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Technical Support and Customer Service — The Perfect Service Mashup Monica Postell

"What's that odd noise? That's not how my car/hard drive/dishwasher/printer usu­ally sounds."

"Hey, what's going on. My screen's all blue!!"

"No, no, no. Wait, that's not pop­u­lat­ing the table right. Where's the data I entered?!?"

When  some­thing breaks (the air con­di­tion­ing unit in my condo, the fuel pump on my much loved, but ancient car) or doesn't work (the new soft­ware app that I need to use for a deliv­er­able) it can bring out some pretty strong emo­tions. Pres­sure isn't pretty espe­cially when it brings out my much sup­pressed bratty inner two year old. Pres­sure begets pres­sure so what's the next step? It's to call for help and exert as much pres­sure as is humanly pos­si­ble on the per­son who answers your call to get a quick res­o­lu­tion. What hap­pens next depends on both the tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and cus­tomer ser­vice skills of the cus­tomer ser­vice, tech­ni­cal sup­port, or field ser­vice rep.

Cus­tomers want a tech­ni­cal solu­tion.  Absolutely! I know I do. But that's not all I need. I need to have "non-technical" issues resolved as well. Call it a Customer's Bill of Rights:

  1. I want to feel that you've lis­tened to me and tried to under­stand the problem.
  2. I want to feel you've taken my prob­lem seri­ously (even if it's sim­ple to you). I appre­ci­ate con­fi­dence, not arrogance.
  3. I want to be treated with respect, not con­de­scen­sion. Even if it turns out to be user error (which never sel­dom some­times usu­ally is the case with me) it makes me feel a part of the solu­tion if the sup­port rep has a con­ver­sa­tion with me, not just asks a string of questions.
  4. And I want timely action. I don't expect mir­a­cles. Rumor has it that some cus­tomers may, but I'm really rea­son­able. I just want to know that there is some action being taken, that we're mov­ing toward a resolution.

The per­fect mashup? I want both tech­ni­cal sup­port and cus­tomer ser­vice strengths. I'd like to be helped by some­one with solid tech­ni­cal knowl­edge  and expe­ri­ence, excel­lent com­mu­ni­ca­tion and prob­lem solv­ing skills, empa­thy for my sit­u­a­tion, a sin­cere desire to serve and an unflinch­ing focus on my cus­tomer expe­ri­ence and sat­is­fac­tion. Is that ask­ing too much?

With a back­ground in per­for­mance improve­ment and instruc­tional design, Mon­ica Postell works with Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems in design­ing and deploy­ing train­ing and devel­op­ment pro­grams that fos­ter real cus­tomer loyalty.
4 Technical Support and Customer Service    The Perfect Service Mashup
Mon­ica Postell
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