Jul 19, 2013

Tech Support: A Two Way Street

Tips for interacting with your Support Department:

Having to contact the support department of a company you have purchased a service from  may sometimes be viewed with a negative connotation, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Especially when you are prepared!

I’d like to address a few of these negative stereotypes and offer some suggestions on how to optimize your communication with any support department (Codero’s or any other company for that matter) so that your issues can get resolved faster and you can get back to your business.

Stereotype #1.  Guys in tech-support are introverted nerds who don’t know how to talk to real people.

While I would historically agree with this statement, I believe this has and will continue to change as companies realize the benefit of having an outstanding support department. Historically, if you had better social skills at a company you were probably in the sales department, or sales engineering, as you would talk to people every day to help with sales or complex solutions. If you were a little socially awkward, but had mad kung-fu computer skills, you were probably in the IT or support department. That’s definitely not the norm here at Codero. We pride ourselves on having 100% US based support that is both friendly and very socially adept,  with awesome computer skills. Our Customer Support, and Operations team is not only well versed in system administration and technical support, but we can solve almost all billing related issues, and even get you quotes for new services and help you get orders placed.  We are a one stop shop to solve technical and account management issues.  If we can’t solve it, we sure know who to escalate it to, to get things done for you quickly.  Our aim, in every interaction, is to make you smile and hopefully get a high mark from you.

Stereotype #2.  They’re reading from a script and asking me stupid questions!

Trust me, there is no script. Especially at Codero. If I had a script, it would go as follows, “Thanks for calling Codero, my name is Derek. How can I help you today?”  and then the rest of the page would be blank. No script would be applicable as each support call and customer’s setup is unique and different. These questions that people often associate with a script are basic troubleshooting questions that help to narrow down the issue so it can be resolved faster. Our customer support technicians are all trained technically, but also have native problem solving skills in them.  So, my advice is to do your best to work with the customer support representative as they gather information to better diagnose your issue.  Be patient, don’t be curt and ensure you give them the full background.

Now that we’ve busted a few stereotypes, (feel free to go watch “The IT Crowd” on Netflix if you need a few more for reference) let’s take a look at a few tips that can optimize your contact with support departments, Codero and other companies included.

Tip #1.  Have all the relevant information at hand when contacting Technical Support.

This is the single biggest delay in getting customer’s issues resolved.  If you open a ticket to support and just state “X is broken, please fix” we will then have to delay our troubleshooting and ask you for further information to narrow down the issue. Ex: When did it happen, anything changed to cause it to break. Another common issue is not having your account number on hand when you call a company.  Some companies like Codero have security questions that you are expected to know.  We are good, but honestly can only recognize so many peoples’ voices on the phone. The more information you can bring to the table when you contact support, the faster we will be able to begin researching and resolving your issue. That’s why you called the support department in the first place right? So please do your best to do your part, we can’t begin to truly help until we positively authenticate the person we are talking to.  The following short list will cover the basic information required to start thoroughly investigating an issue:

  1. Your account number?
  2. Security Credentials?
  3. Which specific service, software, or hardware?
  4. What service specifically is having the error on the hardware?
  5. What does the error message exactly say?  (Include screenshot of error)
  6. What steps can we take to reproduce the issue?
  7. What steps have you already tried to resolve the issue?

Easy enough?  With these 7 pieces of information, you would be way ahead of the vast majority of customers, and you can greatly accelerate your issue resolution.

Tip #2. Remember the Golden Rule, the people on the other end of the phone are people too, just like you.

This is common sense I believe, but it never hurts to have a reminder once in a while. Take a second to remember that the person you’re talking to is an actual human being and has a life of their own as well. They work hard at their job to succeed, just as you do. Treat them as you would like to be treated.  When you keep this in mind, it’s much easier to be respectful to one another. I understand that issues come up, and they can be critically important regarding IT infrastructure and business continuity, but losing your temper on the phone is never productive nor helpful. It immediately puts the person trying to help you on the defensive, and delays actual troubleshooting because they are spending time now trying to calm you down!  So instead of solving an issue, you create another issue inadvertently.  While you may feel better after venting, you may have just ruined another person’s day, as well as potentially inadvertently delayed the resolution. So please, take a deep breath and work together with the person on the phone to resolve the issue at hand so that both of your jobs will go smoother. Remember, we purposely picked this career because we want to help people solve their technical problems.

Tip #3.  Know thy SLA’s.

Different servers and levels of managed services have different SLA’s and differ from company to company. Be sure to read up on Codero’s scope of support so you can understand what falls under our standard support and what falls under our advanced support levels. Codero has tiered levels of support, and we’re always happy to help you when you are within the scope of support. We’ll also do our best to help you when your questions are outside of our scope of support, by providing you with helpful information such as links to point you in the right direction, etc.

Tip #4 Know your Perks!

Be sure to take advantage of the Rewards program we offer and earn points that you can use toward Advanced Support hours  at no charge to you.  Rewards points add up super fast, and can be a huge help when you need Advanced Support but don’t have the extra money in your budget.

There you have it, some common stereotypes explained and some tips on optimizing your next interaction with support departments. All of us here at Codero strive and want to provide you with Exceptional Service, every day and every interaction.   So please help us help you by following some of these tips.  If you have any questions regarding your Codero hosting services or if you’d like to find out more about Codero’s portfolio of hosting services, please call us at 866-2-CODERO or chat with us online.

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