There are ways to work more effectively with any tech support agent or escalate your call to a higher-level agent.
Its a fact of life that having to call the tech support line when a piece of hardware or software goes wrong can be a torturous experience. It can make seconds feel like millennia and can make having teeth pulled with no anesthetic seem like a pleasant proposition.
But tech support calls dont have to be painful. Well, OK, maybe it does, but there are ways that you can make calling tech support lines somewhat less painful.
Here are my top tips based on having called a LOT of tech support lines over the years:
1) Get your ducks lined up before you call!
Before you even think about picking up the phone to call tech support, make sure you have all the information you need about your hardware or software ready in advanced. The list of information that you might need varies from product to product, but here are generalized lists for hardware and software:
Model name and/or number
Any firmware updates installed
Approx date of purchase
Software name and version
Any add-ons/service packs installed
Platform its installed on (OS version, service pack, etc.)
Write this stuff down dont rely on memory or guessing.
If you dont have this information on hand before you make the call, youll be flustered during the call and likely frustrate the tech support agent youre talking to.
2) Know your problem
As well as has having all the information about your hardware/software written down, make sure that you also make detailed notes about your problem. Again, do this in advance of the call and make sure you try to remember everything that might be relevant.
A few suggestions:
Description of the problem
When does the problem happen?
What steps can you follow to reproduce the problem?
Can you always replicate the problem or it is intermittent?
Details of any error messages displayed
Oh, and again write it down. If you try to recite the problem youre having from memory, unless its a really simple problem, youll forget something vital.
Id also suggest doing a few Web searches relating to the problem
who knows, you might find an answer to your problems without having to connect with a tech support agent!
3) Make the call
Its easy to think that all tech support has to be done over the phone. Thats not the case. Most companies offer a variety of ways for customers with tech problems to get in touch, such as:
For some people, text-based support can be better because it offers a record of what was said, and any instructions are easily available for future reference.
If youre easily flustered on the phone, or the problem isnt urgent, then using a text-based support method might be a better option for you.
4) Make notes!
Not only do you need to make notes before you make that call, but you should have a pen in hand while youre on that call.
Start off by noting the date and time of your call very important if you need to make follow-up calls. Also, make a note of the names of any support agents you talk to. Get them to repeat their name if you missed it.
Then make notes of everything the tech support agent wants you to do. I find that doing this even when Im actually carrying out the steps while on the phone is helpful. It allows me to focus my mind on the job and make sure that Im clear on each thing Im doing.
Theres another upside to making notes during your tech support call if you have suffer a similar problem in the future, youll know how to fix it!
5) If at first you dont succeed
Try, try again!
Ive found that one way to make support calls less irritating and frustrating is to simply
put the phone down and try again.
Bad line? Hang up and try again! Cant understand the support agent? Hang up and try again! Not getting along with the support agent? Hang up and
well, you get the drift.
Same goes if your problems not been fixed. Try again. If the support tech tries to get you to carry out the same procedure again, politely explain that that this has already been tried and didnt work the last time you tried it. Dont just blindly listen to the other person. Be proactive in getting your problem solved.
If you really feel that youre not getting anywhere with the tech support agent (or agents) that youre talking to, you might consider having your call escalated to a supervisor or manager.
No, it doesnt guarantee that your problem will be solved any quicker, but its a card worth keeping up your sleeve for those occasions when you feel you arent getting anywhere.
7) Dont lose your temper
Dont, no matter how wound up or frustrated you feel, give in to your temptation to lose your temper with the person on the other end. Not only is this rude (remember, its a human being on the other end of the line) and counterproductive (youre wasting your time), but it can work against you big time.
Telephone operators are trained in techniques to deal with awkward callers.
If you start getting emotional, dont be surprised if you find yourself on hold for eternity, transferred back and forth between departments or black-holed totally.
So remain calm. If you feel yourself starting to lose it, better to hang up the phone, take a little while to calm down and try again later.
Remember, both you and the person on the other end of the phone want to get your problem solved as quickly as possible!