The Norman Transcript

Business

September 7, 2013

Why is customer support so bad?

NORMAN — I work on computers for a living and I love my job. I enjoy taking a customer’s computer and turning it into something they can actually enjoy, instead of being mad at it all of the time.

One of the biggest parts of my job is taking complicated and convoluted computer concepts and explaining them in ways that non-technical people can understand. Doing it over the phone is challenging, but doable. The main ingredients for successful phone support are respect for the customer’s intelligence and a willingness to explore someone’s frame of reference.

It is almost universally accepted that over-the-phone tech support is abysmally bad. I consider it an industry-wide disaster. Just about everyone who’s used technology for any length of time has some sort of a tech support horror story to tell, myself included. I believe the main reason for this sad state of affairs is a lack of respect for the customer.

During my career, I’ve been victimized by most every computer-related tech support department that exists. Of course, not every experience has been bad. However, too many of my tech support experiences have been, at the very least, inexcusably irritating and frustrating. Why giant global companies think it’s acceptable to insult their customers is beyond me. I’ll use my recent tech support experience with Hewlett-Packard as an example.

The first insult after calling HP came by being forced to talk to someone whose foreign accent was so thick that I could barely understand what they were saying. This is a common tech support complaint and the reason for it is simple: companies are too cheap to really care about customer service, regarding customer support as a money-losing department. Therefore, they outsource their service departments to giant, cheap call center conglomerates located in foreign countries, most notably, India. The truth is, when you call a customer service number, you are usually not talking to someone who actually works for the company in question.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • Ideal Homes to dedicate Oklahoma’s first Home for HOPE

    Ideal Homes dedicated the company’s first Home for HOPE on Wednesday at 13209 SW 5th in Yukon....

    July 27, 2014

  • Todd Lamb to keynote luncheon

    Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb will provide the keynote address at the Norman Chamber of Commerce’s annual Legislative Lunch at 11:45 a.m. Aug. 6 at the National Weather Center. Lamb will speak on state issues that may impact local business and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma learns about storm water proposal

    The Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma invited Norman Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary to talk about the new storm water fee proposal at its luncheon Thursday....

    July 27, 2014

  • Backing up everything, everywhere, not as easy as it should be

    Though we may wish or believe otherwise, computing devices are still somewhat of a hassle to use. Some devices, like Apple’s iPad, come close to being fully realized machines, but even iPads have their clunky side....

    July 27, 2014

  • Is using E10 or ‘pure’ gasoline more economical?

    An analysis by AAA Oklahoma shows that at today’s prices, E10 motor fuel is cheaper to use than 100 percent gasoline, despite the fewer miles per gallon produced by E10, which is a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline....

    July 27, 2014

  • Appellate judge retiring

    The Honorable Charles A. Johnson retired from the Court of Criminal Appeals after 25 years on the bench. Johnson was appointed to the court on Oct. 31, 1989, by Gov. Henry Bellmon to fill the unexpired term of Hez J. Bussey. After 59 ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Candy Basket celebrates 25 years

    Perhaps it’s the chocolate covered blueberries whose deliciousness still lingers. Or maybe it’s the blood orange and wild honey white chocolate ganache that won’t soon be forgotten by your taste buds. At The Candy Basket there is decadence ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Bramlett & Associates adopts new name reflective of business

    Bramlett & Associates Multimedia LLC (Bramlett Multimedia), 215 W. Main St., announced this month that the company will change its name after 12 years in business and will do business as BOLD-Multimedia. The announcement, made first to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Toothpick holders convention coming to Norman

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collection in 1936,” Ryan said. Ryan was born in 1940, and she grew up crawling around toothpick holders, as have ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Protect your online banking, shopping with encryption

    In my free, one-night class called “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win,” I teach everyday computer users how to stay out of trouble on the Internet. How to avoid virus infections, how to discern between the genuine and counterfeit, and ...

    July 20, 2014