Tips for customer service

I do tech support for a an ISP. I just got off a call from very nasty and rude customer. I was very little help to her because I couldn’t get her to stop screaming long enough to get her into the settings of her computer to fix her problem. For those of you who get flustered easy, let me give you a few tips on hoe to get good support:

  1. Don’t be rude, yell, or use foul language. You would be better off getting support from your cat than from me if you act like that.

  2. Follow directions. Don’t go around clicking on where you think the Tech is going to go with you. This is very annoying for me if I have keep going back out of things you got yourself into.

  3. Don’t make accusations. Even if it is our fault, let us tell you. The worst thing you can do is say, “You guys are having problems, fix it now”

  4. Don’t repeat to the tech 50 times that you pay money for this. I know you pay money, your money pays my salary, I will help, just give me the chance.

  5. Don’t talk bad about the last person you talked to. I am probably sitting right next to him or her, and I probably like them.

  6. last and most important, just be nice. I will work all day on your problem if you are nice to me. I will do everything possible to make sure your problem gets fixed.

That is all I have to say, I hope this may save you or the Tech you talk to a lot of headaches

Does your ISP have a policy to hang up on abusive customers? Abusive meaning they’re constantly screaming (at the very least) or commenting upon your questionable parentage and your sexual proclivities. When I did customer support I’d have to warn the customer twice that if they continued with that particular attitude I would have to disconnect the call. The first time around they would clam up and act more human, other times customers would go “Oh, is that so?” and continue with their diatribe which would result in being disconnected. I loved the latter because it gave me joy to see someone’s frustration build because they’re being an asshole. The former would just mean doing my job :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s always funny seeing the few people who get all upset because they need help and then abuse those they contact for help. It makes no sense whatsoever.

You’ve had your say, now I will tell you why I will never buy a Dell computer again. It is not that customer service wasn’t nice; only that they were incompetent. Only one actually hung up on me and that was because we were going round in circles and getting nowhere. But the main reason is the endless hours (literally) hearing a recorded announcement saying, “Your call is important to us.” When it was obviously of no importance whatever. In the end, they preferred giving me a refund to actually trying to fix the problem. Worse yet, it proved impossible to even communicate the problem (which I think I diagnosed accurately, but I cannot be certain) to anyone with sufficient technical knowledge to actually understand it. And I never shouted. Email support was equally useless.

But that is NOT the fault of the tech support, Hari Seldon.

I agree it wasnt the fault of tech support, the 2 times ive had to call them about stupid stuff that i relized that i could have figured out myself instead of wasting there time …if i had stayed calm and not freaked when it happened like so many ppl do i could have done it…the were very helpful and i told them when we were finished that they were …being from the customer service industry myself we should be understanding of there daily dealings with ppl …bad and good ones…IMO ive found that most problems cause to someone belongings …may it be computers…and other products are usualy the buyers doing …it isnt the fault of the tech support ppl or the cashier where u bought it…it is most likely the manufacture… …sorry about the ramble…

Here’s a prime reason why people hate tech support folks. Mind you, I’ve worked in tech support (still do to some extent) so I know how it works from both sides. Still, there’s nothing more frustrating than knowing exactly] what’s wrong and have the tech sit there reading from scripts that have absolutely nothing with your problem. Even if they didn’t know the answer and just said, “I don’t know.” that would be better than wasting both your time and theirs (not to mention all the other people trying to get through to them) with crap that doesn’t apply. At least then you might be able to make some progress towards fixing your problems.

I think the OP has a very good point about getting better results from tech support if you are nice.

The first time I called tech support was when I couldn’t get my Commodore 64 to print from the word processing program. Yes, I am THAT old. This nice guy told me my interface wasn’t compatible with everything else and all I had to do was take it apart and modify the circuit board. This was my first week with my first computer and he may as well have been speaking Swahili. I told him that there was no way I could ever do something like that - I was a techno-idiot. He told me to relax and he would talk me through it. The problem was fixed and everybody was pleased with the whole interaction.

The second time I called tech support was about a month ago at work. (OK, 17 years between tech support calls - I hate to ask for help.) It was about midnight and I left a voice mail message about a very minor problem. Five minutes later a guy called and, when he couldn’t solve my problem, had his boss call me. When HE too was stumped by the problem, he had the program designer call me to fix it . I couldn’t believe these guys were going to so much trouble to fix my little problem. They seemed a lot more worried about it than I did. Again, the problem was fixed and everyone seemed satisfied.

