So you've had to call technical support on some 'issue' you've had in the past.
In this day and age it doesn't matter anymore what the support was for. It seems
every company has a help line ready to give advice and 'resolve the issue'. But
sometimes, as I'm sure some of you are aware of, the issue doesn't always get resolved.
Whether it's with your computer, Internet service, digi-cam, satellite or cable TV,
canner, printer or even Microsoft Windows, sometimes you don't get the 'issue resolved'
the first time around. Maybe not even the second time around. Or the third or the
fourth or the fifth...You get the idea. You blame the tech you talked to for not
fixing it the first time and the tech blames somebody else and it becomes a vicious
circle until the customer is yelling at an agent and the agent starts yelling back
and an already deteriorating customer service level is out the door and the customer
is lost forever. You and I know how it feels to be a customer. Now we'll see how it
feels to be on the other side of that phone.
Q: Do you like your job?
A: I love it. I'm doing what I like to do, even though it's not technically hands-on.
I help out people like yourself get through minor and major dilemmas with their hardware
and software. I like the challenge and the issues I encounter range from an easy fix
to a brain-buster. Some customers are easy to work with, while others are real pain in
the ass. They won't listen, think they know everything and because they read a manual
or a self help book think they can address the issue better than I can. There are times
when I want to ask them, 'Why the hell did you call technical support if you know so
much to begin with?'. But I keep my mouth shut. Overall, I love my job.
Q: Why stay at it if the customers are being a major pain because they 'know it all'?
A: It's like that military ad that you see every now and then...It's not just a job, it's
an adventure. The challenge keeps me going. There is nothing I enjoy more than proving
a customer wrong. Or a company. And yes, I am talking about Microsoft. I'll sit there
and smile to myself knowing that I was able to accomplish something that Microsoft,
the hardware or computer manufacturer wasn't able to accomplish or had said was
impossible to do. It's the challenge that keeps me going. Guess I'm old school in
Q: Are there 'bad' agents in the tech field?
A: There are bad employees in any business. You can't narrow it down to just the tech
field. Unfortunately, since we are in the public eye and ear more than any field
today, we take the brunt of the criticism from the consumer. If we can't fix it, they
ain't happy and they let the world know about it one way or another.
Q: Why keep them on the job if they screw up like that?
A: If you fired everybody that screwed up on their job, you'd have a country that was
over 50% unemployed and the President would be the first in line. Employees should
learn from their mistakes and not let it happen a second time. If they learn, fine.
If they don't, send back for more training and give them another try. If they still
screw up, then it's the employers decision to get rid of them.
Q: What makes you 'good' at doing your job?
A: I know my stuff. And if I don't, I find out. I find out out by reading, asking
questions, talking to other agents on my team. I'm also a good listener. I can
usually come to a solution or at least try to reach my goal after just listening
to the customer. If I can't, then I usually have a few questions that should lead
me down the right road. I'm patient. If the person on the other end of the phone
is upset or irate I'll let them get it out. Then I'll start resolving their issue.
Final aspect, which is very important, is I don't talk down to the customer. I'll
give them the information they need on a level they can understand.
Q: How do you feel about outsourcing?
A: You don't want to know.
Q: Yes, I do. It's a big part of the business environment toady. So how do you feel
about it? Honestly?
A: I think it f****** sucks. It really hurts down inside when fellow agents across
this country are getting pink slips because some 'C fill in the letter O' needs to
show a profit the next quarter. It's a bunch of bulls***. And because of these high
priced SOB's, I'll be joining the ranks of the unemployed real soon. It's just bulls***.
Honest enough for you?
Q: Yes. What do you think should be done about it?
A: Outsource the corporate heads. Let's see how they feel when their jobs are on the
line or gone altogether. If I'm lucky, I'll make twenty thousand in a good year. What's
that compared to a six or seven digit salary of some corporate ass sitting behind a
desk making decisions that are for the good of the company. The other thing that
should be done to get even with these companies is tax the outsourcing. Make it so
it's competitive on both sides of the ocean. Give us a chance to compete with some
country where the annual wage for employees is under $500.00. That's all we want, a
Q: How is the setback that you'll encounter in the next couple of weeks going to
A: I don't know. I haven't even thought about it, yet. I'll get through somehow. I
Q: Any closing remarks for the companies that are outsourcing?
A: Just one. I hope you realize that the majority of people you're putting out of work
are increasing the unemployment ranks in the country you call home. You know what
that means, don't you? Higher taxes. And let's hope the government finally takes a
stand, doesn't bend to lobbyists demands and gets rid of 'special favors' for corporations
Q: How about the customers that are going to be affected by the outsourcing?
A: You can't understand the person on the other end of the phone? Complain. And complain
loudly. Your issue isn't being resolved? Complain. And complain loudly. Let the companies
who are outsourcing tech support overseas know that you aren't happy. If they won't
listen to your complaints, then hit them where it hurts. In the wallet. Boycott them.
Stop buying the product. Look for a company that has it's root in the United States.
Enough complaints and a loss of profits may just get that 'C pick a letter O' fired.
Or get his job outsourced.
FYI: If you need to write a company to complain about some aspect of their business,
you can check them out on web. Most, if not all, have a 'Contact' section on their
website. Get the address, physical or web, and drop them a line and let them know
how you feel. It just might make a difference.
* Richard Blaine's views and opinions do not necessarily
reflect the views and opinions of the staff at Twin-Music.