May 17, 2022•569 words
By Chris Powell
Back when desktop computers first landed on employees’ office desks, getting tech support used to be a simple process:
- Call the phone extension for the IT department
- Explain the problem with their computer to someone they regularly encountered wandering the hallways of their workplace.
- Receive troubleshooting support right then over the phone or the IT support person would come visit their office in person a short time after ending the phone call.
This was also known as the good old days. How did this process get completely obliterated?
Workplace employees now have to endure one of the following:
- Send an email to email@example.com
- Wait for an unknown support professional to magically fix their issue in the background
- Receive a generic formatted email stating their issue has been resolved
- Call a phone number provided by their company for “technical support”
- Listen to an impersonal recorded voice state that “their call is very important” and rattle off numbers to press for categorical issues
- Grumble at not having a number to press to speak with live tech support
- Decide which number to press that is closest to their actual issue
- Roll their eyes at hearing they can reach support at www.nameofcompany.com forward-slash something dot html to email their technology issue
- Call a phone number provided by their company for technical support
- Listen to an impersonal recorded voice state that “their call is very important” and to please hold for the next available support representative
- Celebrate upon hearing a live person’s voice after waiting for a number of minutes
- Explain the problem with their computer to the live person
- Raise an eyebrow at the live person transcribing the issue into a “ticket”
- Receive a ticket number for future reference, and is thanked for calling nameofbusiness tech support
- Hang up and wait for someone to fix their issue.
- Eventually receive a formatted email from your business’ help desk software stating the issue is resolved.
...or worst of all:
- Call a phone number for their company's IT support
- Explain the problem with their computer to the live professional on the other end of the phone call
- Receive the worst five-word response a professional tech can ever use, said in an exasperated tone of voice: "Did you reboot your computer?"
- Experience confusion and frustration trying to figure out where on their computer they are supposed to click, especially when the professional support caffeinated and speaking 100 miles an hour reading from a script.
- Feel worse than before due to the professional tech "dumbing down" their directions after not being able to locate where to fix their problem.
Clients in the '20s decade have no connection with the person they are receiving tech support from. They don't feel heard. They feel like it's their fault when the computer is acting up. Most of all, they dread having to call IT for help.
It's time to rethink, reimagine, and reconfigure professional and personal tech support. We can do better.
In the upcoming communiques, I'll be sharing my vision for how a professional technologist can be more like a hotel concierge versus a switchboard operator. I'll also be calling out the toxicity some techs still subject their clients to. 1999 called, they want Nick Burns Computer Guy back.