Either I’ve been lucky to avoid the incompetents or being nice helped. Who knows.

I called tech support recently due to a problem where a major file on computer went bad due to a software conflict (down with Microsoft!). They were helpful and prompt with one exception. The first tech support guy gave me two options, one was to do something to registry and the other was to use the quick restore disks (which would completely wipe my hard drive and start me over from the factory settings). I said lets try the registry thing first (I don’t remember exactly what it was called sorry) and he said it could remove some files and he couldn’t predict which ones, so I said let my family members come home and back up any files they might really want in case they get deleted and I will call you back after they return.

Well, they did their back ups and I called back and got a different tech support guy (which I expected). This guy, much to my delight, refused to do the registry thing (I remembered what it was called at the time so I know I wasn’t just babbling) and insisted I used the quick restore. I gave in (I just wanted the blasted thing useable again), but told him I had no idea how to use the quick restore disks. He told me how, but left out a few vital bits of info like you need a windows emergency start up disk for the process to work. So I called again after the computer told me there was no OS (a scary message if I’ve ever seen one) and got a very helpful guy who helped me get the bloody disks to work.

So to some up the letter even if your calm and nice (which I was. I never even raised my voice) you can still get screwed on tech support if your help doesn’t help.

Being nice to people even in difficult situations is not a lot to ask!!!

Yes we do. We have the right to hang up on anyone that uses abusive language. I usually don’t resort to that. I try to calm them down, cause I understand that they are flustered. The ones that do calm down, usually get fixed. Those that don’t, get hung up on and everyone in the call room is notified not to help them.

This is the sort of attitude that is counter productive. I’m not just picking on you cbtcad, you are just an immediate example. You felt that there was a better way to fix your problem, there fore you weren’t satisfied with the answer you got. If you had at anytime expressed your displeasure with the solution I had gave you, I would have promptly told you, that is possible to pursue other avenues to fix your problem. Mainly going to the book store and reading about it (basically…you don’t like my answer?..why did you call for help?). I’m not saying you said anything, but some people do. That tells the tech they don’t know what they are doing, and a wall in the lines of communication were just built when those words were said. You would not get much help from the tech after that point.

Your case the tech is inexcusable. If I can;t fix a problem, I find someone who can. The Tech should have gotten a supervisor, and if he didn;t volunteer to get one…you should have asked for one. I know I am not usually offended if someone says they would like to speak with my supervisor. If they are nice, I’ll see to it they get what they want. I am one of the supervisors in this call center and I get calls sent to me from customers that have requested a supervisor. I don’t mind. I tell the newer techs if they feel flustered, to not hesitate to pass the buck so to speak to me. I’m sure the customers appreciate the honesty in saying…"I don’t know what else to do for you …“let me transfer you to a supervisor and see if they can be more help”

It is very important to keep your cool, but don’t let them run you in circles, you break the circle by asking to be escalated. Do it nicely, Techs are people too :slight_smile:

It wasn’t so much that I didn’t like the solution. It was that I had earlier in the day been promised that they would help me do solution A after I called tech support back after backing up important files, but when I called back this tech support guy said solution B is your only option and then proceeded to incorrectly instruct me on how to perform solution B. The solution worked fine (once I got yet another person to correctly instruct me) so I’m not furious. What bothered me was I had been promised, by the same tech support, a more complex, but less damaging solution, but upon calling back I got a simpler but more harmful solution and then was incorrectly instructed upon how to perform it. It seemed to me that my second tech support provider was less skilled then the first and the third.

Fromt the way you described it seems that you got ahold of one imcompetant tech. I’m gald you got a hold of someone that did fix your problem. Thats one of the main problems in tech support…it seems that they are not all trained equally. It is the same here, the company provides basically no training prgrams other than what another tech teaches you. If they offered classes for every tech and made them take them, support would greatly improve.

I’ve always had great success with tech support. I don’t know, mainly because I’m so appologetic. I’ve read too many horror stories, and I always say-I know, this is all Greek to me, thanks, you’re being so helpful!

Once, I called tech support when I kept getting an error message on my e-mail. I started to tell him, and he said, “Stargate is down!” I said, “Oh, thank GOD!”
He laughed and said-WHAT? I explained I was afraid something was wrong with my set up or whathaveyou. I’ll bet I made his day-probably getting abusive calls through the roof!

