Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Customers are incompetent!

When I stumbled across this article in Computerworld - “Help Desks Under Pressure” – I was hoping it would talk about the help desk costs in this economy. It didn’t really talk about that too much but one of the tables (“Mounting Work”) caught my attention: “The number of incidents help desks are dealing with rose 8% from 2008 to 2009…Here are some of the reasons for the increase:”
- Infrastructure or product changes (upgrades, conversions, installations): 42%
- Expanded server offerings by the support center: 25%
- More customers: 19%
- Increased awareness of support center: 7%
- Lack of customer competency: 5%
- Poor product quality: 3%
The second last figure caught my eye: Lack of customer competency! So clearly the help desk customer, in some cases, are incompetent. It reminded me of the time I ran a help desk many years ago and my boss and I went to our chairwoman’s home to fix her printer. Yes, you know the answer. It was unplugged. However, in many cases – especially in this economic climate – training is sacrificed. Lack of training generally is the cause of “incompetence”. Except in the case of the printer power problem that two of use solved.

Oh, and let’s not even get started on “poor product quality”. At least that was bottom of the list at 3%.


Anonymous said...

that was just a lady who would not have learn't about computers - long back.

I had to troubleshoot a programmer's issue; where he was getting some XML import error.

The simple error was the comments somehow jumped into a second line without the // characters. It was hardly a 50 liner code.

The programmer could not find it out until I had to find it for him.

The reason for incompetency most of the times is due to the individual's confidence that someone else is going to troubleshoot for him.

Unknown said...

Back in the early 90s when I worked in internal IT at "Bill and Dave's Computer Company" we had a field in the helpdesk system for each employee (over 100,000) which had no name, and had up to 10 asterisks in it.

This was the 'user stupidity rating'

10 stars meant you could ask the guy to ping things and run command line stuff.
1 star meant you had to ask them if it was plugged in.

Saved an AWFUL lot of time for us, and when the users saw their records, the asterisks were hidden amongst all the other asterisks used as field separators...