Soholaunch Company Blog

The 5 Types of Bad Tech Support Representatives

6 May 1 by Mike Morrison   tags: tech support

Sooner or later, you will have to call technical support, and that's not always a pleasant experience. Here are 5 types of tech support personalities that can make you want to put your fist through the phone.

1. The Script Reader

If you've ever called your cable company for support, you know this type of tech support rep all too well. He answers the phone with a generic greeting (often with an accent), and before you can get a word in he's parroting standard, scripted questions at you in a flat, dispassionate tone that completely ignores your humanity.

If your problem is a simple and common one, then you may be able to escape the call with a solution in hand and only a small dose of frustration. But if your problem requires creativity or interpretation, God help you, because The Script Reader has no authority to think for himself or even use his own words. If you go off book, he has to transfer you, and that leaves you wishing you could have skipped talking to him in the first place.

2. The Lazy Boy

This guy is the reason that some companies require their tech support people to read from scripts. The Lazy Boy has no scripts, he has complete freedom to solve your problem, and yet he doesn't feel like it (or doesn't know how).

Everything about him is slow. His tone of voice is dull and disinterested, his words dribble out reluctantly, and he offers only shallow platitudes in response to your increasingly frustrated prods.

Ultimately you grow so frustrated that you're controlling the call more than he is. You're verbally leading him by the nose and practically doing his job for him, until you either strangle a weak solution out of him or he runs out of responses and you end the call because you can tell there's nowhere else to go with this guy.

3. The "We don't support that” Nazi

Most tech companies have what is called an "SLA." This stands for Service Level Agreement; it is a policy that defines what the company is and is not responsible for. As an example, your hosting company can probably help you if your server's hard drive explodes, but not if you type a bad line of code that breaks your website. They can fix your broken server, but they can't code your website for you.

A good SLA ensures that a tech support team operates efficiently and keeps the tech support resources available and responsive to everyone, instead of being monopolized by a few abusive customers or by problems that a different company's tech support team is better equipped to handle.

But sometimes tech support reps are too quick to invoke their SLA. They will cut you off mid-sentence to say "Sorry, we don't support X." No matter how emphatically you try to explain that X is only a minor part of the equation, or that you have evidence that X isn't the cause of the problem, they've already written you off. You might as well hang up the phone, because you're not getting any further on this call.

4. The Time Staller

This is a common occurrence through email and ticket-based support. You wait forever on a response, and when you finally hear back the answer is unhelpful and shallow, or a request for information that you already provided.

You understand that tech support is a juggling game, and that the company has other tickets, so you can be patient through a few of these stalling responses. But you eventually need a real answer. After several non-answers come through over an annoyingly long stretch of time, you stop thinking of the support team as busy, and start questioning their competence.

5. The Wizard

If you yell and scream enough at the previous four guys, or if you get really lucky with the phone rotation, you will meet The Wizard. This guy knows everything. His tone is casual yet interested, and he understands your problem better than you do within 5 seconds of your stumbling explanation. In fact, you get the distinct impression that he started investigating the problem before you even finished talking.

The Wizard is amazing. He solves your problem ten times over and goes above and beyond to make you happy. You want to call in to his managers and profess your love until you're positive that he's getting a raise, because you know first-hand how good of an impression he just made on behalf of his company.

The only bad thing about The Wizard is that he is so tragically rare.

How we handle tech support at Soholaunch

W're a relatively small team here at Soholaunch. One of the advantages to having a small team is that we have very little bureaucracy. When you contact us for tech support, you will speak to one of a handful of people, and more than half of those people are professional developers who can troubleshoot and fix most any problem you could have with our website builder.

We try to ensure that when you need help, you speak to somebody who is overqualified to address your problem. What's more, we are constantly passing support issues between us, so if you have a bad experience, we will all know about it pretty quickly, and take measures to make up for it.