I’ve been doing tech support in varying degrees for almost 4 years now and I cannot put into words how important a customers attitude is when it comes to resolving issues. It amazes me that two adults can have such a horrific time communicating to one another on a professional level. I’d never let my child speak to another child the way some of my customers have spoken to me… I’m amazed that they manage day to day life at all, really. On the other hand, I’ve listened to some pretty cocky co-workers and again, I’m absolutely dismayed at the lack of civility that some people posess.

But the OP was right. While I can understand someones frusteration, if they refuse to treat me as an equal (I am not wonder woman and I do NOT have a magic tech support wand, nor am I here to be your whipping girl) they will receive little to no help from me. Furthermore, in most call centers, these things are logged so if you’re going to call up and be an absolutely bear to someone, calling back will only get to you a person who will look up your account and immediately be on the defensive. We’re alot closer knit than you may think.

Treating people with respect is something that should be hard coded into you from the get go. It’s sickening to me that ANYONE would be willing to assist a person who’s shown no sign of being a decent human being. If we stopped catering to these people, maybe they’d learn to approach us from a different angle. Isn’t that how you teach children to behave in the first place?

Tech: Internet Technical Support this is so-and-so speaking. May
I have your username please?

Female Customer: Yes I want to speak to the person in charge

Tech: Speaking. What can I do for you?

Female Customer: I want to complain about the pornographic
bookmarks your company put in my web browser!

Tech: We didn’t put any pornographic bookmarks in your web

Female Customer: Oh yes you did! I’m looking at them right now!

(Tech remembers the Netscape history list and grins to himself)

Tech: Where exactly are these “bookmarks” located?

Female Customer: In Netscape!

Tech: And where exactly in Netscape would that be?

Female: In that little list that comes down when you click the
little down arrow!

Tech: The one right above the Net Search button?

Female Customer: Yes that one!

Tech: Miss, that’s the Netscape history list. Netscape keeps the
past ten links you typed in that box. The only way to put an
address in that box is for someone to physically sit at your
computer and type in a web address.

Female Customer: Well I certainly didn’t type in those X rated
web addresses!

Tech: Well somebody did. Who else has access to your computer,
and uses the Internet?

Female Customer: Just me and my husband!

(Several seconds of silence pass…Hey! I wasn’t going to say

Female Customer:…oh… OOOH! … Thank you.

(She quickly hung up)

Customer: “I got this problem. You people sent me this install
disk, and now my A drive won’t work.”

Tech Support: “Your A drive won’t work?”

Customer: “That’s what I said. You sent me a bad disk, it got
stuck in my drive, now it won’t work at all.”

Tech Support: “Did it not install properly? What kind of error
messages did you get?”

Customer: “I didn’t get any error message. The disk got stuck
in the drive and wouldn’t come out. So I got these pliers and
tried to get it out and that didn’t work either.”

Tech Support: “You did what sir?”

Customer: “I got these pliers, and tried to get the disk out,
but it wouldn’t budge. I just ended up cracking the plastic
stuff a bit.”

Tech Support: “I don’t understand sir, did you push the eject

Customer: “No, so then I got a stick of butter and melted it and
used a turkey baster and put the butter in the drive, around the
disk, and that got it loose. Then I used the pliers and it came
out fine. I can’t believe you would send me a disk that was
broke and defective.”

Tech Support: “Let me get this clear. You put melted butter in
your A drive and used pliers to pull the disk out?”

( At this point, I put the call on the speaker phone and motioned
at the other techs to listen in.)

Tech Support: “Just so I am absolutely clear on this, can you
repeat what you just said?”

Customer: “I said I put butter in my A drive to get your crappy
disk out, then I had to use pliers to pull it out.”

Tech Support: “Did you push that little button that was sticking
out when the disk was in the drive, you know, the thing called
the disk eject button?”

( Silence. )

Tech Support: “Sir?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Tech Support: “Sir, did you push the eject button?”

Customer: “No, but you people are going to fix my computer, or I
am going to sue you for breaking my computer!”

Tech Support: “Let me get this straight. You are going to sue
our company because you put the disk in the A drive, didn’t
follow the instructions we sent you, didn’t actually seek
professional advice, didn’t consult your user’s manual on how to
use your computer properly, but instead proceeded to pour butter
into the drive and physically rip the disk out?”

Customer: “Ummmm.”

Tech Support: “Do you really think you stand a chance, since we
do record every call and have it on tape?”

Customer: ( now rather humbled ) “But you’re supposed to help!”

Tech Support: “I am sorry sir, but there is nothing we can do
for you. Have a nice day!”