  "I can't wait on hold for the TV help line!"
  • Reset their Windows password.  When I explained that we can only support their internet connection and don't have any ability to reset their Windows password... "Well, if I can't log into Windows, I can't get on the internet!"
  • Get a Cox fire truck out to their place because the post in their front yard (where the cable goes underground) is smoking.  Advised that if there's a fire, she needs to call the fire department, and we don't have fire trucks anyway.  "It's your post!"
If you ever want a crash course in how to become a rampaging misanthrope, do tech support for an ISP for a while.

Yeah my son did tech support at a Verizon call center for a few years. He at least got spiffs for upselling people, which was a nice adjunct to his income. He had some stories to tell, though nothing quite as nuts as yours. But he was supporting cellular customers, which is probably a little bit different environment than a straight-up ISP.
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#28

Tech-support rant (from the supporter's perspective).
(06-12-2020, 09:48 PM)leerob Wrote: I started writing this in the IT thread but then realized how much I am writing and decided to make it a thread instead because I can see how this might potentially derail the thread over there. I am assuming that this thread fits in this section best but if not, feel free to move obviously. 

Also yes, I am very aware that this is opening a can of worms.

BUT

Please understand that customer service people are people. We are not machines and we are here to help you. 

I am writing all this because I keep seeing people ranting about support in the most petty ways. Usually about things that support just can't do. There are limits and this is something that some customers just don't want to understand. There is a ton of entitlement where there should be none. 


And rarely will you see somebody in the support field just giving you this insight, so here it is.



Background information:


I work in tech-support. Just to be clear, I am not writing this to represent my company. I have worked in many support roles over the years and the things below are re-occuring in variations across the support industry. 
My job is to reply to support emails and I am also one of the armee of people that answer support chats. 
Most issues, I can either fix or enable the customer to fix. Once in a while, I will have to send the issue on to another team, but again, that's rare.
So in my current role, I support all things website plus things like billing, bugs, complaints, etc.

Also, obviously not all customers are difficult. Most of them are very friendly or at least reasonable and willing to work together to get their issues fixed. Many even read up and try to fix things themselves before so we can already talk on a more advanced level when they get in touch.
In fact, the best customers we get are those who are also working in tech or in some support role because they know how to be super efficient with these things.

So the following rant is about those that are just.... well... difficult for different reasons.


Here comes the rant:
(And yes all this happens every day)


"Hi, my website doesn't work."
--> This is not enough information. I don't know which is your website when you are not giving me any details, not even your email or domain, to look it up.
--> What does "doesn't work" even mean? Are you getting errors? Is it not loading? Is somethign behaving or displaying in unexpected ways? 
--> When did it work last and what did you work on right before it stopped working?
--> Did you do any troubleshooting already and if so what did you try?
--> Please please give me a screenshot of your whole browser window and not only the error message. The rest of your browser window gives me important information too.

"Hi, my website doesn't load, here is my website <add domain here>"
--> Your website and your domain are not the same thing. (I have to explain this 5-10 times a day)
--> If your domain doesn't load up the site AND everything else is paid and works in the editor, check your DNS and SSL settings. I can guarantee the issue is one of the two.
--> Again give me a screenshot of your whole browser. It reallllly helps, believe me. 

"I don't know how to fix this"
--> When I give you detailed, simple steps to resolve the issue - follow the steps. I promise they will fix the issue or get you at least closer to a fix. 
--> Don't ask me if you should click the thing that I told you to click. Just click it.
--> If you don't see something or it looks different from what you expect, in relation to the steps I gave you, make - a - screenshot!
--> When I give you a link to a guide, click the link! I would not link the guide if it didn't have an explanation and resolution for your issue.

"You have to fix this for me because I pay for this service"
--> I have no permission to make ANY changes to your online presence, even if you tell me you allow me to do it. This is legally verrrry grey water and therefore I will not touch it.
--> I am giving you simple steps to fix your simple issue, follow the steps. 
--> The other 60 people who are waiting for somebody to take their chat are also paying for this service. 
--> The world does not evolve around you and your website that does nothing but highlight your fucking instagram and facebook.

"I am too stupid for this":
--> No you are not. If my mom can do it, you can too.
--> Stop talking yourself down like that, you are putting a hurdle up for yourself.
--> Just because you don't know how to do it or you are new to doing this, doesn't mean you cannot do it.
--> This stuff is complicated, yes, and everybody has a learning curve. It does not mean that you are stupid.

