Thursday, 13 December 2007

The Real Victim of Off Shoring Support

NOTE: Cranky Post...

Our ability to provide product support to our clients sometimes hinges on our being able to turn to someone more knowledgeable than we are on a particular software or hardware product.

When we encounter the first in line call jockey that is essentially reading from a script and gets totally lost when the question asked is not on the list, things get frustrating really fast.

We were working on a support issue for a popular accounting product. The company moved their support off this continent around two or three years ago.

Anytime we have called into the system it has been hit or miss.

Today, the first in line person kept putting us on hold to, "consult their mentor" when our questions did not fit on the script.

How in the world are we supposed to have confidence in the company's products and their support if they cannot provide front line support people at the other end of the phone line who have actually worked with the company's products and understand how things really work?

The frustration became too much. So, down goes the phone, then up it goes again to try calling into the system yet again. Hopefully the second time around we would land someone who actually knows something about the product.

We were fortunate ... this time. They did indeed know the product well enough to coach us through to the source of the problem and eventually how to fix it. This fellow was not reading from a script.

So, what are we to do?

Our clients, and those of us that support them, end up being the victims of a company's bottom line. We end up burning huge chunks of time in wasted efforts to get things working while in the mean time those who are supposed to help us in that endeavor are almost completely useless.

In the end, that product costs us a lot more in wasted time and lost productivity.

And, the really frustrating point: What choice do we have to influence those companies to provide us with people who can actually support their products and do so in a timely and knowledgeable manner?


Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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