For the last month, I have picked up another (unfortunately, temporary) job working at a call center. And for this reason, I post this rant.
Stop calling tech support pissed off at ME. It is not my fault that you don’t know what you’re doing. The current software company I work with has one of the most user-friendly software on the face of the earth, and people have the audacity to call in and be mad at us. 90% of the time, possibly more, the fault is that you don’t know how to work your computer and/or the software. Yes, you might have to by the upgrade for our software- the product we made in 1990 is not going to work on Window’s 7. Alternately, it’s not our fault that you haven’t upgraded your software since DOS and our brand-new software requires more space than your computer’s entire hard drive. Maybe 5% of the time you don’t know how to work your security, and it’s interfering with our server. About maybe 1% is it a problem that actually requires our help.
If you don’t understand how to work the software, read the manual. Alternately, check our website for our lovely step-by-step tutorial videos, or our extensive knowledge base articles. Yes, upgrading means you’re going to have to do maybe 30 minutes of familiarizing yourself with the new layout and features. If you don’t know how to drive a car, you don’t call Ford asking them for over-the-phone lessons. Same thing with us- we hold your hand enough. I don’t deserve your ire because you are to computer ignorant to follow an installation wizard. I deserve your gratitude for my patience and not pointing out your mental deficiencies.
Speaking of customer limitations; we are over the telephone. I don’t know what screen you’re looking at. I don’t know what system you’re on. I don’t know what product you’re using. These things all have to be communicated verbally- I can’t magically see your computer through the headset nor read your mind. If I ask you for information, I’m not trying to stall so don’t ct snippy with me. Additionally, don’t act like I’m a mental patient if I ask you to spell your email or to repeat something. Even if your email is “firstname.lastname@example.org” I don’t know if that’s 1lovecats or Iluvkats, or any of a million other variations. Also “f” and “s”, “m” and “n”, “p” and “t” and “c” can sound like the same letter over the telephone, especially if you have a bad connection or a thick accent. I know people don’t necessarily know the formal phonetic alphabet, but it wouldn’t kill you to say “f” as in “Frank” or “Food” or “Fuck” for all I care. I just want to type the right letter- your mutterings make it sound like I should be using a cyrillic keyboard.
So, quick recap:
1) Don’t be rude and mad when it’s probably your fault.
3) I don’t know any information until you give it to me
3a corollary) I don’t know what you’re seeing until you tell me
4)When you’re listing letters and numbers, speak clearly and slowly. If in doubt, throw in an “as in”.
Follow these simple rules, we can both go back to our normal lives relatively painlessly.