Calling tech support can be a frustrating experience. I know the pain of speaking with someone reading from a script. I believe that companies should care enough about their customers to have trained and, as much as I hate this word, empowered technical support. I have spent over 10 years helping customers. Although I have many stories, this is not a blog post containing complaints about stupid customers. There are more than enough Customers suck posts floating around. I am writing this post to help you, yes you the frustrated caller who needs help with a malfunctioning program or pc. I want to help you get the problem solved as quickly and painlessly as possible assuming of course you get a tech who is well trained and given the freedom to solve the problem and is not just a cash revenue generator who is paid by the call.
I present to you the COMMANDMENTS err suggestions before calling tech support.
Thou Shalt restart the failing program before calling tech support!
The reason for this is that many errors are random, there are many times where the problem is temporary or a bad memory call. No one can determine how or why it happens but it does and a simple program restart can fix many errors.
OK so you have restarted the program and the error occurs again.
Thou shalt restart the computer before calling tech support!
Sometimes the error is not in the program but could be in the operating system of the pc. Once again the problem can be memory read/write errors or the pc has just been running for too long. A restart is a great thing, think of it as changing the oil in your car or cleaning out the fridge from time to time. I usually tell people to restart their pc once a week. Yes I do not follow my own advice but when things start getting flaky that is my go to maneuver. It is amazing what can be cured with a restart.
OK so you have restarted the pc, fired up the program and the error is still there.
Thou shalt not start randomly mashing buttons trying to fix the problem!
Yes it is frustrating but if you start mashing buttons you can cause even more problems and no tech support person in the universe will be able to untangle what has just happened.
Thou shalt write down the error message before calling tech support!
Every tech support person will ask about the error message. Sometimes the error message contains useful information. Other times error messages are aggravatingly generic but even a generic “oops something went wrong” message can quickly guide a competent support tech right to the issue and the fix.
Ok the error message is an “Oops something went wrong” type, what next.
Thou shalt answer the questions being asked by the support tech!
The error message contains no useful information, that happens relax. The tech will start asking questions, answer then to the best of your ability. We are not trying to be jerks at this stage and the answer to a very odd question can provide a clue or a complete answer to the problem. Try to be as specific, open, and honest as possible. If you were surfing porn and got a virus, let us know because we are not going to report you to the authorities and if you were and porn surfing caused the problem we are going to find out. Just get it over with.
Thou shalt follow instructions to the best of your ability.
This blends in with number 5. Once again tech support is not trying to jerk you around. It is now time to try and figure out exactly what happened or is happening. If a tech offers to remote connect into your PC, let them do it. No they are not interested in stealing your data. Tech support is more familiar with the program than any caller ever will be, just by looking at the screen or program settings they can find the answer. On the plus side you can just sit back and watch them work. Remote connection is the greatest tool that any support technician can use, let them use it. Everybody wins.
Thou shalt not blame the tech support person for the problem.
The person on the other end of the phone is most likely just tech support. They did not program, test, and build the software or hardware that is malfunctioning. It is their job is to fix the problem not create one. As an aside the person you are speaking to is just that… a person a human being with all the greatness and flaws that we all have. Remember no one is perfect
Ok enough with the commandments but I do have some parting thoughts. You and the support tech will work best as a team; by working together the problem will be solved quicker. Being demanding or antagonistic will not accelerate the process in any way, in fact it will slow everything down to a crawl. Also realize that sometimes there is no answer, no definitive explanation, and sometimes there is not a fix and you might be required to reinstall the program. Other times it may not be possible to save your work, it can “just be gone” Once again I must state the support tech did not cause the error or intend to delete your data. Support personnel who do not want to help do not last long in the business.