Wednesday, October 27, 2004

How to finish a customer as quickly as possible

my colleague is sitting on the desk next to me. he has recently been made a "level 2" support technician, which means he's not on the phone anymore. "I worked for three years in this callcenter, now finally I don't have to answer the phone anymore." He's a master in getting rid of customers quickly (and level 1 support who have questions for him). To him the customers are a bunch of fuckwits and a general nuisance. His rhetorical tactics are easy: Find some small irrelevant point, which has been left unclear, and demand unrealistic efforts from the customer / level 1 tech to make that point clear, so that most of the time they give up from frustration and find some other way which is not involving the support hotline. The funniest thing about it is how coming from different backgrounds (swiss and scottish parents) he combines swiss courtesy and integrity with scottish bold- and recklessness. I think he has a steely cold hate for the customer.
A typical conversation between Anjali, a gentle Italian Tech 1 girl, and Calum:
"Excuse me, Calum, this customer has a problem where SuckerGraph will crash when printing."
"Does the guy have a postscript printer?"
"Yes, I think so."
"How sure are you the printer really is a postscript model?"
"The customer says it is."
"He's probably lying. Anyway. Get the type number of him and do a search on the web for the techspecs of that printer. Then you will probably find some known problems with FreeHand on that website."

Monday, October 25, 2004

Sleepy Crisis

Before I went into holidays it was a tough time. Man because of all that work I didn't even get to updating this blog. I did get to do lots of troubleshooting though, via phone or email which is actually I think an astonishing feat if you think of all the telediagnostic skills involved here.

Anyway if I want this blog to be a coffin nail to the company, and failing that, this department, and failing that at least my incompetent superiors, I will have to put in juicy bits of incompetence revealed from time to time. So here we go.

Last week I went on holiday. To make sure my cases got carried on I talked to the supervisors. I especially put in an extra half an hour after 4 o' clock to wrap them all up nicely so they could be kept going. Our policy is that if we cannot solve a problem we keep in touch with the customer, which means sending him an email every working day. Well guess what I found this morning - none of my cases got worked on, but there were lots of angry, angry emails from neglected customers in my inbox.