It has been said that 90% of fixing a computer problem is actually fixing the customer. With just A few mouse clicks you can easily resolve a technical issue on your own computer but guiding a stranger who is halfway around the world through doing the same task requires something special. You need insight into their current state of mind whether angry, tired, confused, anxious, rushed, etc. You also need to get a feel for their capacity and desire to learn. And don’t forget that your are just as much a stranger to them.
As for your responsibility as a support provider It is not enough to know how your customer is feeling at the moment; you need to be able to get
them to work with you despite a less than perfect situation.
You must be able to keep yourself in check, control your emotions, separate yourself from personal situations you may be experiencing. You may
be sleepy, hungry, angry, bored, or all of the above, but you must maintain some semblance of professionalism. Remember, the customer
directly or indirectly pays your wages!
One of the most important techniques I have learned as a tech support rep is Active Listening. You must show the customer that your are not
only pausing for them to get some words out but that you are paying attention to those words and fully understanding their issue. Some key
points of Active Listening are:
1. Pause to make sure the customer has finished talking before you start speaking
2. Thank the customer for explaining the issue
3. Repeat the key points of the issue back to the customer to make sure you have the fact right and to show that you were listening
4. engage the customer in friendly but pertinent conversation. You may want to get the customers account information, username, password,
etc. Get their phone number incase you get disconnected.
To show the customer that they are not alone in troubleshooting their issue I recommend using words like “we” and “us” instead of “I”.
I have “upgraded” computers by turning off special effects in Windows (animated menus, shadows, showing content while dragging a window).
This did not speed up the computer Per se but it did make the windows have more of a pop when opening or closing. I also physically upgraded the same computer.
In another case I only physically upgraded a PC and the user told me they thought the computer was in fact slower than before. Incredible!
This just goes to show that fixing the customers perception is just as much or more a part of customer support as fixing the physical problem.