Over years of helping people with their A/V problems I’ve come up with a few tech support philosophies. Sometimes it’s an equipment issue and other times it’s the operator. Regardless of where the issue lies, it’s my job to find it and come up with a solution. At times it can be stressful, but for the most part it’s a lot of fun. I get to help someone solve a puzzle and hopefully learn something along the way. In my time of doing this work I’ve come up with (and picked up) a few philosophies when it comes to support.
“Take the temperature” – When I start a support phone call I ask how they’re doing, and pay close attention to the response. This question has become very disposable in our language, to the point that the reaction is automatic. I find if the person actually thinks about it or responds negatively I know I’m in for a treat. This also tells me the person I’m talking to isn’t in auto-pilot yet and it listening which makes trouble-shooting a lot easier.
“Make a friend” – Nobody wants to talk to me. But when they do it’s because there’s a problem. They’ve tried everything they know and they’re all out of ideas. Chances are pretty good that they’re frustrated, with the next step being to give up completely. I’ve found if I can develop a repore by talking to the person as more of a friend than just another person that may or not be able to help we can get a lot further. Maybe along the way I’ll make some jokes about the situation to lighten things, it’s all about keeping everyone relaxed. At the risk of sounding new age, a relaxed mind tends to make for more efficient problem solving.
“Everyday is someone’s biggest day” – This is one of those rare truths that seems not recognized often enough. The problem presented may seem small to you, but to the person asking it their world is on fire and their reputation is on the line. This could also be titled “Respect”, but I think this sounds more elegant.
“I don’t know” – These are the scariest words I know, but they’re not bad words. I’ve found that I don’t have to know everything and I can admit it. The catch is I have to be willing to go out and find the answer. People are surprisingly grateful when the answer to their question is “I don’t know, but I’ll find out”. The catch is actually finding the answer and following up; the idea that I’m trying to make my client’s problem my problem and we’re going to work on it together.
“Following Up” – Sometimes, if a problem was particularly rough, I’ll call or text to check back in. I don’t need to, but I want to know that everything’s alright. When was the last time your ISP called just to ask how things are going? Never!
This is a very short list of how I go about supporting clients in general terms. It definitely has its highs and lows, and there’s nothing better than getting through a really challenging problem.