Tech support is still awful. It’s better than it used to be, but it’s still awful. Why? Because companies, in general, still haven’t figured out how to explain anything to a consumer over 25. As the resident techie in the family, I try to help family members understand what’s going on after an encounter with a corporate tech support that just confuses issues. For example:
I talked to my Aunt last night. She’s smart, can talk with customer support and explain everything to them from a user perspective and doesn’t abuse her computer. Her laptop died. She explained to me that it shut down the other night and came up with a message and wouldn’t go into Windows. I talked to her for a few minutes, she read the message and I was 99% sure that the hard drive died. I asked her what tech support told her.
She told me that she talked to them twice, and while it wasn’t a terrible experience they kept telling her that the hard drive was having a problem and that the motherboard would be replaced by a service technician at her house. If you’re a techie and read that, you realize that statement doesn’t make sense to a techie, much less a consumer. This is also not an isolated encounter. My Aunt talked to two different reps and both explained it the same way.
She told me that she had the part numbers for what the company ordered. I looked them up online and (shockingly, duh) the part is for a 750 GB hard drive with software imaged on it. You know, the part that’s actually dead. Not the motherboard. On that front, I’m hopeful that the technician that services her laptop just swaps out the hard drive and everything is back to normal for my Aunt today or tomorrow.
It doesn’t fix the fact that tech support still sucks mostly. I deal with far too many companies that want to argue about what is wrong or want to run through the same helpdesk script five different times even though the results are already in the call notes. More companies need to look at Apple, Newegg, Monoprice and Amazon. More than any other tech companies I deal with, they make my life easy. They keep loyal customers and win new ones by getting out-of-the-way of the technology (Apple) or getting out-of-the-way of the purchase (Amazon) or having great prices, stock and shipping times (Amazon, Monoprice, Newegg).
I can’t help but wonder why simple stuff like this remains so hard and why most companies either don’t get it or don’t care?