scream and shout By mdanys on flickrI lost my temper yesterday and a poor, helpless support representative got to hear some words that would make most folks blush.

See…when someone in a support position tells me they can’t help me, i get angry. In this particular case, what tipped me over the edge and caused a couple of expletives to roll out of my mouth was the response from the company’s support rep.

They said:

I’m sorry but that isn’t a problem I can help you with.  You’ll need to go to our website and file a ticket to get help.

Listen up  support and call center managers –  if I’m on the phone with you, I’ve done everything i could do prior to placing that phone call. I’ve read all your support material, been through your support / discussion forum and done as much research as possible.   I’ve read about the other people having the same problem…and I’ve seen your lack of response to their online requests for help.

You see…if i thought your online support system actually worked and was a viable approach, I would have tried to submit a ticket there…but with the other people having the same trouble, I figured a phone call is in order.

Now…granted…many people don’t take the time to do the research before calling support, but I do.

Regardless, if someone is on the phone with you / your support team, the last thing you should do is to tell them you can’t help them and they will need to go file a support request on your website.

Why?

Because it tells that person that they aren’t important and their problem isn’t important.

Of course, your support model might be built on a paid support model and/or tiered levels of support.  Perhaps a user calls in to get support and they aren’t entitled to it – feel free to explain your support model to them and offer them an upgrade to be able to get support.

But…if that user has a valid support agreement, help them out. Please?

Rather than telling me to go to the website and file a ticket, the customer support rep could have easily opened a ticket and explained why he couldn’t help me on the phone and explained what the process would look like moving forward. That would have been helpful. I wouldn’t have gotten so angry with that approach…but instead, I was told to basically ‘go away’.

Will i continue to use this company’s product/service? Yes…but it will take a while before I pay them any more money…if i give them any more money at all. This one interaction with their support team has pushed me from being an evangelist for them to being someone that just might point people away from this company.

PS – I told a friend about this experience and she said “sounds like every phone call that I make to my IT helpdesk”.  There’s something telling in that…but that’s a post for another time 🙂

Image Credit: scream and shout By mdanys on flickr