"As you can see in my screenshot...":
--> Please attach a jpg, png, or gif. Stay away from fancy formats. Our interfaces (depending on the company) often can't read other formats.
--> There is no need to make a photo of your screen with your mobile phone.
--> There is no need to save your screenshot as pdf.
--> There is no need to add your screenshot into a word document.
--> There is no need to save your screenshot in another service just to link us there.
--> There is absolutely no need to zip the file, I will not - I repeat - I will not open any zip files!


Also here is an FAQ


"Am I the only one, you are chatting with?"
Chances are no. I will very likely have a second person open right now as I talk to you, because a lot of people need help. I still am keeping up with your issue and checking in with your progress. I am still going to answer any follow up questions you have.

"Does my vote on your chat make a difference?"
Some companies have this in their performance metrics, so yes some people can get into a bit of a pickle if they get many downvotes. Even if it is not a performance metric it is still helpful to learn from the feedback. And every positive comment does really really make a huge impact on our work days! 
If you have a criticism about the product and you know the support was not at fault for not being able to fix something, give a positive vote and write in the feedback box that the support was fine but <criticism about product>.

"Why are there always so many tech support people in India?"
While the "cheap labor" might be part of it, most of the time it is simply to make sure that you can get support around the clock. I personally sit in Ireland and my company has no tech support sitting in India at all. We still cover 24/7 all year including holidays and pandemics.

"What if I am really upset?"
Say it normally. Don't curse us out because we can't change anything. If you need to vent, punch a pillow. We are always happy to take and forward feedback. And it is also absolutely ok to say at the beginning of your chat or phone call that you are upset becasue - and then give your reason in a normal tone. While we cannot take your upset away, we can absolutely understand it, and that is not a phrase, we do understand it. 

"What if I want to speak to a manager?"
Well Karen, we are happy to get you in touch with the manager, but the manager follows the same rules and procedures that we do. So in all likelihood the manager will give you the same reply. Usually the manager will come back to us and ask us about our opinion and plan to solve your issue anyway. So all you do, when you ask for the manager is, take time from me, my manager, and yourself. It does not speed anything up. Managers are busy people and it will take a while before they can get back to you.

"What if I tried all your steps and instructions and it still doesn't work?"
Tell me everything you did, which guides and help pages you followed and read, which other things you tried. Give me links to everything you read so I know where you're at. Give me screenshots. Give me screenshots please. 

"What if I don't know what something is called?"
Explain in your own words. Chances are high, we will understand what you mean. If we don't know what you mean, we will ask probing questions to get to the bottom of it. 

"What if I am new to the product / service?"
Say that. We are happy to take you step by step. Just let us know that you are new to it all so we can pace the conversation in a way that is appropriate to your situation. There is no shame in that.

"Are you allowed to drop my chat?"
In certain circumstances yes. For example if you become unresponsive, we will usually check in a couple of times and then close the chat. This is because there are other people waiting, who need help, and we cannot keep waiting for you to maybe come back to the chat in half an hour.

"What if it is urgent and I reply to my support ticket a few times to check in?"
It depends on the support system. Some systems will keep all your replies in one thread. Some systems will create a new ticket everytime you write in.
Either way, it will not speed anything up. In fact in some systems, every new reply will automatically send you to the end of the ticket queue. 
So the best you can do is, write your email / support ticket and then wait for a reply. You are not forgotten or ignored, it just takes a bit to get to your request.

"Do you remember some customers?"
Absolutely. Sometimes a whole team knows a specific customer - especially if the customer was abusive. 
We communicate a lot. Say if the connection dropped, somebody was abusive, if our shift ends and we need somebody to take over, etc. 
And of course the funny ones are in our minds too!

"What if I have a lot of questions during a chat?"
Depends on company policy. What I do these days, once a chat has been longer than an hour (happens way too often), because there are so many questions, I will offer to the customer to tell me all the questions for me to then send them one big email with all the answers. And generally I will add to that the fact that we have been talking for a while and explain that there are other customers waiting. So if there are more questions we should take this to email.
Hint: Most customers are actually super receptive to that. They just forget time because they are focussing on the chat. 


In closing:


People who work in support are there to help you, there is no need for you to be snarky or sarcastic.
You are the one contacting us because you need help, so please refer from being a wiseguy. If you did in fact know it all, you would not have to contact us; Just answer our questions because there is a reason we are asking them. If you are not sure why a question is important, feel free to ask clarification. We'll explain.

