Online Helpdesk Tips and Tricks
Empathy or ‘walking in someone else’s shoes’ (before you judge them) is always the key to inter-network communications. We have organizations that protect everyone in the ‘workplace’ from unfair treatment. Yet sometimes people are so abusive and insulting to customer service agents especially when feeling ‘anonymous’ online.
To start out with, the fact is that businesses usually make the ‘ground rules’ for a transaction. The consumers do not walk in and tell them how they are going to do things. Yet some refuse to follow simple directions or protocol when using a helpdesk. Maybe they don’t (won’t) understand because they think it is real technical to have a ‘ticket’ system. So they actually have an aversion to the instructions. They refuse to learn. Supposedly it is everyone else’s responsibility to take up the slack for that.
Yet if they can even do email they may be capable of understanding the concept of a ‘thread’ where there are back and forth replies – we write to someone, they write back in REPLY to our communication, and then we make further comments and send it back to them again and on and on.
Nobody in their right mind would expect a conversation to go back and forth over time by making separate individual emails that reference some unknown other communication but not include the actual details. Without the HISTORY being there in the same document of what we are discussing, it is difficult if not impossible to follow the conversation and give a coherent reply.
Yet people insist the helpdesk/customer service should pay attention to them even if they submit 5 tickets for the same issue, and worse, never acknowledging having received a response previously or any clue what the current status of the issue is. Unless you require them to go and look up their previous ticket themselves to read the details of the situation, you will be forced to either use cold canned (generalized) messages or to spend an inordinate amount of time repeating things over and over times 100 different people, and doing research for them all, just to know what they are saying.
They expect customer service to follow 100 conversations that go on over weeks, when they contact ‘support’ again about the same issue — without even using their last name or membership ID – NOthing – like they are the center of the universe, and you should know it is them and if not then it is on you to try to figure it out (and give a coherent reply to the question or issue).
These ‘folks’ are so zoned out in their entitlement mentality that they actually make it difficult if not impossible to assist them. It is like they ‘shoot themselves in the foot’ because they refuse to follow the directions or to cooperate with the business or corporate operating procedure. So instead of being helped with their initial problem, the agent is forced to try to get enough information to proceed with techical or administrative support. And in some cases each time it is like who is this person? Does the situation sound familiar?
So pretend like it is you and try to treat people as you would like to be treated. Be professional, polite, and give people the respect to follow their directions if you are at their website, business or program, particularly when you are asking for help. Try to be logical about giving them the details they need to understand what you want. Your full name, membership ID, domain name, email address that you use for that program, anything to help identify yourself.
If you are being asked for help, then of course you should attempt to help as many people as you can as best as you can. To ’empathize’ with other ‘helpers,’ pretend you are preparing to provide answers or solutions when you realize you don’t know the question or who is asking. You really want to do your best, but you haven’t been given the necessary details.
If you contact ‘support,’ and you mean that something ‘doesn’t work’ or that you ‘can’t’ do something, then describe what you mean by that – do you get error messages? what do the error messages say? Or a blank screen? what is the address or URL of the website where the problem happened? What were you doing when it happened?
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