Technical support temperament

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 4, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Partnerships, Small Business Success, Work-Life, Workplace Technology

It is important to know one’s strengths and weaknesses and, in a partnership, to divide tasks in a way that recognizes them.  Strengths and weaknesses take many forms, but one of the potential areas to consider in a partnership is whose temperament is better suited to dealing with “technical support” or “customer service.”   In our business and life partnership that person is me.  Melissa does not have the patience to be put on hold, shuffled from representative to representative, hung up on by the reps, and jump through the hoops “to protect your identity” which often seem to include wanting to know everything including one’s clothing size and what one had for breakfast, only to ask what often is a quick question.  And, of course, there are the many forms of the English language to contend with, given how many companies have outsourced these critical support jobs to countries which are half a world away.  We’ve all been there many times.  And, even when one finally gets to the right rep, asking him/her the question and, for technical issues, following his/her instructions requires patience and attention.  This attention includes ensuring not taking the wrong steps, even if the tech support person says it is the right step.  I have frequently questioned the instruction or asked for a more conservative step rather than just taking a fast step but one which would require rebuilding, say, an email profile.  The point of all of this is to say, we can’t live without tech support or customer service representatives in our lives today.  But, dealing with them creates stresses that are better tolerated by some people than others.  So, when you have a choice of who should make that call, consider which person will be the least upset by the process, and hopefully, better able to reach a resolution on the issue with just that 1 call.  Divide and conquer works with tech support!

David is right. I do not “suffer fools gladly,” and therefore, I cannot tolerate speaking with technical support people, who, in my opinion, often lack both technical expertise and support skills. Sadly, although David’s time is just as valuable as mine, my refusal to be placed on hold for what seems like hours, only to end up being hung up on by an automated system because I have been on hold for what seems like hours, places David in the unfortunate position of having to deal with all of our technical support problems. The most hilarious example of the utter ridiculous nature of David’s handling of both our credit cards, bills, etc. is one of my creditor’s annual issuance of a credit card for David who, in their files, has been re-named as “Mr. OK to Handle.” This is no joke! I am glad to have as my spouse and business partner someone who, in my and apparently, at least one company’s opinion, is “ok to handle” the sorts of things that, if left to me to handle, would be anything but okay.

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