No matter how tech savvy we think we are at some point we all run into that crisis where we have to make the embarrassing call to a tech support line and admit our need for help to a complete stranger. To most of us this is the equivalent of driving around for hours because we are too stubborn to admit we are lost and too embarrassed to ask for directions. Below is a list of common do’s and don’ts that can help reduce the amount of time that you need to spend on that call.
Have as much info as possible on the product.
Do: Have manufacture, make, and model names and numbers available.
Don’t: Try to describe the product by color, shape, size, or any other invaluable piece of information that could only help to narrow it down to 1 of 10,000 different products in the company’s offerings.
Have an exact and accurate description of the problem or symptom.
Do: Be as accurate and complete as possible in describing the problem. Include as much information as possible such as when and how it happens. Be clear on any events or specific sequences that lead up to the problem.
Don’t: Make up answers, if you don’t know it is best just to say that. Making up an answer or guessing could lead the tech down the wrong side of the troubleshooting tree and could end up costing you hours on the phone with no resolution.
Do: Be prepared to step through some basic questioning and instructions in order to get closer to your actual problem. Tech support staffs are typically trained to triage all calls with the same basic questions regardless of the issue. It may take several failed attempts and may even require transfers to higher level tech support/engineering to get resolution.
Don’t: Get frustrated with the tech support operator or give them a tongue lashing of how much you know. In some or most cases that may be true, but remember that there is a reason why you picked up the phone. If they wanted to hear how superior you are my guess is they would have called you instead of you calling them.
Try and stay on the line until the issue is resolved to your satisfaction.
Do: Try and keep notes detailing any and all steps required to resolve your issue in case it comes up again later. If possible get the complete name of the support agent and the case number assigned to your problem. Stay on the line until the issue is resolved even if that means that you have to place the agent on hold for several minutes while you try their suggestions.
Don’t: Be tempted into trying to get off the phone as quickly as possible and assuming that the first suggestion will be the solution. Companies claim to offer these lines free of charge but you better believe that cost has already been factored into the price you paid at the store. Unless you have a name or a case number then be prepared to head right back to the beginning of the entire process when you have to call back.
Nobody can make you take that leap and admit that you are stuck but following these few simple steps can lead to a less frustrating and more productive call when you do make that decision.