Customer and the Technician Relationship

Make it a team effort

Technical issues get the best of all of us at some point, some things seem cryptic to the untrained eye, others are new issues created by software updates.

There is a knowledge gap and a growing in-convenience (and costs) being seen when using computer related devices so this is an article to bring the two different mind-sets of technical and non-technical persons to work as a team and to explain some of the mysteries both parties encounter when you are asking for support from technical persons.

Importantly, make a note of what you have observed as the device user. If you remember the pre-event items to your issue like what website you were visiting or the setting that was used or use your mobile phone to take a photo of the items on-screen, then it helps everyone - Telling a technical person "it doesn't work" takes more time.

What you see can be different to what needs to be technically checked so if patterns are picked up from customer notes it speeds up the discovery process.
Everyone has something urgent and issues always happen when inconvenient

What is urgent?

Many urgent items are actually softened by the preparation to expect failures.

If you expect service for a broken laptop at 3am, you will require a support plan that is rarely used and may not resolve your issue when you are most affected, this also attracts a premium cost per month well above the service rates found during normal working hours.

The solution:
Have access to spare computer, then send failed device for service during working hours.

Often, some things cannot be resolved by talking or remote sessions so you will need your own plan to get up and running and this will be faster as often time is lost on-the-spot trouble-shooting and non-functional devices may take days for replacement parts to arrive.

What is viewed as urgent is different to the customer, however these are the most urgent items to all device users

You should plan to expect these issues, have alternative tasks available.
  1. Device downtime for employees
  2. Service outages, email, files, internet...

Considerations technical persons use when applying urgency to issues

You might run a small business, or a large enterprise, but if a staff member has access to a spare device then how urgent is the issue vs the cost of urgency?
  1. Service costs, ie out-of-hours vs daytime service rates and customer acceptance to costs.
  2. Replacement device cost
  3. Replacement parts availability and cost

Software issues

These are items caused by installing new software (including system updates) and changes to software settings.

The worst issues are items introduced by external parties to your place of work, this can include system updates released by the software vendor or malicious software, these issues account for over 90% of all technical issues.

A side effect when software vendor updates are applied is that when the update goes wrong due to lack of testing by vendor, there is no reporting by the vendor support until customer complaints are submitted which can take days to weeks depending on the obscurity of the issue found. Technical persons use the same resources found for a specific software vendor so there may not be an immediate solution.

Hardware issues

Generally, hardware issues are simpler to resolve by testing the device in a workshop or collecting information from a user to find repeat pattern/cause if still functioning.
Aged devices may have trouble finding replacement parts and may require a entire replacement computer or device, typically items older than 5 years need more effort to find replacement parts.

Software issues appear as hardware issues. Example: screen turning off after 15 minutes, yes a screen is hardware but the software settings tells the computer to power off the screen

Mobile Device Issues

These items are not fixed by anyone other than the device vendor themselves, sometimes applications (software) cannot be installed and the device system needs updating or physically cannot be updated due to support issues (a choice by device vendor) to receive the latest application updates.

The support for these devices is generic, the technical person knows what needs to be entered to connect email or enter a website but this does not mean the user experience when using a mobile device is the same for all customers so teamwork is required to enter settings.

Device vendors have their own support content and it is advised all customers understand how to use their mobile device when a computer is not functioning correctly for website search, youtube search and other public community driven content websites that may aid in seeing if what your looking at is "normal" or if your missing a step to complete a specific task.

Overall, technical persons are generally able to assist, but limited to the items provided by the device vendor and community website content.

General things outside of your control

These are the things that just need you to pass time while waiting for service restoration or physical attention by a technician for on-premise servers. Check a providers website for status updates or call them directly. If we are aware of issues affecting multiple customers, it will be posted and updates added at this weblink:
  1. Physical servers
  2. Public services (ie: hosted email)
  3. Power or Internet outages

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