Someone recently expressed that the first time they had to call in for technical support for their web filter, they were plagued with insecurity about what the person on the other end of the phone was thinking about them as they answered their call. Because web filters are often in place to block porn, you may be concerned with what the person on the other end of the phone is thinking about your lifestyle, but in reality, their thoughts are in other places entirely. As a veteran in the industry, and a former phone technical support agent, I can say with certainty, the one thing they probably aren’t dwelling on is what your internet habits are.
- “I hope I can help this person.” As competent and confident as your tech support may be, there are going to be times when they are nervous about helping you. Generally, if you’re experiencing a problem with your software, someone else is too, and in some cases, a lot of someones are. There is nothing worse than the phone ringing in the midst of a newly discovered technical bug, because you may call before they’ve figured out how to help, or they may have a fix, but it might not work for everyone. It’s stressful, and people in the customer service field, especially at a company with a social purpose (like eradicating pornography) genuinely and desperately want to serve the members, and it’s frustrating on both ends when they can’t.
- “Please don’t be an *Android* call.” No matter how tech-savvy a person is, they probably have an Operating System they hate dealing with. It’s not uncommon for phrases like “Windows Master Race” to be batted around a room of techies; we’re opinionated, and nobody can change our minds. If you’re using a software that works across multiple platforms, someone is probably crossing their fingers that they don’t get your call. For me, Android was always my least favorite, because I hate Android tablets and phones (regardless of whether or not Samsung develops parts for Apple) so I vehemently avoid them in my personal life. As much as I tried to get interested in them for professional development, every time I hold an Android I inadvertently sigh loudly: it’s inherent. I can’t help it. Because of this, while I could walk people through their Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Windows 7-10 Operating System without looking at one for reference, I often needed an Android in front of me when helping someone. Also, they’re all just a little bit different, which just adds to the aggravation.
- “Please know basic computer lingo.” We get it. You’re calling tech support for a reason, but sometimes people would call and leave me genuinely surprised that they could use a computer. We always hope that the person on the other end of the phone knows the difference between a browser and a search engine, and that they know which ones they use, but that’s not always the case. At that point then, don’t get frustrated. If you don’t know what a browser is, the tech will probably try to switch gears and explain things in a very elementary way-they’re not trying to be condescending, they just want to get you on the same page.
- “Just update your Operating System!!” We will try to get your Precambrian era Windows computer to work with the software, but at some point, you just have to understand that technology is a swiftly turning planet and if you want something to work the way it’s supposed to, it needs the features of current Operating Systems. It’s a bummer because some older devices can’t be upgraded, but it’s also not something we can help, particularly if you want advanced software.
- “Please believe me if I tell you it’s not us.” In my experience working for a previous company, if you work in a place with great customer service that is available, attentive, and eager to serve, people will call for every technical problem they have. Sometimes it takes awhile to suss out if the problem lies with our software or not, but once we do, people don’t always believe us. Maybe it’s because it looks like we’re giving up after fruitless time spent trying to fix the situation, or maybe it’s because you didn’t notice a problem until after the software was installed, but I promise, we’re not giving up and not noticing the problem doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. There is a difference between a problem being exasperated by a software and the problem being caused by a software.
I would be willing to bet that all of these things have passed through the mind of someone helping you with your technical problems with your web filter because I’ve been there. What we don’t think about, however, is your personal life. We don’t speculate as to if you’re addicted to