Sometimes it might take a few minutes for us to find an answer because we need to test stuff as well. Often, if we see that the issue is not your fault, we also have to find out if there is a known bug, a workaround, etc. So give us a couple of minutes so we can help you.
Often there can be different reasons why an issue comes up, so we need to do some troubleshooting with you. Work with us and be patient so we can help you.

If you have several questions that are at least somewhat similar, for example different questions about website design, write them all into one email. This way you can get one email back instead of being spammed with replies to all of the ones you sent.

If you are abusive as fuck during our interaction, chances are, that we are less willing to walk the extra mile for you. Basic service and basic answers will be all you get.

Again, we do understand when somebody is frustrated. At least in my specific role because the techy things can be complicated. We aren't trying to talk down, we are trying to make sure that you know, we are doing our best to help you. So even if you wish to rip somebody's head off, you will profit so much more if you can set that aside and work with us. 

Sad truth, some things, like some features or functions or service or whatever are just not possible. They will not be implemented even if we send feedback and feature requests to those in charge. This is because while it might be important for you and even for many people, engineers need to prioritize. And when things are completely broken, they will be dealt with before the things that are only kinda broken but also kinda work. And those completely broken things take longer to fix. For example if there is a font you want to use but it is not available in the editor, your site is not broken and things work because you can use a different font. But the that issue that breaks the checkout on all stores on the platform is just more urgent in that moment even if you don't have a store. I hope that makese sense

Yes, I am aware that there are a lot of support people who are less patient than myself or just not very skilled, be it on a social or on a professional level. However, even those are there to help and they are doing their best. You can always ask to be transferred to somebody else and if somebody else is available, they will probably be happy to transfer you, especially when they know that they might be out of ideas to help you. 
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a communication "customer would like to speak to somebody else". We don't take it personal, we understand that you might wish for a second opinion or whatever your reason may be.

And one last thing. Stop asking to speak to a man when your support representative is a woman. Yes there are women working in the field. A LOT OF THEM. Get over it! You gain nothing from asking for a man, nothing but the reputation of being a bigot. I will share with you this, my main go-to person for anything domain or email related is a woman (gasp!) in my team! She knows everything. She is a reincarnated encyclopedia on that stuff! Basically just saying: Women in tech are a thing, welcome to this century!


--------

Rant over! Go ahead now, rip me apart ...  Girl_devil

A-fucking men, sista!

I own a tech company and I know exactly what you're talking about. The sense of entitlement that some of my customers have is off the charts. For example, we fix their computer and when they get home we get a phone call with one of those "How do I" questions, which has absolutely nothing to do with what we did for them. Often I get away quickly with telling them to Google their question, but once in a while we get that kind of asshole with the "you owe me" attitude and I just wanna reach through the phone, grab him by the throat and tell him to go fuck himself.

In fact, there have been 3 or 4 instances in the past 20+ years that I have literally kicked people out of my shop due to their "you owe me" attitude. One particular lady was so obnoxious that I picked up her repaired computer, threw it out on the street, looked at her and said, "Sue me, bitch. Now get the fuck out." True story. Never heard from her again.

I know you don't have the luxury of reacting like that but I would be the first one to understand it if you did.

Some customers 100% deserve a kick in the fucking head.

That's my rant.
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#29

Tech-support rant (from the supporter's perspective).
I work in software support - my company produces/sells/supports the software we make etc.

i recieved a phone call on thursday last week, at 17.30pm - saying "hi......so we're pushing this project out. right now. Can you be free for it, tomorrow [friday] AND Saturday, because this is super important etc etc".

this was all despite that A) at 17.30 I clock off B) this company had not told us this was going to happen in advance AT ALL and C) we don't work weekends.

I've since been getting nothing but passive aggressive emails from the guy asking me to join calls at a moments notice, all because he's running this project. (the project didn't go through proof of concept or phased roll out, he's just "doing it").

It's beyond frustrating.
#BeExcellentToEachOther
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#30

Tech-support rant (from the supporter's perspective).
(06-19-2020, 12:43 PM)Dānu Wrote: It's the ones who have just a little bit of knowledge that are the worst.

Good to know I'm at least not the worst.  I hate being involved in figuring out what is going on with my computer.  I always appreciate when I call and the person helping does screen sharing so I don't have to reveal how little I know of what is happening beneath the user interface.  Otherwise it's like ..

Support person:  "Have you tried [technical sounding thing]?"
Me:  "Please speak English."

But then I don't have a website I need help with, just a computer.  My 77 year old wife does have a website and I'm always impressed with how much she knows about it.  Even so, she hires someone to check in on her site routinely to trouble shoot.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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